As Malaysia moves into its election season, religious conservatives in the Islamic majority country are using the “proliferation of the LGBT problem” as a political weapon. According to an article in the Bay Area Reporter: “A large anti-LGBT demonstration is scheduled in Dataran Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur on April 21.” That is Saturday. Gay Malaysians have good reason for concern. They also have some interesting friends. House speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia recently rejected a motion that would have banned LGBT people from serving in Parliament. International outcry derailed a move to ban representation of unconventional sexualities in publicly funded media. And Dr. Ahmad Fuad Rahmat of the Islamic Renaissance Front is explicit in his support. He says, in a passionate defense of the (successfully) banned Queer Arts Festival Seksualiti Merdeka: “We are living in a heterogeneous society full of diversity. In order for a society to mature, it must be able to remodel itself to be inclusive in nature. There should be no discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, irrespective of race and religion. Every single citizen has the right to live and express his or her conviction without fear.” Hear, hear! Click here for the entire text. As of this writing, sodomy is punishable in Malaysia by up to twenty years in prison. For something fun and sexy (homoerotic sandwich cookies!) from Malaysia, here.
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