As the Ukrainian parliament prepares to approve anti-gay
censorship laws, former pro footballer Marcus Urban joins
AllOut.org on Twitter to comment on the Ukraine v. England Euro2012
game at 7.30pm tonight, Tuesday 19 June.
Fans of football and human rights are invited to join in by
promoting the action before the game and re-tweeting during the
match. All Out tweets will carry the hashtag #Euro2012 "with our
friend Marcus Urban".
Legislation currently under consideration could make it illegal
to say the word "gay" in public, say campaigners.
"The situation for lesbian and gay people here
in Ukraine is urgent, and we need supporters like Marcus
and All Out members all around the world to speak up with
us", said Zoryan Kis, executive director of Fulcrum, a
Ukrainian LGBT organization.
Leaders from six European Union countries have already expressed
their discomfort with Ukrainian censorship and human rights abuses
by refusing to attend tournament games held in the East
"Leaders are telling Ukraine that they can not reap
the benefits of the European community while rejecting its
commitment to human rights," said Andre Banks, executive director
of AllOut.org. "Euro 2012 has become the focal point for everyone
from heads of state to pro-footballers ready to give Ukraine a red
card for the country's ever expanding pattern of human rights
Marcus Urban came out while playing for East German second
division team Rot-Weiß Erfurt in the 1990s.
He said: "I had to quit my career 20 years ago, because of the
pressure to conform in professional football. Even now, just a few
days ago, an Italian forward playing at Euro 2012 said that he
hopes there are no gay players in his team. He is a typical example
of how little football has advanced on this issue in the last two
decades. As a matter of fact, there are no openly gay players
at the Euro 2012 at all."