Kyrgyzstan: Anti-gay ‘propaganda’ bill passes first reading despite US embassy warning

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has voted to pass a bill on first reading which aims to outlaw gay “propaganda.”

In June, the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan’s Human Rights Committee approved the bill banning the dissemination of information “aimed at forming positive attitudes toward non-traditional sexual relations.”

On Monday, the US embassy warned the law would hurt the nation’s civil society.

However, the bill passed by a 79-7 vote on Wednesday, which means it will have to be approved by two more readings and signed by the president to become law.

Kurmanbek Dykanbayev, one of the authors of the bill, told Reuters: “We supported this bill, because it reflects the hopes and expectations of our voters willing to protect the traditional family.

“And from now on, there will be no possibility to arrange gay clubs, gay cafes or to hold gay rallies.”

A similar law was introduced last year in Russia, and was quickly used to fine an LGBT film festival ‘Bok o Bok’. The festival won an appeal against the fines.

Kyrgyzstan’s bill would punish any person or organisation found to “create a positive attitude toward nontraditional sexual relations, using the media or information and telecommunications networks.”

Persons found guilty under this law face up to one year imprisonment.

It was only in 1998 that homosexual acts between consenting adult men were decriminalised, and in 2004 that also sexual acts between two consenting women were no longer a sexual offence in the Penal Code.