- September 23, 2014
Post submitted by Ashley Fowler, former HRC Global Coordinator
The contagion of anti-LGBT hate appears to be quickly spreading across Eurasia, from Eastern Europe to Central Asia. Beginning as early as 2006, Russian regions began to pass local laws that forbid ‘homosexual propaganda.’ The trend continued in Russia until the 2013 passing of the nation-wide ban on propaganda. This backlash against LGBT rights has not been limited by Russia’s borders, though. Just in the past few years, nine countries neighboring Russia have seriously considered or passed versions of this propaganda law.
Lithuania was among the first to limit ‘homosexual propaganda’ with an amendment to the existing Law on the Protection of Minors in 2010. The anti-LGBT movement went on to gain further momentum after Russia’s 2013 passage of the national ban, with Moldova and Armenia passing similar laws in the months that followed. Both countries withdrew or overturned the laws shortly thereafter, presumably to maintain their relationships with the EU.
The next wave of anti-LGBT policy proposals came earlier in 2014. Propaganda laws were threatened or proposed in Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Kazakhstan, and now Kyrgyzstan just within the last year. These laws are continuing to advance through parliaments, evidenced by the Kyrgyz parliament’s human rights committee approval of a propaganda law in June. The law is now one step closer to coming to a vote in the Kyrgyzstan parliament.
However, disdain for the LGBT community is not the only commonality among these countries. Anti-LGBT Americans have been in active in nearly every country mentioned above. They have either visited these countries directly or met with representatives from these countries at regional or international conferences in an attempt to advocate for strict anti-LGBT policies.
The most recent convening of anti-LGBT activists was just a week ago at the “International Family Forum,” which was hosted in Moscow. Representatives from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and of course the U.S. participated in the event. The conference culminated with a call for a worldwide ban on LGBT ‘propaganda.’ For more information on American extremists who work tirelessly to undercut LGBT people around the world at every turn, read HRC Global’s latest report entitled The Export of Hate.