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Kyrgyz 'Gay Propaganda' Bill Clears Legislative Hurdle

Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would criminalize so-called gay propaganda.

The bill was passed 90-2 in a second reading in the unicameral Kyrgyz parliament on June 24, and must be voted on once more before going to the president for his signature.

The text calls for "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to be punishable by up to one year in jail, and says journalists found guilty of "propagating" homosexual relations will be held accountable.

The draft law has been criticized by international rights groups, with Human Rights Watch calling it a "blatantly discriminatory antigay 'propaganda' bill."

In 2013, Russia adopted similar legislation banning so-called gay propaganda.