Kyrgyzstan: Lawmakers overwhelmingly support “Gay Propaganda” ban

Lawmakers in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan moved a Russian-style bill banning “gay propaganda” one step closer to becoming law in a 90-2 vote. The text of the bill, which passed its second of three required readings Wednesday, closely mirrors Russia’s widely decried 2013 ban but provides stiffer penalties, including up to a year in prison.

The bill defines “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” as “the distribution of information aimed at forming a positive attitude among citizens to sexual relations between people of the same sex, if the act is committed using the mass media, including the internet, or among minors.” It also states that public demonstrations promoting “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” may be banned.

Anti-LGBT rhetoric and violence has increased in Kyrgyzstan: “Method of fighting LGBT. Meet them on the street, club them across the face, put them in a rocket and send them to Gay-rope,” reads a tweet from an anti-LGBT nationalist group. Anti-LGBT politicians maintain the “propaganda” ban is necessary to protect family values and say LGBT rights are fundamentally incompatible with Kyrgyz culture and traditions. Read More