Malaysian man wins landmark case against Islamic gay sex ban

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A Malaysian man has won a landmark court case against an Islamic ban on gay sex. In 2018, the man – whose identity has been withheld for his own protection – was arrested in the central Selangor state for attempting gay sex, although he still denies the claims. He subsequently filed a lawsuit in which he argued that Selangor had no power to enforce the Islamic ban on “intercourse against the order of nature” as it was already a crime in the country’s civil law. Malaysia’s constitution says a state cannot exact a law when the same law already exists at a national level. Today, Malaysia’s top court unanimously ruled in his favour declaring that the state’s power to implement such offences is “subject to a constitutional limit”. The decision was hailed as a significant moment for the country, which is predominantly Muslim, and their greater acceptance of gay rights. Numan Afifi, founder of LGBTQ+ rights group Pelangi Campaign said “This is historic. This is monumental for LGBT+ rights in Malaysia.”

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