What is worth the reputation of the oldest hotel of “the country’s most European city”?
Recently George Hotel in Lviv refused our public organization to hold an event on the basis they do not want to get extra problems with LGBT and care about their institution’s reputation.
The irony is this discriminatory rejection was given to the roundtable on combating discrimination and hate crimes in the region.
Such roundtables we held in many major Ukrainian cities. Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odesa, Zaporizhzhya, Zhytomyr, Kherson, Chernivtsi – it’s not a complete list. The target audience included representatives of law enforcement agencies, local governments, NGOs and practicing lawyers. The events in Uzhhorod and Vinnitsya were disrupted due to the activity of ultra-right groups in March of this year. Therefore, we tried to hold a series of roundtables scheduled for this fall in the premises of local police departments. Of four regions, only Vinnitsya agreed to hold an event in the safe area of the city police department. The Lviv Oblast Police Department, which was requested in the summer, reported the impossibility of holding a roundtable at the police station only a week before the scheduled date (October 31) and only by telephone.
Because of this, it was necessary to look for a neutral space. Initially, a conference manager of George Hotel agreed to rent the hotel room for a roundtable (she was immediately informed about the name of our organization, the theme of the event, and a tentative list of participants). However, when they received Nash Mir’s registration documents for billing, we were refused rent, first by phone and then by e-mail, because of an alleged threat to the reputation of the hotel and concern for the safety of its customers, i.e. due to the connection of the event with LGBT issues.
Unfortunately, the planned date for holding a roundtable in the “most European city of the country” failed, but we are sure that it will happen in the near future. As for the oldest Lviv’s hotel, which used to host many foreigners of diverse sexual orientations and skin colors, we hope that its managers will sooner or later realize that hospitality in civilized countries is measured not only by the level of service and smiles of the staff, but also by the appropriate level of tolerance and non-discrimination on any grounds.