Statement of the Belarusian National Youth Council “RADA”

Statement of the Belarusian National Youth Council “RADA”

Statement of the Belarusian National Youth Council “RADA” regarding an appeal of organizations to President of the Republic of Belarus with proposal of “initiation of adoption of law on prohibition of LGBT-propaganda, public display of homosexuality and other perversions to underaged and introduction of criminal responsibility for such actions” on March 9, 2020. 

We, the union of twenty three democratic youth organizations of Belarus, being created with the purpose of consolidating of youth organizations and initiatives of Belarus for representation, promotion and defending common interests, exercising right to freedoms of association and other constitutional rights, represented by the Governing Body – the Board of “RADA”, make the following statement:

“RADA” expresses the highest concern towards initiative of representatives of organizations from the Coordination committee of civil pro-family organizations of Belarus and some of christian structures for criminalization of LGBT community activities, per se their lives. Using hate speech, the representatives of abovementioned structures create an atmosphere of aggression and fear, as well as bad reception of themselves from society that negatively influence Belarusian society. An approach that was chosen, as human history shows, brings only broader discrimination of social groups in society and their exclusion from civil life, oftenly endangering their lives. This is unacceptable. In our point of view reaching organizational or private goals never should be built upon aggression and prohibitions, instead of dialogue and respect.

An approach that was chosen by fund “Open hearts” and their followers for promotion of their interests not only contradicts with the name of the fund and article 22 of the Constitution of Belarus, does not support a dialogue among different social groups but also doubts actions of acknowledged international agencies of UN. We believe that baseless charges of UN agencies and other democratic organizations that were spread by initiators of signature collectors, must be urgently and publicly refuted by the authors in mass-media.

At the same time, we welcome the position of representatives of christian community who openly and sincerely stay against the initiative on criminalization of LGBT-community. In the same way representatives of other communities expressed their opinion. It shows that the position of initiators of signature collection is not supported widely and therefore should not be taken by state authorities as consolidated and the only one.

Regarding the situation and in order to resolve it, the Board of “RADA” calls to initiators of signature collection, especially fund “Open hearts” and Roman Catholic church in Belarus:

  1. To withdraw the appeal to President of the Republic of Belarus;
  2. Publicly apologize to the representatives of communities and agencies affected by accusations;
  3. Refer to the human rights values and conduct their activities with respect to human rights and non-violent methods, including in communications.

In support of falsely accused communities and agencies, the Board of “RADA” calls to representatives of civil society organizations and UN agencies to actively support and engage with the statement and recommends:

  1. Openly express the position against discrimination of LGBT-community through mass-media and other sources of communication;
  2. Speak in support of the actions of UN agencies in Belarus and their projects dedicated to development of the society and respect of human rights in Belarus.

At the same time, if the “Open hearts” fund and other representatives of the campaign do not withdraw the appeal, we reserve the opportunity to urge the international community to react, including Christian organizations around the world. As well as to initiate by Belarusian authorities checking and bringing to justice representatives of the signature collection campaign for inciting hatred in the society and spreading false information. 

Belarusian National Youth Council “RADA”