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ADDED ON: 02/26/2021

Malaysian man wins landmark challenge against Muslim gay sex ban

02/25/2021 | Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A Malaysian man on Thursday won a landmark court challenge against an Islamic ban on sex “against the order of nature”, raising hopes for greater acceptance of gay rights in the mostly Muslim country. The Muslim man in his 30s – whose name has been withheld by his lawyer to protect his privacy – filed the lawsuit after he was arrested in the central Selangor state in 2018 for attempting gay sex, which he denies. Same-sex acts are illegal in Malaysia, although convictions are rare. The country, which has 13 states, has a dual-track legal system, with Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims running alongside civil laws. LGBT+ advocates say Islamic laws have been increasingly used to target the Southeast Asian country’s gay community, with a rise in arrests and punishments ranging from caning to jailing. In a unanimous decision, Malaysia’s top court ruled on Thursday that the Islamic provision used in Selangor was unconstitutional and authorities had no power to enact the law.

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