Kazakh government is following the path of Russian anti propaganda laws

Recently the Kazakhstan government discussed three amendments on  

  1. “Legislative Acts on Mass Media Issues” to ban media outlets if they publish “propaganda of non-traditional relationships” and  
  1. amendments in “Law on Peaceful Assemblies” to include “propaganda of non-traditional relationships” as a ground for rejection to sanction peaceful meetings by local city authorities and 
  1. in particular the proposal to extend Criminal Code Article 174, which deals with “inciting social, national, racial, class or religious hatred,” to include “promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships.” 


On April 17th, this proposal on Mass Media obtained the majority in the Kazakhstan Parliament Low Chamber and passed to the Senate. The text of the law with amendments submitted to the Senate was not published violating procedure.  

The LGBTIQ community, alongside allies and fellow citizens of Kazakhstan, are deeply concerned, alarmed, and want to challenge this decision.  

This decision by the Kazakh parliament comes at a time when the country faces pressing issues, such as devastating floods in 10 regions that have resulted in significant loss of homes, lives, and livestock. Yet rather than addressing these vital needs, some deputies are focusing on measures that not only distract the public opinion from critical emergencies but also infringe on constitutional protections. 


The current legal situation in Kazakhstan for LGBTI persons is the following: 

According to Article 14 of the Kazakh Constitution, discrimination is prohibited, which implies the constitutional violations posed by these amendments. Moreover, Kazakhstan supported the 2020 Universal Periodic Review recommendation to guarantee an enabling environment for civil society activities, activist groups and human rights defenders of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. These changes to laws directly undermine this commitment. 

These legislative changes are being justified by referencing Article 1 of the Code on Marriage and Family, which defines marriage strictly as a union between a man and a woman. This definition is used to label the LGBTIQ community as a threat to family values. Similarly, proposed amendments to the law on public assemblies would allow local authorities to deny permits for events that involve “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” 


The amendment proposals reflect a troubling trend towards limiting the rights of the LGBTIQ community, including their right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, as protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Kazakhstan ratified in 2006. – Ilaria Todde, Director of Advocacy for EL*C – EuroCentralAsian Lesbian* Community


Past legislative efforts have targeted and eroded the LGBTIQ community rights. In 2018, discussions around the “Law on the Protection of Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development” included discriminatory clauses against LGBTIQ individuals, and similar provisions were included when the law was adopted in 2015. Additionally, in February 2024, the educational website Selftanu.kz for queer teenagers was blocked by the State, which contradicts the constitutional right to disseminate information freely. 

This year, new restrictions have been introduced that prevent LGBTIQ individuals from adopting children or becoming their mentors, enforced by a controversial “special psychological test.” 


We urge global support for the LGBTIQ community in Kazakhstan to counter these discriminatory practices. The community faces legal and societal challenges, but with international support, we can fight these injustices. Actions such as making public statements, writing letters to MPs or State stakeholders, or sharing supportive posts can make a difference. Together, we can stand against these oppressive measures and uphold the democratic values enshrined in Kazakhstan’s constitution. United we can prevent another country from falling into the anti propaganda realm. 


For further information or to show support, please contact us at kazfeminita@gmail.com. 




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