Activists urge global LGBTI groups to help scuttle anti-gay law in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan: Activists in Kyrgyzstan are pleading with international LGBTI communities to mobilize support for their efforts in scrapping an anti-gay propaganda law that makes any type of information on same-sex relations a crime punishable by fines and a jail sentence.

In their recent communiqué to the global LGBTI community, the activists have proposed five ways to support efforts in scuttling the homophobic propaganda law, according to

Firstly, activists want to “Get the word out on the Kyrgyz propaganda law” by using all means to contact international organizations, foreign ministries and mass media to inform them about the propaganda law.

Activists ask LGBTI communities to “Speak up and act up” by organizing in all offline and online campaigns against the law and in protest meetings in front of Kyrgyz embassies and consulates. They are calling for public statements to be issued particularly by officials from “non-Western” countries in Asia.

They “Ask donors to review their policies and programs in Kyrgyzstan” and make sure that their local partners do not support homophobia and transphobia by funding organizations that propagate hate or encourage violence against LGBTI.

“International organizations and governments must impose sanctions on public homophobes,” the activists say meaning that sanctions such as visa restrictions, denied entry, and freezing the financial assets of those who incite violence and hatred against LGBTI.

Lastly they want support to “Advocate for better asylum policies for LGBTI from Kyrgyzstan” as well as for countries to prioritize the granting of asylum to LGBTI from Kyrgyzstan.

Activists point out that the recent anti-gay propaganda law introduced in the Kyrgyzstan parliament is part of a legislative package imported from Russia.

The law is modeled after Russia which recently passed a bill banning “homosexual propaganda,” meaning no one can talk to minors about the mere existence of gay people or hold pride parades and rallies.

“The Kyrgyz bill is harsher than Russia’s law, because it would apply to all types of communication, not just statements made in the presence of minors,” said adding that Kyrgyzstan has moved to align itself more closely with Russia by making it a crime to say anything positive about same-sex relations.

Although consensual same-sex relations is legalized in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, Russia, which took over the obligations of the Soviet Union, remains a strong economic supporter and has great influence on this Central Asian republic.

This makes the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community a target for possible abuse especially after last year’s anti-gay legislation passed in Russia.

The Kyrgyz law makes any statement that could create “a positive attitude to unconventional sexual orientation” a crime punishable by fines and a jail sentence of up to one year.

Source – Gay Asia News