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Man In Malaysia wins landmark challenge Against Muslim Gay Sex Ban

The top court in Malaysia ruled out on Thursday that the Islamic provision employed in Selangor was unconstitutional.

There has been a wave of hope towards the future and a moment of acceptance for the LGBTQIA community when a man in Malaysia on Thursday won a landmark court challenge against an Islamic ban on sex “against the order of nature.”

With his name unrevealed due to privacy reasons, this man in his 30’s had filed a lawsuit after being arrested for allegedly engaging in gay sex in the central Selangor state in 2018. The man was one among the 11 men who were arrested as they were suspected of having gay sexual intercourse. It sparked outrage and concern amongst the LGBTQIA community and human rights activists when five men from this group pleaded guilty and were sentenced to jail, caning, and fines in 2019.

Hence, these allegations were denied by the man, and he launched the legal challenge arguing that Selangor had no authority to enforce an Islamic ban on “intercourse against the order of nature.” This was also considering the fact that gay sex is already a crime under civil laws.

Thus, in a united decision, Malaysia’s top court supported the concerns of the alleged man and ruled out on Thursday that the Islamic provision employed in Selangor was unconstitutional and the authorities held no such power to establish the law. Chief justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat mentioned in the ruling and declared that the state’s power to enact such offenses “is subject to a constitutional limit”

Thus, the man’s lawyer Surendra Ananth stated that the ruling implies that the law has been overturned and the man’s case should be dropped.

“This is historic. This is monumental for LGBT+ rights in Malaysia,” rejoiced Numan Afifi, an activist who is the founder of the LGBT+ rights group Pelangi Campaign. However, this organization was not part of the lawsuit. He also expressed a ray of hope that Selangnor would repeal the Islamic ban along with other states, post the verdict.

The situation of the LGBTQIA community in Malaysia

Malaysia, as a state, has been homophobic and the laws have constantly targetted the lives of the LGBTQIA community. Although convictions are rare, same-sex acts still stand illegal in the country. With 13 states, Malaysia has a dual legal tracking system, where Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims run parallel civil laws.

As a result of the discriminatory laws, Malaysian men end up facing up to 20 years of jail as the British colonial-era law, popularly known as Section 377 still persists. In the east coast state of Terengganu, two women were caned of “attempting lesbian sex” under Islamic laws in 2018. Thus, in a country that has a population of 32 million where 60% of them are Muslims, several gay people are not open about their sexuality, fearing the law.

LGBTQIA activists and advocates confirm the sad state of affairs stating that the Islamic laws have been exceedingly used to target the gay community of the country resulting in a massive rise in arrests and punishments ranging from caning to jailing.

Expressing his views on the recent verdict, Numan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “We want to live in dignity without fear of prosecution. Of course, Section 377 is still there - it’s not the end but this is a beginning.”

Trends

Man In Malaysia wins landmark challenge Against Muslim Gay Sex Ban

The top court in Malaysia ruled out on Thursday that the Islamic provision employed in Selangor was unconstitutional.

There has been a wave of hope towards the future and a moment of acceptance for the LGBTQIA community when a man in Malaysia on Thursday won a landmark court challenge against an Islamic ban on sex “against the order of nature.”

With his name unrevealed due to privacy reasons, this man in his 30’s had filed a lawsuit after being arrested for allegedly engaging in gay sex in the central Selangor state in 2018. The man was one among the 11 men who were arrested as they were suspected of having gay sexual intercourse. It sparked outrage and concern amongst the LGBTQIA community and human rights activists when five men from this group pleaded guilty and were sentenced to jail, caning, and fines in 2019.

Hence, these allegations were denied by the man, and he launched the legal challenge arguing that Selangor had no authority to enforce an Islamic ban on “intercourse against the order of nature.” This was also considering the fact that gay sex is already a crime under civil laws.

Thus, in a united decision, Malaysia’s top court supported the concerns of the alleged man and ruled out on Thursday that the Islamic provision employed in Selangor was unconstitutional and the authorities held no such power to establish the law. Chief justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat mentioned in the ruling and declared that the state’s power to enact such offenses “is subject to a constitutional limit”

Thus, the man’s lawyer Surendra Ananth stated that the ruling implies that the law has been overturned and the man’s case should be dropped.

