What is Bi Visibility Day and why is it important?

What is Bi Visibility Day and why is it important?

The bisexual pride flag (Creative Commons) Bi Visibility Day has been celebrated every year since 1999, to highlight the achievements of the bi community and tackle discrimination.

The day, which takes place on 23 September, also marks the start of Bisexual Awareness Week , which runs until 30 September.

Bi Visibility Day was first observed at the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) conference in Johannesburg in South Africa.

How does Bi Visibility Day help tackle biphobia?

According to data from the Pew Research Center , 40 percent of LGBT Americans are bisexual. The Office for National Statistics suggests 0.8 percent of the British population are bisexual.

However, the same research also shows gay men and lesbians are more likely than bi people to be out. Overall, only 28% of bisexual people in the US said that all or most of the important people in their lives are aware that they are LGBT. Bi Visibility Day is marked 23 September (David McNew/Getty Images) Part of the reason is that bi people face discrimination and stigma, which prevents them from coming out.

A 2017 study by American University found that stressors had more of an impact because bi people face what researchers described as “double discrimination” – from both queer and non-queer community.

This could partly be why bi people earn less on average, feel less happy and suffer from higher levels of anxiety than other sexualities.

Medical studies have also shown Lesbian and bisexual women are at greater risk of developing diabetes at a young age due to stress. Bi Pride in LA will coincide with Bi Visibility Day (Mimi Hoang) Ian Lawrence-Tourinho, president of the amBi network in the US, has helped to organise the first ever Bi Pride in the US to help tackle discrimination and promote visibility.

“Bi erasure (the opposite of bi visibility) is one of our community’s biggest challenges – people erasing us from dialog, news stories, history, films/TV, and everywhere else,” he said. “Part of this is because people cannot immediately see or read our sexuality based on the gender of our partner. People see a woman with another woman, and think of us as lesbians. People see a woman with a man, they think of us as straight.”

The Iranian-American filmmaker Desiree Akhavan , who recently tackled the issue of gay conversion therapy in the film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, has been outspoken about her experience as a bisexual woman – and the issues bi people face. “It’s complicated—there isn’t a face of bisexuality and it feels disingenuous,” she said at an event at London’s BFI Southbank earlier this year.

She continued: “If I’m walking down the street with a woman, I’m a lesbian.

“I realised recently every time I did anything people said ‘bisexual Desiree’ and I felt like it was a deeply embarrassing thing. They always said: ‘she f***s men and women.’ If they’d said lesbian I’d have been like f*** yeah but it was embarrassing.

There are a lot of openly bisexual people, but you identify them with who they’re holding hands with in that moment. When you don’t see something often, it becomes hard to relate to.”

Speaking to Pink News, she busted several myths bi people commonly face , including that they don’t want to be in a monogamous relationship.

She said: “I’ve had a lot of straight men tell me: ‘well you can date anyone, why would you settle down? You don’t have to worry about marriage or a family because you’re incapable of monogamy.’ I mean, I’m still figuring out my own feelings about monogamy but I think that’s a bulls**t assumption.”

Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur

Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane scored in a 1-1 draw at Brighton in April, but has yet to hit top form for Tottenham this season TEAM NEWS

Midfielder Pascal Gross, who is nursing an ankle injury, remains Brighton’s only absentee.

Winger Jose Izquierdo and forward Florin Andone are awaiting their first appearances of the season after returning to fitness.

Tottenham will assess Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko, who have returned to training after respective hamstring and knee problems.

Hugo Lloris is still injured so Michel Vorm will start in goal.

Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier will return to the squad after being rested in Tuesday’s Champions League defeat at Inter Milan. MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Jonathan Pearce: Tottenham’s worst week for a long time. Awful against Liverpool. Poor game management and late defending at Inter. Chaos over the new stadium.

The more reactionary Spurs fans are already moaning about Mauricio Pochettino. It’s a nonsense to attack the manager. He’s transformed the club into consistent challengers.

Someone will suffer a backlash soon. If Brighton play as they did in the first half at Southampton, it could be them.

But the comeback at St Mary’s showed their true colours and the Amex will be buzzing, as it was in last season’s 1-1 draw that accelerated the Seagulls’ rush to safety.

Two victories in 16 league and cup games is not enough! But they could well get a point here against a club with problems on and off the pitch. VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton: "[Tottenham] are a team that don’t lose many games and by their standards are having a difficult time.

"And that’s the time perhaps when they are at their most dangerous.

"They’ve got great, great quality. We know that we’ll have to play at a really good level to get something from the game."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "You know what is going to happen when we don’t win games, the first responsible is me.

"I am going to stick with the club, I am not going to criticise the club.

"All the decisions are our decisions and of course we are always with the club until the end. Maybe still here in five years or maybe in one week we are not here, but I will always talk well about the club and help them to achieve all they want." LAWRO’S PREDICTION

The Seagulls are earning a reputation as being this season’s comeback kings, after fighting back from 2-0 down to get a draw in their past two matches.

