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People are painting their little finger pink to protest Myanmar’s archaic gay sex ban

Patrick Kelleher January 24, 2020
Myanmar Pink Pinky campaign LGBT

YE AUNG THU/AFP via Getty

Activists in Myanmar are urging people to paint their little finger pink in protest against the country’s archaic ban on gay sex.

The “Pink Pinky” campaign is aiming to draw attention the plight of Myanmar’s LGBT+ community, who continue to face persecution.

The campaign was launched on January 22 ahead of Yangon Pride, which is due to take place this weekend, with activists calling on legislators to overturn the ban on gay sex and to introduce anti-discrimination laws, the Jakarta Post reports.

Myanmar LGBT+ activist says community needs ‘legal protection’ and ‘legal recognition’.

Fronting the campaign is Swe Zin Htet, who is Miss Myanmar and represented the country at the Miss Universe contest in December. She came out publicly late last year, shortly before she was due to compete.

Speaking to PEOPLE in December, Zin Htet said: “I have that platform that, if I say that I’m a lesbian, it will have a big impact on the LGBTQ community back in Burma.

We need legal protection, we need legal recognition and we need legal reform.

“The difficult thing is that in Burma, LGBTQ people are not accepted, they are looked down on by other people and are being discriminated against.”

Meanwhile, deputy director of Colors Rainbow Hla Myat Tun told AFP: “We need legal protection, we need legal recognition and we need legal reform.”

A recent report highlighted the violence and persecution faced by LGBT+ people in the country.

The “Pink Pinky” campaign comes just two months after a report revealed the shocking extent of violence and persecution facing the LGBT+ community in Myanmar.

The report – which was produced by the Denmark-Myanmar Programme on Rule of Law and Human Rights – tells the stories of LGBT+ people in the Asian country to illustrate the extent of the shocking treatment queer people experience.

The report called on parliament to urgently repeal Section 377 of the Penal Code which prohibits gay sex. They also urged parliament to reform or amend other laws which are used to persecute LGBT+ people.

It also recommended that parliament offer legal gender recognition to transgender people and said they should introduce anti-discrimination laws.

Furthermore, the report insisted that police stop arresting LGBT+ people on “the mere suspicion of ‘engaging in unnatural sex'”. It also accused police of “selectively” targeting individuals based on the country’s colonial-era laws.

 

More: decriminalisation, gay sex, miss universe, Myanmar, Swe Zin Htet

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