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Kazakhstan: Parliament becomes scene of homophobic rants

ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan’s self-appointed morality police are taking on the gay and lesbian community: In recent weeks, lawmakers’ homophobic rants have echoed through the hallowed halls of parliament as they call for homosexuality to be criminalized.

Homosexuality is “amorality of the highest degree,” blustered deputy Aldan Smayyl in parliament on May 22, Kazakhstan Today reported.

“A law should be adopted which would allow [homosexuals] to be considered criminals against humanity,” Smayyl – who represents the ruling Nur Otan party, headed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev – continued.

He has sent a query to Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov about adopting a law and is awaiting a response.

“In Almaty there are already 20 gay clubs; in Astana four clubs! What sort of disgrace is this?” Smayyl ranted in further remarks broadcast on KTK TV.

His bid to criminalize homosexuality – which flies in the face of Kazakhstan’s constitutional guarantee of equal rights for all – comes as the rights of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community are increasingly the subject of public debate in Kazakhstan, partly sparked by a symbolic lesbian wedding held last month.

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