They will relish the visit of Spurs after beating Manchester United at home in August and will fancy their chances of getting something out of this game too.

Prediction: 1-1 MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head Brighton’s last win against Tottenham was by 2-1 at home in the top flight in April 1983.

Spurs are unbeaten in the subsequent four meetings in league and cup (W3, D1), although the only encounter on the south coast was last season’s 1-1 draw.

Tottenham have failed to score in just one of their previous 15 matches against Brighton in all competitions.

Brighton & Hove Albion Brighton’s only defeat in their past nine home league games was against Leicester on 31 March.

After losing their first three Premier League home games against last season’s top six (conceding 11 times in total), Brighton are unbeaten in four subsequent matches against them (W3, D1).

They have won just two of their last 14 league matches – both at home against Manchester United.

The Seagulls have fought back from two goals down to avoid defeat in each of their last two games. No team has ever done this in three consecutive Premier League matches.

Glenn Murray has scored four goals in five Premier League games this season.

Tottenham Hotspur Spurs have lost back-to-back league games for the first time since May 2016.

They last suffered three consecutive top-flight defeats in November 2012 during Andre Villas-Boas’ first season in charge.

Tottenham have lost three straight games in all competitions, which last happened in March 2014 during Tim Sherwood’s tenure.

Five of the six league goals they have conceded this season have been headers. No other side has conceded more than three headed goals in the division.

Tottenham have failed to score in just one of their last 16 Premier League away games: May’s 1-0 defeat at West Brom.

Liverpool mayor passes ‘trans women are women’ motion despite backlash

Liverpool mayor passes 'trans women are women' motion despite backlash

Dundee welcomes first ever Pride Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson (pictured here) unanimously passed a motion saying trans women are women Liverpool recently passed a motion saying that transgender women are no different from cisgender women.

Led by Mayor Joe Anderson, the motion passed unanimously on Wednesday, 19 September. Tell me more!

This comes less than a month after a transphobic women’s group called ReSisters defaced the city with phallic-shaped stickers. The stickers read ‘women don’t have penises.’

Anderson told the council meeting that ReSisters promoted ‘hate against people who are different’. He also accused the group of bullying and intimidation.

The motion also encouraged developers to include gender-neutral restrooms in their building plans. Additionally, it promised to show solidarity in public ways. For instance, lighting council buildings in the colors of the trans flag. Plus flying the flag at the town hall one weekend a year. The opposition

The Liverpool ReSisters have stated their concerns about self-identification. This is the process by which trans men and women self-declare their gender without the need for medical proof.

‘Self ID erodes vital safeguarding principles by preventing women and children from listening to their feelings of discomfort,’ a Liverpool ReSisters spokesperson told the council.

‘I urge the council to… listen with an open mind to all sides of the issue [and to] consider the complexity of self ID and the full impact its implementation will have on Liverpool citizens.’

Upon Mayor Anderson’s takedown of the ReSisters group, he received a standing ovation.

‘If you approached it in a different way and wanted to have a sensible discussion with us then we would have listened,’ Anderson stated. ‘But we won’t tolerate abuse of members of this community that we respect, value, and love.’ Reactions from LGBTI rights groups

LGBTI rights organization Stonewall told the BBC that this decision ‘sends a very powerful and very welcome message of acceptance.’

‘Not only has the council reaffirmed its commitment to trans inclusion and equality, it’s gone a step further with plans to host a public, visible celebration of trans equality in the city centre.’

‘The bullying and abuse of trans people is at epidemic levels [and] to change this we need to see more visible support and leadership from organisations and institutions across Britain.’

LGBT refugees say they face hostility, violence in Kenyan camp

LGBT refugees say they face hostility, violence in Kenyan camp

LGBTI refugees pose together at Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya on July 15, 2018. Many in the LGBTI community say they are targeted by religious leaders because of their sexuality. (RNS/Sam Mugoya) Kakauma Refugee Camp, Kenya — When Kennedy Mukama fled from Uganda in 2015 because of harsh anti-gay laws and harassment, he hoped to find safe haven in a United Nations refugee camp.

Seniors and recent college graduates may apply to be the next Bertelsen Editorial Intern. Learn more about this opportunity .

But within a few months, those hopes were dashed.

He says religious leaders spurred their followers to attack and beat him for allegedly promoting homosexual behavior.

"It was the saddest day in my life," said Mukama, 25. "I didn’t expect that people who call themselves Christians could attack me in that manner. I lost consciousness after one of them hit me on the head with a sharp object. I found myself in hospital after I recovered."

Religious hostility is a major challenge for the estimated 200 self-identified lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender refugees at Kakuma, which hosts almost 180,000 refugees from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Uganda.

