US embassy condemns Kyrgyzstan’s anti-gay ‘propaganda’ bill
The United States embassy has condemned Kyrgyzstan for approving a bill 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.”
Kyrgyzstan’s parliament started debating the passage of the legislation into law last week.
According to DNA, the US embassy says the law will hurt the nation’s civil society.
In a statement, it said: “No one should be silenced or imprisoned because of who they are or whom they love. Laws that discriminate against one group of people threaten the fundamental rights of all people.
“Sweeping limits on civil society harm democracy.”
The statement went on to call for parliamentarians “to oppose legislation that would criminalize expressions of identity or limit civil society”.
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.