An article by a Malaysian newspaper on how to identify lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people has sparked outrage on social media, as the country grapples with the growing influence of religious hardliners.
Grace Poore, the Asia-Pacific program coordinator for LGBTQ advocacy group OutRight Action International, stressed that Sinar Harian's how-to-spot-a-gay checklist is part of a broader trend of anti-LGBTQ efforts in the country.
"The Malaysian government is not only complicit with religious conservative groups in portraying LGBT Malaysians as deviant, diseased, and dangerous to religion and culture, but since 2011, the government has sponsored and funded public education programs that single out LGBT people," Poore said in a statement sent to NBC News.
She said anti-LGBTQ activities tied to the Malaysian government include handbooks for parents on how to identify "signs" of homosexuality, a series of plays that "vilified gay people" and a self-help book and counseling module on how to "change one's sexual orientation through psychological rehabilitation."
"The Malaysian government has received numerous recommendations from international governments and LGBT activists to remove discriminatory policies against LGBT people but it has refused and instead continues to fuel dangerous conditions that have led to bullying, death threats, verbal denigration, physical violence," Poore added.
Published on February 13, 2018 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization