Kyrgyzstan has amended its constitution to ban same-sex marriage, but continues to delay action on a proposed Russian-style law against “gay propaganda.”
The anti-“gay propaganda” proposal, under discussion since 2014, won near-unanimous legislative approval in at least one one preliminary vote but it aroused intense international opposition and has never been enacted.
Last month’s voting in the central Asian country also revised the balance of power between the president and the prime minister, an issue that was more controversial among Kyrgyz voters than the same-sex-marriage ban.
BISHKEK — Kyrgyz election officials said voters have overwhelmingly backed amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and shift some presidential powers to the prime minister.
The two questions were among a package of 26 proposed amendments that voters in the mostly Muslim former Soviet republic were being asked to approve with a simple “yes-or-no” vote on December 11.
The Central Election Commission said 80 percent of voters backed the measures and just over 42 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. …
The amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman — a change that would effectively ban gay marriages — had garnered wide attention.
The measure parallels related legislation making its way through parliament that toughens punishments for promoting “a homosexual way of life” and “nontraditional sexual relations.” The bill passed a first reading in parliament but has not been given final approval.
While no same-sex marriages have believed to have been recorded by local marriage registries anywhere, some Kyrgyz same-sex couples may have gotten married anyway, through other means. The only restriction that was explicitly stated in the current constitution had been that married couples should be adults.
Neither same-sex marriage, nor homosexuality more broadly, have much support among most Kyrgyz and the issue has been condemned by some Islamic clerics and nationalist groups, who view it as Western values being imported into the country.
Some gay rights and feminist groups are known in the capital, Bishkek, and active on social networks, and there are several gay and lesbian cafes and bars in the city, as well.
For more information, read the full article, “Kyrgyz Voters Back Amendments On Same-Sex Marriage, Presidential Power.”
- Anti-‘gay propaganda’ bill is back in Kyrgyzstan (May 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Anti-LGBTI attack disrupts Kyrgyz anti-homophobia day (May 2015, 76crimes.com)
- MEPs condemn attacks against Kyrgyz LGBTI activists (May 2015, European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights)
- Kyrgyzstan: European Leaders Should Raise Rights Concerns (March 2015, hrw.org)
- Pressure on Kyrgyzstan to derail Russia-style anti-LGBTI bill
- How to protest Russia-style anti-gay bill in Kygyzstan (March 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Kyrgyz appeal for protests against anti-‘gay propaganda’ bill (October 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Kyrgyzstan plea: Please help oppose anti-gay bill (July 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Kyrgyzstan on the verge of adopting harsh anti-gay law (June 2014, 76crimes.com)