Nicole Kiil-Nielsen of the European Parliament Delegation to Kyrgyzstan says it’s only been 16 years since Kyrgyzstan decriminalized same-sex relations.
“It is unacceptable that people might again be put in jail for being who they are, or even for sharing objective information about different sexual orientations. I urge the Kyrgyzstan not to go back to state-sponsored homophobia,” GayNz.com reported the official as saying.
The law is modeled after Russia which recently passed a bill banning “homosexual propaganda,” meaning no one can talk to minors about the mere existence of gay people or hold pride parades and rallies. The controversial bill has elicited much international outrage.
Although consensual same-sex relations is legalized in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, Russia, which took over the obligations of the Soviet Union, remains a strong economic supporter and has great influence on this Central Asian republic.
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.
The Kyrgyz law makes any statement that could create “a positive attitude to unconventional sexual orientation” a crime punishable by fines and a jail sentence of up to one year.
“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 law says.
The language of the law is so vague that any information about LGBT people may be classified as “propaganda.”
The legislation was first introduced in parliament on March 26 and passed June 17.
It seeks to limit “the spread of media, photos, video, written materials that include open and hidden calls to nontraditional sexual relations.”
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.”
Human Rights Watch has said that the law violate Kyrgyzstan’s constitution as well as international human rights law on nondiscrimination and is “blatantly discriminatory against LGBT people and would deny citizens across Kyrgyzstan their fundamental rights.”