Violence Against Gays In Kyrgyzstan Increasing, "Homosexual Ban" Proposed In Parliament

Members of Kyrgyzstan's LGBT community say a proposed law, which would effectively ban all discussions and representations of homosexuality, has brought about unprecedented violence and homophobia to the country.

Lawmakers in the Central Asian nation have followed in the footsteps of their fearsome ally Russia by attempting to make legal the singling out of LGBT individuals for discrimination and assault. Even as the legislation has yet to be signed into law, it has already inspired a slew of hate crimes.

Reporter Andrew North, who has been covering LGBT issues in Kyrgyzstan, spoke with several members of the country's LGBT community about the law's impact on their safety and security. In a feature for .Coda, he shared a particularly terrifying account of a local man who was verbally abused, beaten and raped for being gay.

The man, whom North identified as Viktor, was tracked down and followed by a group of three men who eventually assaulted him and left him for dead.

"The whole time they were shouting abuse at him, saying that they had warned him they would come and find him, and they made it clear to him that they were attacking him because he was a gay man," North wrote.

North confirmed that the attack was not an isolated event and that similar happenings had been occurring with increased frequency since the proposal of the anti-LGBT legislation.

Things weren't always as dangerous for Kyrgyzstan's LGBT community, though. As recently as ten years ago, the country was seen as relatively safe. LGBT individuals "knew, certainly, to keep their heads down...but there were several gay clubs in Byshkek," Kyrgyzstan's capital city.

Thanks to the proposed law, however, tolerance is quickly becoming a thing of the past. "In effect," North writes, "the proposed legislation created a fake issue. It created, in the words of Viktor, this idea—'permission to exterminate' were the words that he used—and so legitimized attacks on the gay community."

Check out North's coverage below:

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