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Country Overview


At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?


Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?


Legal Gender Recognition Possible?


LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?


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Although same-sex relations have been legal since 1998, Kyrgyzstan remains socially conservative. Societal attitudes toward LGBTIQ people are pervasively negative, with LGBTIQ people being seen as “deviant” and a threat to traditional cultural and gender roles. In response to more LGBTIQ visibility, there has been social backlash with increased attacks against LGBTIQ people and increased hostility and misrepresentation by the media. The proposal of a so-called “gay propaganda” law based on the one in force in Russia in 2014 exacerbated aggression and, despite being withdrawn in 2016, added to the politicization of the human rights of LGBTIQ people. Nationalist politicians and populists have used the increased attention on LGBTIQ human rights as an example of “western influence” and attacks on “traditional” Kyrgyz society. Hate crimes against LGBTIQ people are common and often go unreported for fear of secondary victimization. There have been reports of police blackmailing, harassing, and assaulting LGBTIQ people. Despite these challenges, there have been some positive signs for LGBTIQ equality. In 2017, the Minister of Health approved a manual that calls for improvements in social and medical assistance for transgender people and decreases the necessary requirements to change one’s gender legally. In another tentative sign of change, the LGBTIQ community had a strong and visible presence at the 2019 Women’s Day March in central Bishkek.


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