Original Article: bzfd.it/1GfGh5e
A bill in Kazakhstan that would prohibit the circulation of information “propagandizing non-traditional sexual orientation” to minors could be signed into law within the next few days.
The provision is part of a broad bill titled “On Protecting Children From Information Harmful to Their Health and Development” that imposes new limits on media content available to minors. The same section of the document that addresses sexual orientation also bans information “propagandizing cruelty and violence, or social, racial, national, religious, class or clan superiority” and information that would prompt young people “to commit acts that would threaten their life and/or health, including suicide.”
The former Soviet republic in Central Asia has a large ethnic Russian population and is influenced by legal developments in Russia, which passed a ban on so-called gay propaganda in 2013 amid protest from human rights groups.
Despite the Kazakh bill’s claims of suicide prevention, LGBT advocates say Russia’s law puts LGBT teens at greater risk of suicide by effectively restricting access to any positive information about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Russian authorities fined the leader of Children-404, an online support group for LGBT youth, earlier this year for violating the ban. Teachers supportive of LGBT rights have also been threatened with dismissal. A recent Human Rights Watch report documented increased violence against LGBT people in Russia since the law took effect.
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