Target: Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Goal: Don’t ban “propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation” in Kazakhstan.
A Kazakh law that would ban “propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation” has passed through the upper level of parliament and has been sent to the president, who could sign it into law at any time. The law is discriminatory and could have far-reaching effects on freedom of expression in Kazakhstan. Sign the petition and urge the president to reject the law.
While lawmakers have refused to make the text of the law public, it is clear from officials quoted on the subject that the proposed legislation would be discriminatory and would promote discrimination toward LGBTI individuals and their allies. Amnesty International has also expressed its belief that the law could have even wider implications, since the law’s definition of “propaganda” appears to be fairly loose and could be interpreted in a myriad of ways to undermine freedom of speech.
All people have the right to live in peace, regardless of their sexual orientation, or perceived sexual orientation. The law must not be allowed to go forward.
I am writing to express my extreme concern over the proposed legislation to ban “propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation.” Such a measure would be discriminatory, would promote violence and hatred toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people and their allies, and could have far-reaching effects on freedom of expression in Kazakhstan. I urge you to reject it.
In addition to the problems with the law’s content, the law itself has brought up a number of issues regarding governmental transparency, as the text of the law has not been made available to the public or to human rights organizations. All available general information about the law has come from media interviews with lawmakers involved in drafting the legislation. Although it is clear from these sources that the law is discriminatory, it is difficult to tell to what extent since the full text is unavailable.
It is the responsibility of the president to act in the best interest of his country’s citizens–no matter what their sexuality (or perceived sexuality). It is also his responsibility to ensure that the legislative process is carried out in fairness and transparency. The proposed law violates both of these basic tenets and, therefore, it must be rejected.
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Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron via Wikimedia Commons