The Religious Affairs Ministry is looking to strengthen Islamic laws that target the queer community, specifically on the ways the authorities can enforce its rules.
It is not clear how exactly the ministry intends to amend the law under the Syariah Criminal Procedure (Federal Territories) Act 1997, which allows authorities to take action against anyone deemed to have insulted Islam, but new protocols on how to handle complaints against the community were in the works, according to Deputy Minister Ahmad Marzuk Shaary. The ministry was also proposing to use the law to curb the promotion of queer lifestyles, particularly on social media, he said, noting the rampant online posts on being out and proud throughout the month of June, also known as Pride month by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender group, or LGBT.
“We found that there are certain parties who upload statuses and graphics that insult Islam on certain social media (platforms) in their efforts to promote the LGBT lifestyle,” he said yesterday. “That is why we have created a task force involving several agencies to take firm action in an urgent manner to address religious insults in general and the promotion of the LGBT lifestyle.”
Other government agencies involved in this move include the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the police.
Gay sex is illegal under Malaysia’s Islamic law but is rarely enforced. Those convicted could be jailed.
This article, Religious Affairs Ministry looking to strengthen Islamic laws against LGBT, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.