But war and death are pushing the issue to the surface.
Since his boyfriend of 13 years joined the military in February, Andriy Maymulakhin, who runs a center in Kyiv advocating for L.G.B.T. rights, said that he worried what would happen to the home they built together and to their three Westies, Archer, Astra and Vega, if his partner, Andriy Markiv, 38, were killed.
That concern became all too real last month, when Mr. Markiv, a builder serving as a cook in the Ukrainian National Guard, was seriously injured during Russian shelling.
“If something were to happen to my boyfriend during the war,” said Mr. Maymulakhin, “I would not be able to see him in the hospital. If he’s well enough to call for me, I would be allowed inside. But what if he’s in a coma? No one would let me in.”
In 2014, Mr. Maymulakhin, 52, and Mr. Markiv filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, which is still pending, arguing that Ukraine was discriminating against them based on sexual orientation, in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court has ruled that nations are not required to allow same-sex marriage, but they must make civil union available to same-sex couples.
Oleksa Lungu, 22, said that one of the toughest decisions he had to ever make was whether to attend the funeral of Roman Tkachenko, 21, his former boyfriend, who was killed in battle in May near Kharkiv.