Earlier reports that circulated in Belarus’s media, that plans are afoot in the country’s parliament to pass a law that would recriminalize gay sex, were firmly denied.
Earlier today the Gay Alliance Belarus (GAB) endorsed a story by Belarusian Partisan portal, citing a ‘source’ in country’s parliament, stating that the bill punishing gays with up to 10 years imprisonment including confiscating their property.
The bill was said to stipulate that offenders will be imprisoned for up to 10 years and have all their property confiscated.
However later today GAB heard of an official denial: ‘There is no such law in the parliament. And it also no plans to develop it,’ – said the Belarus press service to RIA Novosti.
‘This is a blatant provocation,’ added the press officer.
Member of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalia Guyvik told RIA Novosti that such a law is not present or planned.
‘There is no such bill in our committee. It’s not in parliament – that’s for sure,’ she said.
GAB says it may have been an attempt to scare the LGBT community as they accepted it may come true, though are now more confident it is unlikely.
Alexandr Paluyan, chairman of GAB, commented on the denial to Gay Star News: ‘The information that Belarus planned to introduce penalties for gay sex seriously alarmed the local LGBT community.’
He said that the GAB took the information seriously because the country is not a democracy and ‘but in Belarus, everything is possible, everything.
‘This is in view of the fact that the country has mass violations of human rights which includes LGBT people.
‘In January 2013 there was seven police raids on gay parties, during which visitors were checked passport information institutions.
‘Belarus also denied registration of LGBT organizations, while police intimidate LGBT activists.
‘The country’s only gay club was forced to close under the pressure of local authorities.
‘While the local organization dealing with HIV prevention of men having sex with men faces problems with the authorities.
In addition police monitor and prosecute people using gay dating sites, with their accounts and personal erotic pictures used as evidence against them.
‘This is why we took it seriously.
‘Today, after receiving an official response, it became clear that the Belarusian Partisan portal published false information.
‘We hope that this story will not prove to be true in the future.’
Belarus is ruled in a dictatorial fashion by Alexander Lukashenko, with the press strictly censored, and freedom of speech and protest have been removed.
Lukashenko has repeatedly made anti-gay speeches.
Last year he mockingly responded to the out gay German Foreign Minister, Guido Westwerwelle’s statemet that Belarus is ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ by saying: ‘It’s better to be a dictator than a “faggot”.’
The speech led to an international scandal with a strong condemnation from the German Foreign Ministry.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, the only acceptable sexual relationship is between a man and a woman pursuing one goal – creating a family and having children, he stated in October last year in an interview with British daily The Independent.