“This is historic. This is monumental for LGBT+ rights in Malaysia,” rejoiced Numan Afifi, an activist who is the founder of the LGBT+ rights group Pelangi Campaign. However, this organization was not part of the lawsuit. He also expressed a ray of hope that Selangnor would repeal the Islamic ban along with other states, post the verdict.

The situation of the LGBTQIA community in Malaysia

Malaysia, as a state, has been homophobic and the laws have constantly targetted the lives of the LGBTQIA community. Although convictions are rare, same-sex acts still stand illegal in the country. With 13 states, Malaysia has a dual legal tracking system, where Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims run parallel civil laws.

As a result of the discriminatory laws, Malaysian men end up facing up to 20 years of jail as the British colonial-era law, popularly known as Section 377 still persists. In the east coast state of Terengganu, two women were caned of “attempting lesbian sex” under Islamic laws in 2018. Thus, in a country that has a population of 32 million where 60% of them are Muslims, several gay people are not open about their sexuality, fearing the law.

LGBTQIA activists and advocates confirm the sad state of affairs stating that the Islamic laws have been exceedingly used to target the gay community of the country resulting in a massive rise in arrests and punishments ranging from caning to jailing.

Expressing his views on the recent verdict, Numan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “We want to live in dignity without fear of prosecution. Of course, Section 377 is still there - it’s not the end but this is a beginning.”

Trends

Man In Malaysia wins landmark challenge Against Muslim Gay Sex Ban

The top court in Malaysia ruled out on Thursday that the Islamic provision employed in Selangor was unconstitutional.

There has been a wave of hope towards the future and a moment of acceptance for the LGBTQIA community when a man in Malaysia on Thursday won a landmark court challenge against an Islamic ban on sex “against the order of nature.”

With his name unrevealed due to privacy reasons, this man in his 30’s had filed a lawsuit after being arrested for allegedly engaging in gay sex in the central Selangor state in 2018. The man was one among the 11 men who were arrested as they were suspected of having gay sexual intercourse. It sparked outrage and concern amongst the LGBTQIA community and human rights activists when five men from this group pleaded guilty and were sentenced to jail, caning, and fines in 2019.

Hence, these allegations were denied by the man, and he launched the legal challenge arguing that Selangor had no authority to enforce an Islamic ban on “intercourse against the order of nature.” This was also considering the fact that gay sex is already a crime under civil laws.

Thus, in a united decision, Malaysia’s top court supported the concerns of the alleged man and ruled out on Thursday that the Islamic provision employed in Selangor was unconstitutional and the authorities held no such power to establish the law. Chief justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat mentioned in the ruling and declared that the state’s power to enact such offenses “is subject to a constitutional limit”

Thus, the man’s lawyer Surendra Ananth stated that the ruling implies that the law has been overturned and the man’s case should be dropped.

“This is historic. This is monumental for LGBT+ rights in Malaysia,” rejoiced Numan Afifi, an activist who is the founder of the LGBT+ rights group Pelangi Campaign. However, this organization was not part of the lawsuit. He also expressed a ray of hope that Selangnor would repeal the Islamic ban along with other states, post the verdict.

The situation of the LGBTQIA community in Malaysia

Malaysia, as a state, has been homophobic and the laws have constantly targetted the lives of the LGBTQIA community. Although convictions are rare, same-sex acts still stand illegal in the country. With 13 states, Malaysia has a dual legal tracking system, where Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims run parallel civil laws.

As a result of the discriminatory laws, Malaysian men end up facing up to 20 years of jail as the British colonial-era law, popularly known as Section 377 still persists. In the east coast state of Terengganu, two women were caned of “attempting lesbian sex” under Islamic laws in 2018. Thus, in a country that has a population of 32 million where 60% of them are Muslims, several gay people are not open about their sexuality, fearing the law.

LGBTQIA activists and advocates confirm the sad state of affairs stating that the Islamic laws have been exceedingly used to target the gay community of the country resulting in a massive rise in arrests and punishments ranging from caning to jailing.

Expressing his views on the recent verdict, Numan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “We want to live in dignity without fear of prosecution. Of course, Section 377 is still there - it’s not the end but this is a beginning.”

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