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Kuala Lumpur Pride cancelled due to ‘religious complaints’

Meka Beresford May 21, 2017

A reveler holds a rainbow flag and balloons during the Gay Pride Parade in Lisbon on June 18, 2016. / AFP / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA (Photo credit should read PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

A Pride event set to take place in Kuala Lumpur has been cancelled due to religious complaints.

The three-day event which was organised by Taylor’s University will no longer go ahead.

The event was set to showcase film screenings, a march on campus and a number of other events.

A statement released by the organisers revealed that the management of the University had cancelled the event.

It is believed that a number of “pro-Islamist” blogs were angered that the event would be taking place during Ramadan, and so put pressure on the University.

“We regret that Taylor’s University has decided to place its business interests above safeguarding academic freedom and integrity, and standing firm for the autonomy of its students,” the statement from the organisers said.

The organisers added that the ban on the Pride event illustrated a wider issue with anti-LGBT movements in Malaysia.

They added: “The State has perpetrated systemic oppression on LGBT spaces and discourses, including through the banning of Seksualiti Merdeka, despite Articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantee the right to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and expression for everyone.”

LGBT+ people in Malaysia are shunned socially and do not necessarily enjoy protections under the law.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia back in 2015 cited Islam in saying that the human rights of LGBT people will not necessarily be protected.

More recently, the government has promoted “gay conversion therapy” in the form of an online training programme which aims to “cure” gay people.

A transgender woman was brutally murdered in the country earlier this year.

Malaysia’s Federal Court has also upheld a ban on cross-dressing, which sees trans women criminalised.

More: Asia, Kuala Lumpur, LGBT, Malaysia, Pride, Religion

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