US condemns Kyrgyzstan proposed ‘gay propaganda’ ban

US condemns Kyrgyzstan proposed ‘gay propaganda’ ban

[JURIST] The US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan [official website] issued a press release [text] Friday condemning proposed legislation that would ban “gay propaganda.” According to Reuters the proposed bill would allow [Reuters report] for fines and imprisonment up to one year for individuals found “‘forming a positive attitude to untraditional sexual relations’ among minors or in mass media.” In the press release the US expressed concern over the law, stating that it, “fundamentally threatens human rights, Kyrgyzstan’s democratic gains and constitutional guarantees.” In addition, the embassy’s statement urged “MPs and the people of the Kyrgyz Republic to stand on the side of justice and equality, to stand for progress and compassion, and oppose legislation that would criminalize expressions of identity or limit civil society.” The proposed legislation passed on its first reading before Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament, the Jogorku Kenesh [official website, in Kyrgyz], October 9 but must pass on three readings and be signed by the president before becoming binding law.

The proposed “gay propaganda” ban is similar to a controversial law [text, in Russian] that went into effect in Russia in 2013. In September the Constitutional Court of Russia [official website] ruled that the law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors was not a breach of the Russian Constitution [text]. In contrast to anti-homosexual legislation in Russia and Kyrgyzstan, last week the Estonian Parliament, the Riigikogu [official website], passed legislation [JURIST report] legalizing same-sex partnerships, making the country the first member of the former Soviet Union to enact laws allowing for same-sex partnerships.