unilad
Advert

Malaysian Man Wins Historic Case Against Muslim Gay Sex Ban

by : Julia Banim on : 25 Feb 2021 11:41
Malaysian Man Wins Historic Case Against Muslim Gay Sex BanSnappyGoat/PA Images

A man from Malaysia has won a historic case against an Islamic ban against gay sex, igniting fresh hopes for greater LGBTQ+ acceptance within the country.

The Muslim man is reported to be in his 30s, and his name has been withheld by his lawyer as a means of protecting his privacy.

Advert

He reportedly filed the lawsuit after being arrested in the central Selangor state in 2018 for allegedly trying to have gay sex, defined as being sex ‘against the order of nature’ under this discriminatory ban. He has denied the charge, and won his case on Thursday, February 25.

LGBTPA Images

As reported by Reuters, Malaysia’s top court has ruled that the Islamic provision used in Selangor had been unconstitutional and that authorities did not have the power to enact the law.

The anonymous man who launched the legal challenge had argued that Selangor had no power to enforce the ban when gay sex was already criminalised under civil laws.

Advert

The court agreed with him on this, ruling that the state’s power to enact such offences is indeed ‘subject to a constitutional limit’.

The man in question was one of 11 men who were arrested on suspicion of attempting gay sex during a raid at a private residence. Five members of the group pleaded guilty, and, in 2019, were sentenced to jail time, caning and fines.

TurkeyPA Images

Numan Afifi, founder of LGBT+ rights group Pelangi Campaign, which was reportedly not involved in the lawsuit, said:

Advert

This is historic. This is monumental for LGBT+ rights in Malaysia.

Numan said that he hoped Selangor would immediately repeal the Islamic ban, leading to other states following suit.

He added:

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.

Advert
LGBT flagPA Images

Despite this recent landmark ruling, gay men living in Malaysia still face jail sentences of up to 20 years in accordance with a British colonial-era law that outlaws gay sex, known as Section 377.

A reported 60% of the Malaysian population, a country of 32 million people, is Muslim, and many LGBTQ+ people are still not open about their sexuality.

Last month, Human Rights Watch urged the Malaysian government to renounce a cabinet minister’s proposal to increase criminal penalties against LGBTQ+ individuals.

Advert

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Sport

Jake Paul Poses With ‘$75 Million Dollars’ Earned From His Ben Askren Boxing Victory

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Malaysia, Muslim, Now

Credits

Reuters
  1. Reuters

    Malaysian man wins landmark challenge against Muslim gay sex ban