The rights of LGBT Mongolians were discussed in parliament for the first time in the former Soviet-influenced country on Wednesday (24 April).
The Standing Committee of Legal Affairs discussed a report submitted by the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia (NHRCM) about several groups of people who lack human rights in the country, including LGBT people.
'This is the first time that the Mongolian Parliament is discussing the LGBT rights issues and in this sense it is a historic moment for the Mongolian LGBT community,' Otgonbaatar Tsedendemberel, executive director of Mongolia LGBT Centre, told Gay Star News.
'However, this also showed that there is no common understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community of Mongolia at the parliament level, despite it claims to have professed democratic values and human rights principles.'
A couple of MPs giggled when the chair of the committee spelled out what LGBT stands for and one MP, O Baasankhuu said the report from Mongolian LGBT Centre was just full of people who wanted society's pity.
MPs from the socially liberal Democratic Party, of which there 12 on the committee, asked how many LGBT people there are in Mongolia and how many have 'registered' at the LGBT Centre.
The committee decided to hold another session on the issue next week.
It is a year of firsts for LGBT rights in Mongolia this year. Mongolia LGBT Centre are planning the first ever Mongolia Pride for September.