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Malaysia’s human rights commission says it does not support same-sex marriage

Lydia Smith September 23, 2018
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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MAY 10: Mahathir Mohamad, chairman of 'Pakatan Harapan' (The Alliance of Hope), speaks during press conference following the 14th general election on May 10, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia's opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad claimed victory over Prime Minister Najib Razak's ruling coalition Barisan National and set to become the world's oldest elected leader after Wednesday's general election where millions of Malaysians headed to the polls. The election has been one of the most fiercely contested races in Malaysia's history, which resulted in a shocking victory as 92-year-old Mahathir made a comeback from retirement to take on his former protege Najib, who has been embroiled in a massive corruption scandal. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty)

Malaysia’s human rights commission has said it does not support same-sex marriage, following comments made by the country’s prime minister.

The commission, Suhakam, has denied that it is working towards legalising equal marriage rights for LGBT people, but said it aimed to give everyone the same basic rights under the Federal Constitution.

Suhakam chairman, Razali Ismail, said: “Suhakam does not support same-sex marriages in Malaysia.

“While Suhakam believes and subscribes to the universality of human rights, Suhakam does not fail to take into account our context-specific values.

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 20: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (C) speaks to Chinese President Xi Jinping (not pictured) during their meeting at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on August 20 2018 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Roman Pilipey - Pool/Getty Images)
Malaysia’s Prime Minister said the country “has a different value system than the Westerners” (Roman Pilipey – Pool/Getty)

“However, Suhakam is steadfast in its position that no one has the right to discriminate LGBT [people] or treat them with hate or violence,” he added, local news outlet Malaysiakini reported.

“The government cannot allow a situation where personal religious beliefs coupled with government inaction and political homophobia become a license for violence against LGBTs.

“Suhakam reiterates that all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity have the same basic rights as enshrined in our Federal Constitution.”

This week, Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said his country will not accept LGBT+ people or same-sex marriage.

The prime minister made his views on LGBT+ rights clear in response to progressive amendments recommended by Suhakam.

Amendments proposed include offering education, employment, healthcare and housing services to LGBT+ people without discrimination.

Former Malaysian prime minister and opposition candidate Mahathir Mohamad celebrates with other leaders of his coalition during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on early May 10, 2018. - Malaysia's opposition alliance headed by veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, 92, has won a historic election victory, official results showed on May 10, ending the six-decade rule of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. (Photo by Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
It is illegal to be gay in Malaysia (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty)

“Suhakam has presented its proposals to us just now, including one on amending the Suhakam Act,” Mohamad said.

“While we agree with Suhakam [on certain things], we have to remind Suhakam that Malaysia has a different value system than the Westerners.

“For instance, we cannot accept LGBT as well as the marriage of man and man or woman and woman.”

“The concept of family remains the same—that it [constitutes] a couple with their own children or adopted ones to be considered as family,” added the prime minister.

“But two men or two women is not considered a family.”

Gay sex is banned in the country, which groups it together with bestiality in a list of offences which are “against the order of nature.”

Related topics: Asia, Asia, gay marriage, human rights, LGBT rights, Malaysia, Malaysia, same sex marriage

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