Following the press statement released by the organisers of Seksualiti Merdeka we posted about, Malaysian activists have brought the case to court. We will have to wait till the Feb 21 hearing to find out how it goes, though.
A short snippet:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Activists launched a rare legal case Tuesday aimed at fostering gay rights in Malaysia by challenging a police ban on an anti-homophobia arts festival.
The case highlights complaints about discrimination against gays at a time when international rights groups are urging authorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia to abolish laws criminalizing same-sex relations.
The acquittal this week of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on charges of sodomizing a male former aide prompted Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to criticize the Malaysian government for insisting on laws that make sodomy punishable by 20-year prison sentences.
In Lillian Faderman's groundbreaking book, Gay L.A., she writes that in 1942, "A circle of lesbian friends pooled their money and purchased a row of rental houses in Los Angeles. They created an early lesbian enclave, constructing communal areas such as a swimming pool, where they would meet each other regularly; and the homes in which they did not live, they leased only to other lesbians. They provided not only fellowship for one another but also social services. For example, when the sixty-year-old resident of the community suffered a ruptured aneurysm, and doctors wanted to institutionalize her permanently, her lesbian neighbours organized rotating shifts to dress and undress her, feed her, and keep her stimulated by conversation. Against the doctors' dire predictions ('She will survive as a vegetable'), she recovered normal speech and became fully functioning after three years."
On December 15, a quietly momentous report was issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, titled "Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity".
The report not only documents laws, practices and violence against people for reasons of sexual orientation and gender identity, it also correlates international human rights law to these happenings, pointing out rights violations, and provides recommendations that member states can take to redress these violations.
This is the video and transcript of United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech on LGBT rights for Human Rights Day. The Obama Administration is calling for protection of LGBT rights worldwide, including combating violence and abuse, and has committed US$3 million to support international civil rights organisations.
We are saddened that many Malaysians, including people’s elected representatives, have seen fit to relentlessly persecute, stigmatise and discriminate all those who have found a safe space to dialogue and share information and knowledge on human rights during Seksualiti Merdeka’s events.
We are Malaysian citizens who are being denied our rights to our identity and self-determination. The false allegations and ill-intended remarks made to incite hate towards us are completely unjustified. They have further marginalized a group of Malaysians that have long suffered severe marginalization in society. As a United Nations Human Rights Council member, the Malaysian government should be ashamed for endorsing and encouraging such intimidation and scare tactics.