Malaysian Gay Rights Festival Lies in Limbo Despite Efforts to Lift Ban
Following a court hearing, civil rights activists in Kuala Lumpur were unable to reverse a police ban on the forth annual “Seksualiti Merdeka” (Sexuality Freedom) festival. Featuring LGBTQ-themed music, film, and forums, the festival was halted before its November opening, and is still banned by local officials. Police say they fear an adverse reaction from socially conservative Muslims.
Come on, Malaysia, why you gotta be like that?
“We are concerned over the discrimination and the intimidation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The rights of this entire community are under threat,” he told AFP.
“(Malaysia) is using national security as a catch-all phrase to justify any human rights abuse, and that is unacceptable.”
Homosexuality remains a taboo subject in Malaysia and sodomy is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
… The ban on the gay festival followed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s pledge in September that he would grant greater civil liberties and break with the country’s authoritarian past.
I’ve been known to complain during pride parades because they were “too corporate” or whatever, but at least we’re allowed to have them! Stories like this remind me to keep myself in check and thank my lucky stars that I have the freedom to celebrate my community openly, despite Rick Santorum’s feelings on the matter.
How can we promote global equality while still allowing other countries to remain autonomous? What is the best way shift thinking in a tumultuous political climate? Will conservative religious beliefs ever take a holiday?
Exercise your right to free speech in the comments.
(via Channel News Asia)