Malaysia will not stop LGBTI tourists from visiting, ministry clarifies

Malaysia's tourism minister (left) attends a tourism fair in Berlin (Photo: Facebook)

Malaysia’s tourism ministry on Thursday (7 March) said it would not prevent people from visiting the country based on their sexuality.

The statement came after the country’s tourism minister claimed Malaysia does not have any homosexuals.

‘I don’t think we have anything like that [homosexuals] in our country’ minister Mohammaddin Ketapi said earlier this week.

Thursday’s statement claimed the minister was actually commenting that there was no LGBTI tourism campaign in the country.

It also said there were no plans for such a campaign in the future.

‘As a main tourism destination in Asia, Malaysia has never and will not do anything to stop our guests based on their sexual orientation, religion and cultural belief,’ it said.

What’s more, the ministry said Malaysia had its own stand on LGBTI issues. It also said it local had laws that visitors should respect.

‘These laws must be respected and followed, not just by foreign tourists but Malaysians as well’ the statement said.

LGBT rights in Malaysia

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia. A colonial-era law punishes gay sex with up to 20 years in prison.

Shariah courts following Islamic law run parallel to the secular judiciary.

What’s more, Malaysia is also is in the middle of a worrying crackdown on the marginalized LGBTI community.

Police have raided gay clubs and arrested individuals.

One conservative state caned women for attempting lesbian sex. At least two trans women have been murdered in the last few months.

And, importantly, the government continues to spew anti-LGBTI rhetoric.

Malaysia’s prime minister last year said Malaysia could not accept LGBT rights and labeled them a Western import.

 

Author: Rik Glauert

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Colorado rights commission and anti-LGBTI baker end legal battle

Anti-LGBTI baker Jack Phillips (Photo: Twitter)

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission and renowned anti-LGBTI baker Jack Phillips dropped cases against one another on Tuesday (5 March).

The CCRC sued Philipps for refusing to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition in 2017.

Philipps, in turn, filed a case accusing the CCRC of persecuting him because of his Christian faith.

Philipps last year won a six-year legal battle over his refusal to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

But, on Tuesday, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Phillips’ lawyers came to an agreement to drop both cases, according to the Associated Press.

Weiser said both sides ‘agreed it was not in anyone’s best interest to move forward with these cases’.

Phillips’ lawyers and other conservative campaigners, however, heralded the move as a second win.

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which supported Phillips’ case, said there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ of government hostility toward Phillips.

‘ Today is a win for freedom’ Phillips said according to the ADF’s website.

‘I have and will always serve everyone who comes into my shop; I simply can’t celebrate events or express messages that conflict with my religious beliefs’.

Denver’s renowned baker

Phillips is the owner of Masterpiece Bakery in Denver, Colorado.

In June last year, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips for refusing make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in a case that began back in 2012.

The court voted 7-2 against the same-sex couple.

Phillips cited his religious objections to marriage equality and claimed he was fighting for the rights of ‘creative artists’ to choose what they sell.

The Court ruled the CCRC had showed anti-religious bias when it sanctioned Phillips for refusing to make a same-sex wedding cake in 2012.

The court did not rule on whether businesses can refuse service to LGBTI people based on religious objections, however.

Last year, Autumn Scardina, called Masterpiece about a birthday cake. She mentioned the cake was to be decorated with white, blue, and pink—the colors of the transgender flag.

She also said the cake would celebrate her transition which coincides with her birthday.

After Phillips’ refusal to bake the cake, she subsequently filed a complaint with the CCRC.

The CCRC determined, with probable cause, that Phillips discriminated against Scardina due to her gender identity. This is in violation of the state’s public accommodation laws.

Author: Rik Glauert

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Ellen Page Wants People To Know That Chris Pratt Belongs To An Anti-LGBTQ Church

While promoting Lego Movie 2 on the Tonight Show, Colbert’s interview with Chris Pratt took a decidedly evangelical tone at one point.

At one point both men are talking about their faith and Pratt reveals something he claims as a maxim that has helped him navigate life: “If the spotlight that is shining on you is brighter than the one that comes from within–people in our position–you know actors–we see a lot and sometimes having a self to share is what kills you and you have to have a sense of self so then you can survive.”

“I like that,” said the deeply Catholic Colbert.

“I wish I could remember the pastor’s name I’ll post on IG tomorrow,” Pratt followed.

Pratt’s last IG post is interesting as Pratt notes that he and Colbert “got deep.”

I think we all get why Colbert didn’t interrogate Pratt more. It’s late night. It’s supposed to be fun right?

Colbert remarkably fumbles the segue in the convo by adding the “I like that comment.” Especially in light of Pratt’s church being anti-LGBT.

In any case, Ellen Page thinks Colbert should have asked Pratt a bit more about his church too:

Celebitchy says that Page is referring to Hillsong, which has a lengthy, disturbing history of gay conversion therapies and hate speech against LGBTQ peeps and more. “Much like the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptists and hundreds of other sects and religions. I’m not disagreeing with Ellen, Colbert should have asked Pratt more about Hillsong, and other people should ask Pratt about Hillsong too. But in this particular case, I wonder if Colbert was basically like “well, I can’t throw stones because the Catholic Church is one big glass house.” It will be interesting to see if Pratt – who seems to be leaning into his churchy image more and more – will have to answer some real questions about his faith and his church this year.”

This isn’t the first time Page has been vocal about how the roots of LGBT violence are planted in political and religious hate speech as she did earlier this month when she connected the dots to Pence’s LGBT views and the attack on actor Jussie Smollet.

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