Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyzstan parliament has introduced a bill that would make it a crime for anyone found making any same-sex related statement or pursuing such information through the internet, telecommunications or other media punishable with jail time.
“The goal of this bill is the safety and protection of the traditional family, and the human, moral and historical values of Kyrgyz society, by limiting the spread of information comprising the formation of positive attitudes to nontraditional forms of sexual relations,” the bill reads.
The legislation was introduced in parliament on March 26, reports buzzfeed.com.
The Kyrgyz bill would make any statement that could create “a positive attitude to unconventional sexual orientation” a crime punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year.
The bill seeks to limit “the spread of media, photos, video, written materials that include open and hidden calls to nontraditional sexual relations (homosexuality, lesbianism and other forms of nontraditional sexual behavior.”
It also seeks to restrict “the organization of and participation in peaceful gatherings that aim to make available to society any information regarding positions on any form of nontraditional sexual relations.”
A memo justifying the bill claims that countries such as the UK, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, and eight states in the U.S. have imposed similar restrictions.
The U.S. laws referred to are presumably the laws in eight states restricting teaching about same sex relations in schools. The United Kingdom repealed its ban on teaching about same-sex relations in 2003. Moldova did so in July under pressure from the European Union, one month after having enacted it. A similar anti-gay bill is pending in Ukraine, but it has not yet been enacted.
Anna Kirey of Human Rights Watch told buzzfeed.com that a 30-day comment period has begun now that the bill has been published online, after which it will be taken up for discussion and vote in parliament.
Although consensual sex between men was legalized less than 20 years ago, Kyrgyz society which is mainly Muslim, largely views it as a sin. This makes the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community a target for possible abuse especially after last year’s anti-gay legislation passed in Russia, which remains a strong economic supporter of this Central Asian republic.