Kazakhstan gay information ban deemed unconstitutional

Kazakhstan gay information ban deemed unconstitutional

[JURIST] Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council [official website] on Wednesday declared unconstitutional a bill seeking to ban the dissemination to minors of information supporting homosexual relationships. The council found [HRC press release] the bill contained poor wording and incorrect formulation, according to Human Rights Campaign (HRC) [advocacy website], but it could be reintroduced in the future. Many believe Kazakhstan’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Almaty may be a reason for the ruling, as many prominent athletes in the country spoke up against the law.

Russia passed a similar controversial law, originally introduced [JURIST report] in March 2012. In June 2012 prominent Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekeyev filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] challenging a similar St. Petersburg city ordinance prohibiting [JURIST report] the spreading “homosexual propaganda” to minors. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [official website] urged [JURIST report] the Russian government in February 2014 to repeal the legislation banning the dissemination of homosexual “propaganda” to minors. Last September the Constitutional Court of Russia [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors is not in breach of the Russian Constitution [text].