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President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked Ukraine’s government to look into whether same-sex marriages should be legalised.

He also noted that marriage is defined in the country’s constitution as being between a man and a woman – something which would not be changed during the ongoing war with Russia.

Zelensky explained that this is due to Article 157 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which says: “In conditions of war or a state of emergency, the Constitution of Ukraine cannot be changed.”

The response comes after a petition on the matter crossed the 25,000 signature threshold required for consideration from the president.

“I asked Prime Minister (Denys) Shmyhal to address the issue raised in the electronic petition and to inform me of relevant decisions,” he stated in an official decree on 2 August.

Although homosexuality is not illegal in Ukraine, same-sex marriages and civil partnerships are not recognised.

LGBTQ+ rights groups are calling on the government to introduce the latter in the meantime.

In a statement on 2 August, Kyiv Pride wrote: “The Institute of Registered Civil Partnerships is the best alternative in the current situation, and the government, led by the president, gave us a positive signal that the implementation [of gay marriage] is now only a matter of time!”

This means that certain rights, including co-ownership of property, are not accessible for gay couples.

It has also resulted in problems for LGBTQ+ people in the military following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as same-sex partners are not able to collect their partner’s body if they die in battle.

Ukraine has an anti-discrimination law that was introduced in 2015, though many LGBTQ+ people still suffer intolerance in the country.

You can learn more about how to help LGBTQ+ people in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion here.