Human Rights First applauded members of Congress for urging Moldovan lawmakers to reject a proposed bill that threatens the human rights of Moldova’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The legislation, modeled after Russia’s bill banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” was approved in May by various committees in the Moldovan parliament.
In a letter organized by Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) in close coordination with Human Rights First, 24 members of Congress called on Moldova’s parliament to protect marginalized communities and to honor their country’s commitment to basic freedoms guaranteed in the Moldovan constitution.
“Moldova has already made great democratic, constitutional, and economic advancements. It was only three years ago that the nation took an important stand for human rights and basic freedoms when it overturned a similar anti-LGBT propaganda law,” said Representative Lowenthal. “The U.S. values its relationship with Moldova and hopes to continue strengthening this relationship. The current legislation runs counter to the protection of fundamental human rights, which is the cornerstone of American democracy and our relations with other nations. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in Congress and with Human Rights First in defense of human rights and human dignity around the world.”
The proposed bill would impose fines for spreading “homosexual propaganda” to minors through public meetings, the media, the Internet, and other means. If passed, the bill would threaten the existence of LGBT organizations and limit the speech, expression, and freedom of assembly of activists, civil society leaders, journalists, and members of the LGBT community.
“Time and time again voices of hate in Eastern Europe are attempting to further marginalize an already vulnerable community,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord. “This bill would not only erode basic rights guaranteed to LGBT Moldovans, but it would bring the very real possibility of increased violence and discrimination against them. It is imperative that the Moldovan parliament reject this bill.”
Human Rights First continues to urge the U.S. government work to prevent the spread of Russian-style propaganda laws in the surrounding region. Human Rights First’s blueprint, “How to Stop Russia from Exporting Homophobia,” details how Russia’s homophobic laws and policies have spread throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and outlines key steps that the U.S. government can take to stop the spread of laws and policies that infringe on the human rights of the LGBT community.
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