Kyrgyzstan’s only gay nightclub closes under LGBT crackdown

The only LGBT night club in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city of Biskek has closed after governmental pressure to silence the presentation of LGBT people in a public arena.

The nightclub, named London, nestled on the outskirts of the city has been frequented by LGBT partiers on a Saturday night for years.

But after the landlord in question discovered that the club was being used to host LGBT events, they asked the renters to leave.

According to a report from The Guardian, the country’s only LGBT nightclub has been shut for fear that a restrictive anti-LGBT law is soon to come into force.

The bill, which is one step from being made a law, will ban “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” in the country, which will see a public suppression of same-sex relationships.

According to activists at the LGBT organisation Labrys, the political shift and proposed legislation led to a near 300% increase in attacks against LGBT people in the city.

And of those surveyed, 84% those who responded had been a victim of violence.

Regarded as the most liberal LGBT country in central Asia —in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, LGBT acts are still criminalised — the country’s liberal city of Bishkek has been regarded as a safe haven for the queer community.

“If you have your own place, or can rent an apartment, then it’s still safe to be gay here,” says one Kyrgyz businessman to The Guardian.

“But if you are a teenager or a student, then you have to meet people wherever you can – in parks, forests, car parks. And then it’s not going to be safe.”

Until 2016, “persons who have reached the age of majority” in the country were allowed to wed.

Now, it is only a marriage between a man and a woman that is accepted in the eyes of the law.