LGBT rights in Kyrgyzstan
|Status||Legal since 1998|
|Gender identity||Transgender people allowed to change gender following surgery|
|Recognition of relationships||Constitutional ban since 2016|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Kyrgyzstan face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Kyrgyzstan, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.
LGBT people tend to face frequent discrimination and harassment in the country. Homophobia is widespread in Kyrgyzstan, and is often accompanied by violence. Kyrgyzstan has been described as an increasingly hostile environment when it comes to LGBT rights.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
Consensual sexual acts between persons of the same sex have been legal in Kyrgyzstan since 1998.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
Gender identity and expression
Kyrgyz society is socially conservative. Homosexuality tends to be viewed as immoral or disordered. As a result, LGBT people feel the need to remain discreet in the country and keep their sexual orientation a secret. A 2017 survey by Kyrgyz Indigo, a local LGBT advocacy group, found that 84% of LGBT Kyrgyzs had experienced physical violence and 35% sexual violence.
Before the 2010's, ignorance about LGBT rights resulted in a somewhat "liberal" scene and safe haven for LGBT people, especially in the capital Bishkek. In 2014, however, the Government launched a series of legal reforms including an "anti-gay propaganda law". This has led to the LGBT community being thrust into the spotlight, and a near 300% increase in attacks against LGBT people.
There are multiple LGBT groups in Kyrgyzstan, including Kyrgyz Indigo and Labrys, founded in 2004. Labrys staff also conduct training for doctors and psychiatrists on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Freedom of expression
In 2014, a bill was introduced to the Parliament to criminalise expression which creates "a positive attitude toward non-traditional sexual relations, using the media or information and telecommunications networks." On 15 October, the bill passed its first reading, in a 79-7 vote. It has received wide international opposition, and has been delayed multiple times. In 2016, it passed its second reading. It now awaits a third final reading.
|Same-sex sexual activity legal||(Since 1998)|
|Equal age of consent||(Since 1998)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment only|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)|
|Same-sex marriages||(Constitutionally banned since 2016)|
|Recognition of same-sex couples|
|Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples|
|LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military|
|Right to change legal gender||(Requires surgery)|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|
- "State-sponsored homophobia – A world survey of laws: Criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2013.
- Exclusive: Police are ‘blackmailing gay and bisexual men’ in Kyrgyzstan
- Curtain Falls On Bishkek's Lone LGBT Club Amid Worsening Atmosphere
- First Kyrgyz Sex-Change Surgery A 'Success'
- Katie Arnold (19 October 2017). "'All of us will be victims at some point': why Bishkek's only gay club closed". The Guardian.
- Kyrgyzstan Considers 'Gay Propaganda' Ban
- Masci, David (February 11, 2014). "Gay rights in Russia and the former Soviet republics". Pew Research Center. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
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