Anti-gay bill clears key vote in Kyrgyzstan parliament

gay marriage. PHOTO:

gay marriage. PHOTO:

Lawmakers in ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favour of a law activists say discriminates against homosexuals, in the crucial second of three mandatory readings of the bill.

The bill, which would punish “propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation” with jail terms of up to a year and appears a harsher version of a law adopted by ally Russia, has generated concern among activists in the ex-Soviet Central Asian state.

Lawmakers passed the bill with 90 MPs voting in favour and only two voting against.

The second reading was originally expected to go ahead in February but was delayed.

A third and final reading of the law is expected in the autumn ahead of legislative elections in October.

In April, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev completed a ten-day tour of several European countries during which he promoted his country’s democratic credentials.

The European Parliament warned in a January resolution that the bill “could affect relations with the EU” which provides budget support and other assistance to the aid-dependent country.

In March, Human Rights Watch said the bill “would not only violate free speech, it would encourage discrimination and violence against Kyrgyzstan citizens.”

Vigilante groups strongly opposed to homosexuality have gathered momentum in the cash-strapped country in recent years.

Experts warn that Kyrgyzstan has serious problems with the rule of law despite a mixed political system and a vibrant civil society.

Last month Kyrgyz authorities opened a criminal investigation into an alleged attack on members of Kyrgyzstan’s marginalised gay community who had gathered to mark the International Day Against Homophobia.

No one was charged for the attack, which saw several self-styled patriotic groups invade a café on the outskirts of the capital Bishkek and intimidate a meeting of 20-30 people.

Kyrgyzstan is also considering a law that would brand non-governmental organisations receiving funding from abroad as “foreign agents.”

The bill, which critics say is another copycat of Russian legislation, was passed at its first parliamentary reading earlier this month.

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  • Ojiyovwi

    Dear Guardian editor, there is nothing wrong with callin a spade, a spade. Are you gay? If you’re not, please explain to your readers why you’re frightened to call a homosexual a pervert. Here in the UK, homosexuals are very powerful and occupy high offices of state so they have the power to make life truly difficult for anyone who dares to criticise their life choice.

  • Ojiyovwi

    Majority of people here in the UK are truly frightened of the power of
    homosexuals and lesbians that is why they have used equality bill to
    accept that a man can mary a man and some women likewise. They cannot be
    surprised that this has come to be. Here in the UK, no one accepts that
    nature has a way of its own and there is the constant attack on nature.

  • Ojiyovwi

    They don’t want to die but then they end up in sad nursing homes wishing
    they were dead. A woman has faulty firtility and she wants to have
    children at any cost even with foreign eggs and sperms. There are,
    therefore a whole host of people in the UK and probably EU genrally with
    dubious humanities and consequent strange choices, with everything

  • Ojiyovwi

    A man ‘maries’ a man and loe
    and behold, they have a child – a very unfortunate child indeed who will
    grow up in the most un-natural household, never to be hugged by a
    bosomful mother. Is it any wonder that they grow up and perpetuate these
    strange behaviours?

  • Ojiyovwi

    A sovereign nation sees this as an unacceptable development and seek to
    discoueage its citizens from these afflictions and the leaders are
    abused vociferously by the powerful and well educated homosexuals and
    lesbians. Some of these even go as far as DEMANDING gender
    re-assignment. The same lot will castigate cultures where circumcision
    is practiced. The call it ‘Genital Mutilation’ and have ready members of
    the offending cultures to side with them in the cultural vandalism that
    then follow. These recruited allies are the hoited nad hailed as ‘humanrights champions’, while quietly carrying out ‘genetal adjustments’, gruesome plastic surgeries at huge expence. These are very advanced civilisation indeed – the ironyis incredible.

    Goodnight for today. More tomorrow.