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February 28, 2014 14:02

Activists urge West to stop funding "gay-culture propaganda" in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK. Feb 28 (Interfax) - Fifty or so members of the Kyrgyz public movement Kalys (Justice) staged a rally outside the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek on Thursday demanding an end to steps to advertize same-sex relationships in Kyrgyzstan.

The protesters burned banners depicting homosexual relations and demanded that the governments of the United States and European Union countries stop financing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that cooperate with LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) groups and stop dictating the Kyrgyz authorities' policies toward "gay activists."

The demonstrators were wearing national headgear and were holding Kyrgyz state flags and banners in Kyrgyz, reading "Kyrgyzstan Must Preserve Its Independence", "We Will Not Let You Interfere in Our Internal Affairs" and "Heroes, Not Gays, Are Born in Kyrgyzstan".

Kalys movement leader Zhenish Moldokmatov told reporters that funds provided to human rights NGOs in Kyrgyzstan are to blame for "the advertising of gay-culture and the rejection of traditional values."

"Protection of the rights and freedoms of sexual minorities may result in a lobby campaign in favor of a law on same-sex marriage and permission for such couples to adopt children," he said.

Moldokmatov described this situation as "an attempt by countries of the West to influence domestic affairs in Kyrgyzstan."

"This process should be stopped. This culture is alien to us. The Kyrgyz people are brought up on traditional values, with family being among the most important ones," he said.

Moldokmatov said he was "opposed to the spread of Western values in politics", adding that "an attempt by individual pro-Western politicians to organize a Maidan in Kyrgyzstan will eventually turn into an anti-Maidan event," he said.

The Kalys leader also said that next week his movement would hold a rally outside of the parliament building and would call on MPs to pass a law banning steps to provide information on same-sex relations to underage citizens.

Defenders of the LGBT community's rights and their opponents have been engaged in a heated debate that has been waged on social networking websites in Kyrgyzstan for more than a month.

The debate erupted after Human Rights Watch published a report in late January, complaining of violations of the LGBT community's rights in Kyrgyzstan and offering appropriate recommendations to the government of this Central Asian country.

The Kyrgyz Mufti's Office issued a special statement in early February, condemning same-sex relationships.

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