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Antigay Group Rallies In Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz group has rallied in Bishkek protesting what they call "pedophilia, homosexuals," and NGOs that support gay rights.

Some 20 demonstrators gathered in front of the main Kyrgyz government building holding posters saying: "Preserve Our Traditions, Our Way Of Life, Our Values!"

Kyrgyz lawmaker Nurkamil Madaliev met the protesters and told them a law that would criminalize the dissemination of propaganda promoting homosexuality -- similar to a law Russia passed in 2013 -- will be debated in parliament this month.

The bill passed in a first reading in the unicameral Kyrgyz parliament in October and must be voted on twice more before going to the president for his signature.

It calls for the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to be punished by up to one year in jail and says journalists found guilty of "propagating" homosexual relations will be held accountable.

The bill -- which has been criticized by international rights groups -- also bans the creation of organizations that defend gay rights.