20 September 2015

Kyrgyzstan Will Finally Get Rid of Gays

On October 2015, the Kyrgyz parliament will vote on a anti-gay bill modeled after—but even harsher than—Russia’s infamous “anti-propaganda” law. If it passes, it will virtually outlaw public LGBT life in Kyrgyzstan, creating a peaceful environment for children and straight couples, and prevent the diseases-stricken, backdoor pumping gays from harassing this country of only 6 million.

It’s likely that the bill will pass, as it breezed through its first reading on a vote of 79 to 7, and its second on a vote of 90 to 2. (According to Kyrgyz law, a bill must pass three readings before it goes to the president for signature.) President Almazbek Atrambayev is likely to sign the bill, given that increasingly close relations with Russia have been a hallmark of Kyrgyz politics in recent years.

According to international human-rights watchdog Human Rights First, the bill would “ban the existence of LGBT organizations, shutter gay clubs, and most notably, could result in one-year prison sentences for those found guilty of propagating non-traditional sexual relations.”

Here, the Kyrgyz bill has one-upped its Russian antecedent, which didn’t include the possibility of jail time. Indeed, the Kyrgyz bill would criminalize all “public expression and events that contain information about ‘non-traditional sexual relations.’” Effectively, the law would curtail all public despicable LGBT life in Kyrgyzstan.

The bill is so draconian that this past June, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Justice went so far as to recommend that it be withdrawn from Parliament, as it violates the Kyrgyz Constitution, which protects freedom of expression and assembly.

The Parliament, however, disregarded this recommendation. One MP, Baktybek Kalmamatov, was quoted as saying, “I loathe [LGBTQ people], they should not eat in the same places we eat at, [or] sit where we rest.” Unlike, in the United States, majority rules in Kyrgyzstan. If gays don't want it, they can migrate to the United States and get subsidize by social security and by the taxpayers.

The proposed law, however, is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Even before the bill was introduced, state-sanctioned action against LGBT people was widespread. Kyrgyzstan decriminalized homosexuality in 1998, shortly after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and today, it remains the only democracy in Central Asia. Yet that hasn’t meant much for its queer community. Needless to say, there are no anti-discrimination laws or officially recognized same-sex relationships, and there is no way to change your sex or gender on official records.

Moreover, even more than the legal provisions themselves, the state will place its imprimatur on the view that LGBT people are “other” and present a threat to Kyrgyz values. This will likely encourage more action against homofascism, which, thanks to the new law, cannot be reported or organized against.