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19 Aug, 2023 00:21

Ukrainian parliament poised to legalize porn production

Lawmakers argue that OnlyFans profits could help fund the military
Ukrainian parliament poised to legalize porn production

Lawmakers in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine announced on Friday that they have collected enough signatures for a bill that would decriminalize the production of pornography. Lead sponsor of the proposal, Yaroslav Zheleznyak, has argued that the current laws encourage corruption and that legalizing porn could help raise funds for the military.

Measure 9623 would amend Article 301 of Ukraine’s criminal code, which Zheleznyak called “nothing short of stupidity.” It does not change anything pertaining to child pornography, human trafficking, or prostitution.

“We are not even talking about OnlyFans, but about consuming this content in general,” he told the Kiev Post, adding that sending someone to prison for up to eight years for sending or receiving nudes is a Soviet legacy.

Thousands of Ukrainians are actively employed in the production of pornography. According to Zheleznyak, the state received over 34 million hryvnia ($920,000) in taxes in the first half of 2023 from sites such as OnlyFans, whose majority owner is Ukrainian-American businessman Leonid Radvinsky.

A charity using nudes to raise funds for the Ukrainian military has also helped with the initiative. Called ‘Teronlyfans’, the group rewards those who donate to the armed forces or refugees with spicy photos.

“This is a good representation of the role of the body in war. As citizens of Ukraine, our primary responsibility is to provide our soldiers with everything they need,” Teronlyfans executive Anastasia Kuchmenko told the Kiev Post. Though the group deals in “erotic and not pornographic content,” Kuchmenko concedes that they could face prosecution if the government did not turn a blind eye to their activities.

Zheleznyak has also argued that Ukrainian police have better things to do than hunt down cam girls, citing statistics that show 85,500 man-hours were dedicated to porn cases in 2021, which he said amounted to a year of daily work, without holidays, for 41 investigators. His amendments note that over 700,000 people received court summons in 2022 for charges under Article 301.

Though the proposal already has the necessary co-sponsorships to move to a vote, some Ukrainians are not thrilled about it. One comment on Zheleznyak’s Telegram channel said pornography is worse than alcoholism, while another claimed that “the same people that are for the legalization of LGBTs are for the legalization of porn,” and that this will “lead to great problems and the degradation of the nation.”

Zheleznyak’s party, Golos, proposed legalizing same-sex civil partnerships in March. It has 20 seats in the 450-member legislature, whose mandate expires in October but will likely be extended as President Vladimir Zelensky’s martial law prevents a new election from being called.

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