Vaguely worded anti-gay legislation in Kyrgyzstan could send a reporter to jail for discussing homosexual rights, force LGBT-rights activists underground, and encourage violence against the community, activists say. Some fear it amounts to re-criminalizing homosexuality.
The Kyrgyz bill – a harsher version of Russia’s 2013 “gay propaganda” law – passed on its first reading in Kyrgyzstan’s parliament, the Jogorku Kenesh, by a 79-7 vote on October 15. With such overwhelming support, activists expect the bill to sail through the remaining two readings and be signed by President Almazbek Atambayev, who has defined his administration by moving closer to Russia. (Atambayev’s spokesman said it is too early to comment on the president’s position.)
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David Trilling is EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor.