Uzbek President Islam Karimov has said homosexuality is a ‘vulgar’ manifestation of Western culture in a fresh attack on LGBTI people in the Central Asian country.
Karimov made the remarks during a televised meeting of deputies in the capital Tashkent on Friday (5 February), Radio Free Europe reported.
‘We talk about so-called Western culture. We call it vulgar culture. You know what I mean. It’s inappropriate even to speak about this in front of women. When men live with men and women live with women, I think there must be something wrong up here,’ he said.
‘Something is broken here. There is a saying: When God wants to reveal someone’s vulgarity, he first takes his reason away.’
Uzbekistan is the only former Soviet state where gay sex is a crime, and it is punishable by up to three years imprisonment.
Karimov has made similar comments in the past, according to a US diplomatic cable leaked by Wikileaks in 2013.
Karimov said that his government would only implement a democracy ‘specific’ to local morality compatible with its 85% Muslim population, adding that ‘homosexuality is disgusting to Uzbeks.’