Kyrgyz legislators have proposed a bill — similar to Russia’s federal gay propaganda law — that aims to make positive statements about “nontraditional sexual relations” a criminal offence, Pink News reports.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Kyrgyzstan’s parliament published a draft of the measure online March 26 for public comment, but it is not yet up for official debate. HRW says that a note accompanying the bill defines “nontraditional sexual relations” as “sodomy, lesbianism and other forms of non-traditional sexual behavior,” justifying the measure as necessary “to safeguard and protect the traditional family, human, moral, and historical values of Kyrgyz society.”
Further, it defines creation of “a positive attitude” as “disseminating information that would create non-traditional sexual attitudes in an individual or distorted notions of social equivalence between traditional and non-traditional sexual relations, or that would impose information about non-traditional sexual relations to evoke interest in such relations.”
If passed, those found guilty of flouting its provisions could face six-month prison terms and fines. The penalties increase for repeat offences.
Kyrgyztsan decriminalized homosexuality in 1998, member of the European Parliament (MEP) Nicole Kiil-Nielsen noted as she objected to the introduction of the bill. “It is unacceptable that people might again be put in jail for being who they are, or even for sharing objective information about different sexual orientations.”
Another MEP, Michael Cashman, who is also co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, called on the government and the country’s political parties to oppose the bill, saying it will serve to further marginalize LGBT people who already face arbitrary violence, “not the least by police forces.”