Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

People take part in the annual Pride parade in Kyiv, Ukraine on Sept. 19, 2021.
People take part in the annual Pride parade in Kyiv, Ukraine on Sept. 19, 2021. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has paved the way to legalizing same-sex civil partnerships in the country, in response to a petition calling for same-sex marriage to be made legal there.

Zelensky explained that while the country remained at war, it would be impossible to legalize same-sex marriage because it would violate the constitution.

“The Family Code of Ukraine defines that the family is the primary and main unit of society. A family consists of persons who live together, are connected by common life, have mutual rights and obligations. According to the Constitution of Ukraine, marriage is based on the free consent of a woman and a man (Article 51),” he said on the presidency website.

“The Constitution of Ukraine cannot be changed during a martial law or a state of emergency (Article 157 of the Constitution of Ukraine).”

Despite the obstacles, Zelensky said he would work with his ministers to “ensure the rights and freedoms” of all Ukrainians.

“At the same time, the Government worked out solutions regarding the legalization of registered civil partnership in Ukraine as part of the work on establishing and ensuring human rights and freedoms,” he said.

“In the modern world, the level of democratic society is measured, among other things, through state policy aimed at ensuring equal rights for all citizens. Every citizen is an inseparable part of civil society, he is entitled to all the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine,” Zelensky also said.

All people are free and equal in their dignity and rights,” he continued.

Zelensky also thanked the more than 28,000 people that signed the petition for their “active civic position.”

Under Ukrainian law, the president must review petitions that get more than 25,000 signatures.

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