BY MARIA DANILOVA, ASSOCIATED PRESS
KIEV, Ukraine -- If a group of Ukrainian lawmakers succeeds in its mission, TV shows and movies sympathetically portraying homosexuals such as "Brokeback Mountain" will be banned. So will gay pride parades.
The recently introduced bill, supported by the president's representative in parliament, would impose prison terms of up to five years and unspecified fines for spreading "propaganda of homosexuality" - defined as positive public depiction of gays in public.
It has sparked an outcry from rights organizations in Ukraine and beyond, who condemn the bill as a throwback to Soviet times when homosexuality was a criminal offense. They also warn that harassing the gay community could lead to a spike in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ukraine, one of Europe's most severe, by driving gays further underground.