Post submitted by Hannah Monson, HRC Global Engagement Intern.
The government of Mongolia is considering anti-discrimination legislation to protect its LGBT citizens. The legislation also includes language to protect crimes of hate, bigotry, and crimes committed against foreign migrant communities. The law is likely to pass with substantial amendments.
The proposal was announced in May in response to outcry by the LGBT community and civil society organizations after a series of brutal attacks by neo-Nazi groups in the capital of Ulaanbaatar. Three visitors to Mongolia were attacked by a neo-Nazi group in April and a gay man was sexually assaulted by a group of Mongolian nationalists in February.
In recent years, nationalist neo-Nazi groups have been gaining power in Mongolia, tasking themselves with maintaining cultural purity. They have threatened to shave the heads of Mongolian women who maintain sexual relations with Chinese men and they have ostracized Mongolians who study in China. They police LGBT tolerance—seen as the infiltration of Western values—by threatening, harming, and discriminating against the LGBT community.
Although homosexuality has been banned since Genghis Khan's rule in the 12th Century, attacks on LGBT individuals since 2011 have brought hate crimes to the government’s attention.
According to the US Embassy’s 2012 Human Rights Report on Mongolia, reports of discrimination against LGBT individuals are fairly common. Crimes fueled by hate are underreported due to social stigma and a homophobic justice system. LGBT people are sometimes denied service at local businesses, derided by the media, and discriminated against in the workplace.