The Senate of Kazakhstan has passed a draft bill outlawing promotion of “non-traditional sexual orientation”.

The bill, similar to the infamous Russian bill, is intended to protect children from harmful information. Although homosexuality has been legal in Kazakhstan since 1998, it is still widely frowned upon in society.

Aldan Smayil, member of Kazakhstan’s lower parliament, said: “The draft provides a ban on information products depicting cruelty and violence, provoking children to life-threatening acts, including suicide, containing scenes of pornographic, sexual and erotic nature, promoting non-traditional sexual orientation.

“We have to admit that the information space is now filled by those who misinterpret freedom in their favour, i.e. with those who use the freedom not for the benefit of society and the people, but for selfish interests and sometimes criminal activities, so our public and personal duty is to protect children from harmful information.”

On presenting the draft, Mr Smayil said it’s intent was “to protect children from information that kills the feeling of warmth and humanity, which is harmful to the health and psyche, promotes violence and is, in short, spiritually devastating to the younger generation.”

It contains provisions for searching electronic devices, and monitoring information presented to children in education.

Mr Smayil has previously attempted to make laws allowing the government to close down gay clubs and Pride events.

Senator Nurlan Orazalin spoke out in support of the draft. He said “Our teens today are the leaders of our country tomorrow.”