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04/19/2007


Gay Malaysian Man's Wedding in Ireland Sparks Fury at Home, Government Action

Rosli

Ariff Alfian Rosli, a Malaysian national who has been studying in Ireland for eight years, is under fire from his home country after photos were published showing his wedding to his civil partner (identified only as Jonathan) at Dublin City Hall, the Irish Times reports:

The pictures were published on the front pages of some local newspapers and have been the source of criticism from numerous political groups in Malaysia, where same-sex sexual relationships are illegal and punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The Malaysian police have been urged by Muslim groups to investigate the issue on the basis that Mr Rosli has failed to adhere to the country’s Islamic laws. The controversy has prompted the Malaysian prime minister’s office to issue a statement pledging to investigate the matter.

An official from Malaysia’s ruling political party is reportedly due to arrive in Dublin later this week to convince Mr Rosli to return home.

AriffSaid Rosli:

“I am not missing. The Irish authorities know I am legally resident here. The Malaysian embassy has also been aware for several years that I am residing here legally. I feel I have have been inadvertently thrust into the public eye. I just want to get by without upsetting anyone or causing any trouble. My overriding concern is for my family.”

The Malaysian Insider reports:

Local criticism of the same-sex union has been swift and harsh, with mainly Muslim users attacking Ariff Alfian on Twitter for straying from Islam and dishonouring his family.

“Ariff Alfian Rosli is a disgrace! Rot in hell!” user @DTOTHEZAK wrote on the popular micro-blogging site.

Another user, @shkyla, wrote: “Looking at those wedding pictures of Ariff Alfian, makes me want to vomit. Blergh, disgusting.”

Muslim groups have also been quick to condemn Ariff Alfian, with the Kepong Islamic Youth Organisation (PBIK) lodging a police report yesterday over his alleged failure to adhere to Malaysia’s Islamic laws. Other critics have taken a different tack, preferring instead to “rehabilitate” what they saw as a Muslim who had strayed far from the teachings of Islam. This includes the Facebook group, “The Campaign to Bring Ariff Alfian Rosli Home to Malaysia to Save His Faith”, which was set up on Saturday.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1009

PARIAH: The director of the movie Dee Rees wants you to share your story on their Facebook page. More clips HERE.

LIBERTY COUNSEL: Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen say the homosexual agenda seeks to push young people into gay relationships.

CONCERNED WOMEN OF AMERICA: Feinstein and her "liberal posse" are trying to force same-sex marriage on us.

MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL Nazri Abdul Aziz: Homosexuality is unconstitutional.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


Two Malaysian States Set to Double Punishment for Homosexuality: Caning and 20 Years in Prison Not Enough

Following last week's banning of a gay arts festival in Malaysia comes word that two Malaysian states are planning to increase their penalties for homosexuality, Reuters reports:

Pahang_malaysiaHomosexuality is punishable by law in Malaysia by caning and up to 20 years in jail, but the legal amendments planned by Pahang and Malacca religious authorities would give the state governments additional ammunition.

If the proposed changes came into force, a Muslim homosexual could be punished under both federal and state religious charges, meaning that jail terms could run consecutively and result in longer time.

Analysts said the proposed amendments hinted at an increasing intolerance toward homosexuality and could erode support for the government among the majority ethnic Malays, who are Muslims by birth.

The new penalties would apply not only to gays but those who support them, according to Malacca Islamic Religious Department chairman  and Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam: "We want to put it in the enactment so that we can enforce it and bring them to our sharia (Islamic law) court. Then we can charge them for promoting or supporting these illegal activities."


Malaysia Gay Arts Festival Banned, Called Threat to Public Order

Malaysia

The “Sexual Independence” festival, a gay arts festival held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia since 2008 aimed at fighting discrimination has been canceled after several Muslim groups said they would protest, the AP reports:

Earlier Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had described the event as “inappropriate” and a “waste of time,” according to Bernama.

Gay rights activists did not immediately respond. Earlier, they had said the festival was meant to counter widespread homophobia in this socially conservative Asian nation, where a young gay man received death threats last year after posting a YouTube clip defending his sexuality.

The festival's sponsors included the Malaysian branch of Amnesty International.

Festival spokesman Pang Khee Teik said, in a statement on the group's website:

"I'm pleased that the police regards Seksualiti Merdeka as important as Bersih that it needs to be similarly banned. We ARE important. And if anything this ban proves why we need to keep fighting for our rights. The rights of innocent people are important. Homophobes and oppressors never like it when we question their right to be homophobic and oppressive. History is against you. The future generation will one day be embarrassed that their forefathers banned us. Meanwhile, we will continue to be fabulous, to love, and to be proud of who we are."


Gay Malaysian Pastor to Wed in NY, Says Government Can't Stop Him

Malaysia's only openly gay pastor, Ouyang Wen Feng, who earlier this month urged gay people in his country to "keep coming out" to combat homophobia, plans to wed in New York on August 31 despite government objections, AFP reports:

Ouyang "Don't I have the right to invite my friends to have meals with me in (a) restaurant in Malaysia?" Ouyang said in an email to AFP over the weekend. "The world is watching. Malaysia cannot afford to jeopardise her image as a moderate country the government is trying to portray," he added.

Homosexuality remains a largely taboo subject in Malaysia, and sodomy is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Islamic Affairs minister Jamil Khir Baharom said earlier this month that same-sex marriages, such as Ouyang's, were not allowed under the country's civil laws.

The date Ouyang has chosen is not insignificant. It's Malaysia's National Day, celebrating its independence.


Malaysian Trans Woman Dies After Government Rejects Application to Change Her Gender

Malaysia's trans community is speaking out following the death of Aleesha Farhana, a young Muslim who made headlines after her application to the government to change the gender on her national ID card, Indian Express reports:

Farhana Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Abdul Aziz (25) shot into limelight after the Kuala Terengganu High Court rejected his application to change his gender and name to Aleesha Farhana in the national identity card, Malaysian news agency Bernama reported.

Aziz was admitted to a hospital at Kuala Terengganu, about 500 kilometers northeast of Kuala Lumpur, yesterday after experiencing heart problems and low blood pressure, it said. Doctors said that he was suffering from unstable chest pains associated with heart disease. The youth had undergone a sex change operation in Thailand in 2009.

Free Malaysia Today adds:

The passing of Aleesha Farhana over the weekend has sparked off a call from Malaysia’s trans community for the government and media to end all forms of discrimination against them.

In a statement signed by 17 NGOs and 600 individuals, the trans community condemned [High Court judge, Yazid Mustafa]’s decision as inconsistent with a precedent set in 2005 when a similar application was granted to a mak nyah.

The community said they believe that Aleesha died from severe depression after her application was rejected and urged the court to give her the justice she sought.


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