Kazakhstan Hub

Kazakhstan Senate Votes To Ban 'Gay Propaganda': VIDEO

Kazakh police torture gay men

Kazakhstan has passed a Russian-style bill banning gay “propaganda,” reports Pink News.

The upper house of the Central Asian country voted in favor of the bill banning “propaganda of a non-traditional sexual orientation” in order to protect children "from information harmful to their health and development.”

Kazakhstan mapThe bill’s sponsor Aldan Smayil, a member of the lower chamber of the Kazakh parliament, said:

“[The law] provides a ban on information products depicting cruelty and violence, provoking children to life-threatening acts, including suicide, containing scenes of pornographic, sexual and erotic nature, promoting non-traditional sexual orientation.”

In a statement, Susan Corke, director of Eurasia programs at Freedom House, said that despite the government’s claims, the law “is simply a disguise for discrimination and intolerance that will allow government censors to punish speech they don’t like.”

At a press conference last year calling for the implementation of gay "propaganda" laws, Kazakh politician Dauren Babamuratov said that gay people can be easily identified by blood testing for “degeneracy." Akim Imangali Tasmagambetov, mayor of capital city Astana, accused global media brainwashing children with gay propaganda.

Watch a Human Rights Watch report on the extortion and torture of gay men by Kazakh police, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Kazakhstan Senate Votes To Ban 'Gay Propaganda': VIDEO" »

Kazakh Students Sue Ad Agency For 'Moral Damages' Over Gay Kiss Poster

Pushkin-Kurmangazy poster

And they won.

In a move that seems designed to suggest that Sacha Baron Cohen wasn't being 100% satirical about Kazakhstan, a group of students and teachers filed suit over the Pushkin-Kurmangazy gay kiss poster citing 'moral damages'. The financial penalties for offending the delicate sensibilities of the Kurmangazy national conservatory students and teachers make the original fines levied by the local government look like pocket change: $188,000.

CEO Dariya Khamitzhanova says that the fine for this poster - which offends loosely defined "moral values" and was designed for an advertising competition - will ruin the company. She lambasted the students and teachers, saying that they did nothing to earn the money and that none of them even appeared in court. The ad agency appealed the decision, but were denied.

Ad Agency in Kazakhstan Fined for Poster of Kissing Poets as Leaders Push Ban on Gay 'Propaganda'


In August we reported that a gay club in Almaty, Kazakhstan was under fire for an online ad banner featuring folk singer Qurmanghazy Saghyrbaiuly kissing Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin, a clever take on the fact that the club is located at the intersection of Qurmanghazy and Pushkin streets.

Conservative Kazakhs and Russians, angry over the poster, filed lawsuits, and now the club has been fined, Radio Free Europe reports:

A court in Almaty found Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan Company guilty of "advertising goods and services banned in Kazakhstan."

The court ruled on September 24 that the company's director, Daria Khamitzhanova, must pay a $700 fine and her company a $1,000 fine.

The case against the company was filed by Almaty youth authorities.

Some politicians in Kazakhstan have recently been pushing for Russian-style bans on gay "propaganda". Dauren Babamuratov, leader of the Bolashak national movement, held a press conference last week calling for the laws and claimed that gay people can be identified by "colored pants" and blood tests for "degeneracy."

Kazakhstan Politician Claims Gays Can Be Identified By 'Colored Pants', Blood Tests For 'Degeneracy'

Dauren Babamuratov

A Kazakhstan politician has said that gay people can be easily identified by blood testing for “degeneracy,” reports Tengri News.

Dauren Babamuratov, leader of the Bolashak national movement, made the comments at a press conference calling for laws banning LGBT people from spreading “propaganda,” taking public office and serving in the military.

KazakhstanAccording to TengriNews, Babamuratov said:

"We have stooped so low that LGBTs no longer hide their orientation. One can see a lot of people in the city's malls and other public places - these are young people in colored pants. This means they no longer hide their orientation.

“I think it is very easy to identify a gay person by his or her DNA. A blood test can show the presence of degeneratism in a person. Unfortunately, suppressing activities of the LGBT community in Kazakhstan is extremely difficult, because there is no law in our country prohibiting this type of activity, that is, the promotion of homosexuality.”

At the same press conference, Sanzhar Bokayev, the Head of the Youth Policies Department in the country’s largest city Almaty, said that Kazakhstan's gay community was "supported and funded from abroad" and is now “a big problem that concerns our society,"

However, activist and journalist Zhanar Sekerbayeva said “there is no gay ‘propaganda’ in Kazakhstan, but there is homophobia. The question of gay marriage in Kazakhstan has never been on the agenda. There have been no public speeches or gay pride parades. There is only homophobia and discrimination of women.”

Viktoria Tyuleneva, the Director of Freedom House in Kazakhstan added that if new anti-gay laws are adopted, “Kazakhstan will face grievances at every international forum it attends, and this will draw a squall of criticism from all international organisations.”

Last weekend, Babamuratov took to Facebook to defend his views regarding gay "propaganda": 

The promotion of homosexuality can be defined as activities aimed at disseminating information, [creating positive images of] homosexuals and homosexual relations and stimulating interest in sexual intercourse with persons of thesame sex, which creates the illusion of normality of homosexual relationships..."

Dauren Babamuratov facebook

Kazakhs Flustered Over Controversial Gay Club Poster

Studio 69 Poster

Studio 69 in Almaty, Kazakhstan set up shop at the intersection of Pushkin and Kurmangazy, streets named after Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly. To make the club's location memorable, an ad poster was designed showing Pushkin and Kumangazy themselves intersecting...at the lips. Cue moral outrage.

Honecker20 activists filed a lawsuit on August 25th claiming the poster "insulted both Kazakhs and Russians," while a descendant of Kurmangazy is threatening to file suit for defamation. Meanwhile, everyone is overlooking that the poster, in addition to being clever and memorable, riffs on the photograph from 1979 of East German leader Erich Honecker and the Soviet Union’s Leonid Brezhnev kissing in East Berlin. Still, even though the poster won an award for advertising firm Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan, the firm backpedaled saying, "[W]e officially announce that this poster will not be printed, posted or published in paid media.”

Fortunately, everything lives forever on the internet so it's only a matter of time before an individual prints his own posters to hang.

Kazakhstani Mayor Accuses Media of 'Brainwashing Children with Gay Propaganda'


Akim Imangali Tasmagambetov (pictured), the mayor of Kazakhstan's capitol city Astana, has accused the global media of promoting "false and unacceptable social vices," noting that homosexuality has been "forbidden for centuries in the religious world."

The mayor quoted American sociologist Joseph Overton in delineating what he calls "gay propaganda," asserting that certain "techniques" can be used by the media to change public opinion.

Pink News has a lengthy quote that outlines Tasmagabetov's argument:

It has not just become a political norm in a range of developed countries, but the perception of the society has been distorted to such an extent that the US state of California approved a compulsory course on historical accomplishments of representatives of sexual minorities. I think you see for yourself how the topic is promoted in the international media. A reasonable question under the circumstances is what to expect next?

The answer to Tasmagabetov's question may well be a chilling one. At the end of his speech, he said that his vision for education is to build a society that "resists gay propaganda.”


Towleroad - Blogged