BISHKEK -- Dozens of antigay activists have picketed the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek.
The demonstrators burned a portrait of well-known Kyrgyz gay-rights defender Ilya Lukash, saying Lukash and others were "destroying traditional Kyrgyz family values" by propagating homosexuality with the help of money they receive from foreign organizations.
Lukash has publicly called on Kyrgyz authorities to protect the rights of homosexuals and to stop the widespread practice of bride-snatching.
Last month, Kyrgyzstan's acting grand mufti, Maksat Hajji Toktomushev, issued a fatwa that condemned same-sex relations.
He also challenged the findings of a recent report by Human Rights Watch that accused Kyrgyz police of extorting, threatening, arbitrarily detaining, beating, and sexually abusing gays.
Kyrgyzstan's leading rights defenders branded the mufti's fatwa unconstitutional.