A Malaysian minister has decried the presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups at a march celebrating International Women’s Day on Saturday, calling it “a misuse of democratic space”. The statement comes amid concerns over growing persecution of the LGBT community in the Muslim-majority country, where sodomy and other same-sex acts are outlawed. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in September last year that Malaysia could not accept same-sex marriage or LGBT rights. Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the minister in charge of religious affairs, said the government did not recognize LGBT practices as lawful.
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