Dauren Babamuratov, head of an ultranationalist group in Kazakhstan, convened a meeting on September 11 to call for a series of reforms to his country’s LGBT laws. Beyond just a Russian-style ban on “gay propaganda,” he also suggested that LGBT people be barred from public office, serving in the military, and remain subject to sodomy laws.
Even more extreme, he suggested that authorities in Kazakhstan pursue genetic testing to determine “the presence of degeneratism in a person.” Nagashybay Yesmyrza, a journalist associated with the event, echoed the eugenic argument, saying, “To preserve the Aryan race it was important that […] blood was not mixed. Hitler was against all those gay people.”
Babmuratov’s certainty that LGBT people can be easily singled out is supported by what he described as visual evidence of gayness among Kazakh youth. He explained that people in Kazakhstan “have stooped so low that LGBTs no longer hide their orientation. One can see a lot of [LGBT] 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.”
The suggested policy changes—either reinstating Kazakhstan’s laws against being LGBT or encouraging private citizens to engage in anti-LGBT violence as in neighboring Russia—concern many local LGBT activists. The government of Kazakhstan has adopted many such laws already and are considering additional ones to criminalize allowing children to access “information discrediting the institute of family or instilling distorted ideas about family or marriage.” Those potential new restrictions would be put in place amid efforts to control foreign television channels that broadcast in Kazakhstan, as well as government policies that many organizations characterize as full-blown media crackdowns.
More recently, Kazakhstan made headlines when anti-gay protesters targeted a nightclub ad showing two historic figures—Alexander Pushkin and Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly—kissing.