Soldier calls for same-sex marriage to be legalised

A queer Ukrainian soldier has called for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Ukraine. Anna “Kajhan” Zyablikova, who serves in the 47th Brigade of Ukraine’s armed forces, says that LGBTQI+ soldiers face an “unfair” system where they have no legal rights, and are unable to make important decisions about their partner’s care, should they be injured or killed.

Zyablikova told the i paper that LGBTQI+ couples in Ukraine should have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples, including the right to decide whether to keep their partner on life support. She added that in the case of war, this lack of legal rights can create a huge psychological issue for LGBTQI+ soldiers.

The need for same-sex marriage has become more pressing in Ukraine following the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Many Ukrainians married to ensure that their partners would be protected during this uncertain time. In November last year, Kyiv resident Leda Kosmachevskaya said she planned to marry her gay soldier friend so someone could “claim him if he dies” while fighting in the war.

Zyablikova’s call for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Ukraine highlights the need for greater legal protections for LGBTQI+s in the country. With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, it is essential that all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, are able to access the same legal rights and protections.

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