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Will Kyrgyzstan Pass a Copycat Russian Anti-Gay Bill?

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Mar 28, 2014

A bill similar to Russia's controversial "homosexual propaganda" law has been introduced in the Central Asian country's (bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and China to the east) parliament Wednesday, according to BuzzFeed.

The website reports the measure "goes beyond" Russia's vague anti-gay law, which prohibits "promoting non-traditional sexual relationships for minors." Those who violate the law can be fined or sent to jail.

The Kyrgyzstan bill, however, would make any statement that could make "a positive attitude to unconventional sexual orientation" illegal, which would be punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year if those positive attitudes were made online, through telecommunications or the media.

"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. It also aims to limit "the spread of media, photos, video, written materials that include open and hidden calls to non-traditional sexual relations (homosexuality, lesbianism and other forms of non-traditional 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."

BuzzFeed notes that a memo justifying the bill says countries, including the United Kingdom, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and eight states in the U.S., implement similar restrictions.

The law the memo references is most likely the laws in eight states that restrict teaching about homosexuality in schools. The U.K., however, repealed its ban on teaching homosexuality in schools in 2003 and Moldova banned its "homosexual propaganda" law in July due to pressure from the European Union. Ukraine has a similar measure but its has not been enacted.


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