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Anti-‘gay propaganda’ bill blocked in Kazakhstan

Anti-‘gay propaganda’ bill blocked in Kazakhstan

Map of Kazakhstan (Map courtesy of
Location of Kazakhstan in central Asia (Map courtesy of

Opponents of human rights for LGBTI people in Kazakhstan suffered a setback last week, as the nation’s Constitutional Council blocked enactment of a Russian-style anti-“gay propaganda” bill.

The council announced on May 26 that it rejected the bill last week on the grounds that it contained “vague and ambiguous definitions and terms.”

Last August, the lower house of the Kazakh parliament passed the bill, which is modeled on Russia’s law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation.” The upper house passed it in February.

Because the country is vying with China to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, 27 Olympic and Paralympic athletes called on the International Olympic committee to take a stand against the bill, which they said is “incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement.”

Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan (Photo courtesy of
Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan (Photo courtesy of

Several organizations, including Amnesty International, called on Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to reject it. Amnesty said Kazakhstan is in the midst of a homophobic crackdown on LGBT people, human rights and the right of free expression.

Although the Constitutional Council’s decision prevents the bill from being signed into law in its current form, the council also ruled that Kazakhstan’s government can enact laws that restrict citizens’ rights to access and distribute information as part of its responsibility to “defend marriage and family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood,” BuzzFeed reported.

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The future of the bill remains unclear.

“The rare rejection left it unclear whether the bill is effectively dead, could be sent back to parliament for revision, or revived after the fact, providing Kazakhstan is chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.” Radio Free Europe stated.

View Comments (3)
  • From Richard Ammon,

    A World First: Unanimous Parliament Vote For Gay Marriage

    May 28, 2015
    Greenland Says Yes To Gay Marriages
    By Bjørn Hansen

    Parliament in Greenland has unanimously voted for gays and lesbian marriage; also in a church if they like.

    A proposal to allow gay marriages, which was originally made in 2010, was yesterday finally adopted.The proposal met strong support from all parties in the Inatsisartut (Parliament).

    “Finally, I say. It has been five years of long struggle. It was a great day yesterday, and of course also a great day at the time we called on the Danish government to take this up, which has echoed around the world,” said Justus Hansen from the Democratic KNR Party.

    It was he and other Democrats, who in the autumn 2010 first suggested that marriage law should be modernized.

    The proposal was welcomed by all parties in Inatsisartut (Parliament).
    All 27 members voted for that homosexuals should be allowed to marry. It also gives them the right to get married in a church like any other couple.
    It is not something that they themselves have chosen, so it’s even an acceptance that we need here in Greenland. The Act comes into force on 1 October.

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