Target: Almazbek Atambayev, President of Kyrgyzstan
Goal: Encourage Kyrgyzstan to amend anti-gay propaganda law
Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic, may soon follow in Russia’s footsteps by introducing a “gay propaganda” statute to its legislation. The nation’s Parliament recently created a draft of the legislation, which would make it a crime to publicly accept or support homosexuality.
Despite opposition from the U.S. Embassy, Kyrgyzstan shows no signs of slowing down passage of the controversial law. Supported by a number of conservative groups and Vladimir Putin himself, the legislation eerily mirrors Russia’s own gay propaganda statute and would make it a felony to create “a positive attitude toward non-traditional sexual relations, using the media or information and telecommunications networks,” and to disseminate “information that would create non-traditional sexual attitudes in an individual…or evoke interest in such relations.”
Those found guilty of violating the law also face jail time of up to six months and a fine of 2-5,000 som, the U.S. equivalent of $36 to $91. For repeat offenders, or those who continually display “positive attitudes” towards the LGBT community, especially in the presence of minors, the severity of the punishment increases exponentially to one year in prison and a fine of up to 6,000 som, or $110 dollars.
Kyrgyzstan, known for its climate of hostility towards LGBT people, is already home to a fragile civil society plagued by poverty and drug trafficking issues. The introduction, or worse yet, the passing of such a law could send the country’s questionable civil society spiraling out of control.
Sign the petition to encourage President Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan to cease the momentum of this discriminatory and draconian legislation.
Dear President Almazbek Atambayev,
There is an epidemic afoot in Kyrgyzstan–homophobia. From gay men being extorted, threatened, arbitrarily detained, and even sexually abused, to the recent introduction of a “gay propaganda” statute, your country’s anti-gay environment has simply gotten out of hand.
This draconian anti-gay bill is blatantly discriminatory and threatens to oversaturate the country’s civil society with unnecessary hostility and prejudice. No one should have to live in fear, be silenced, or imprisoned because of who they are, how they love, or what they support. Contrary to conservative beliefs, your efforts to “protect children from information that harms their development or health” and “uphold traditional family values” are rather useless. These laws do nothing to spread positivity and tolerance. Instead, they promote hate and reward bigotry.
When you create laws that discriminate against one group of individuals, you endanger the fundamental rights of all. I urge you to stop the progression of this draconian legislation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: nbah via Wikimedia