Many refugees at the camp believe that homosexuality is wrong and gays must be punished, said Moses Mbazira, a representative of the LGBTI refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp.

"They have attacked and injured some of us. They think we are cursed with a demon and evil spirit of homosexuality," Mbazira said. "The religious leaders are too homophobic and we so much fear them of even getting near them for fear of being killed or attacked."

Uganda is among 73 countries in the world where homosexuality is illegal, according to a comprehensive survey of sexual orientation laws from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. A 2103 Pew Research survey found only 4 percent of Ugandans say society should accept homosexuality.

And Uganda is among the most dangerous places in the world to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, according to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Many LGBTI Ugandans face arrest, discrimination, eviction from their homes and violence from Ugandan police and individuals. Some sought refuge in Kenya, where homosexuality is also illegal but enforcement of the law is sporadic.

But they could not escape hostility fueled by religion.

"The first time I attended a church service in the camp, the pastor preached against homosexuality, saying they were evil kind of people," said Mukama, who used to live in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. "When I went there for a second time, they rejected me, saying somebody had told them I was gay. They threatened to beat me and even kill me."

Mbazira said the government of Kenya was not the enemy. He blamed religious leaders instead.

" Words preached by spiritual leaders in big churches and mosques in the camp are not anointful since they focus on preaching hate, henceforth breeding insecurities from holy places that agonize our lives," said Mbazira.

Peter Long, a South Sudanese pastor at one of the Pentecostal churches in the camp, said the LGBTI refugees need to change their behaviors before they can attend his church.

"We want them to come and pray with us only if they can accept to change," he said. "Light and darkness cannot mix. They might influence others to become what they are. So, they need to accept change. Then they will be accepted."

Seda Kuzucu, the UNHCR senior protection officer of Kakuma Refugee Camp, recently said that all refugees have equal rights to live in the camp.

But Mbazira said LGBTI refugees are treated differently. They are separated from others, often in worse conditions, and even are denied food, he said.

"We are very much discriminated," Mbazira said. "Living as an LGBTl in Kakuma Refugee Camp has been of a great challenge than the rest of other refugees. LGBTI members are heavily persecuted by both the host community and other refugees in all spheres of life."

Now they are not sure where to go.

Mukama and other LGBTI refugees now prefer to be relocated in America or Europe, where they feel they will receive protection.

"I want to get out of this camp as soon as possible so that I can save my life," Mukama said. "I no longer feel safe in the hands of these cruel people."

Mbazira and other LGBTI refugees in the camp have now decided to form their own church. But they still do it under fear of attack.

"We conduct private prayers among ourselves because that’s the only way we can pray or encourage each other," he said. "But it’s a huge risk for us, too, because sometimes we gather together with fear of being invaded by these religious people. Some are fellow refugees but not LGBTIQ, and some are even from the Kenyan community. So we face hostilities of all kinds."

Shinchosha chief blasts magazine bid to clear air on LGBT issue

Shinchosha chief blasts magazine bid to clear air on LGBT issue

Part of the special feature package in the October issue of monthly magazine Shincho 45, titled, “Is Sugita’s article that outrageous?” (Keita Mano) The head of one of the nation’s most respected publishing houses had harsh words Sept. 21 against a move by monthly magazine Shincho 45 to quell a public furor over an article by a lawmaker on sexual minorities.

In a statement, Takanobu Sato, president of Shinchosha Publishing Co., made clear that far from clearing the air, the magazine’s special feature package on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT) in the October issue contained some expressions full of prejudice that lacked appropriate recognition and deviated from common sense.

The latest issue, released Sept. 18, was in response to an outcry triggered by an article by ruling party lawmaker Mio Sugita in July that accused gay couples of being unproductive because they don’t reproduce.

The package was titled, “Is Sugita’s article that outrageous?”

It is rare for the president of a publishing company to go public with criticism of the editorial policy of one of its magazines.

Sato, in his statement, noted that discrimination and minority issues are big themes in literature, adding that Shinchosha, with its 122-year history, had explored such issues from its very beginnings.

He pledged that the company "will also pay sufficient consideration to discriminatory expressions from now on.”

A company representative said Sato’s statement was issued in response to the public’s criticism and "is not an apology.”

The official declined to be drawn on areas in the magazine’s special feature package that Sato objected to.

According to several sources, editors of the company’s literary section who were critical of Shincho 45’s stance had met to consider issuing their own statement.

Alerted to the move, Sato decided in the afternoon of Sept. 21 to issue a statement of its own.

The editorial office of Shincho 45 learned of the decision just before the release of the statement.

“I can’t accept some parts of what it said," said one editor. "But it seems that the management is taking the issue more seriously than we had anticipated, and moved quickly."

The magazine in its latest edition labeled the public furor over Sugita’s article in July as wide off the mark.

Criticism against Shincho 45 has been steadily building.

Author Tomoyuki Hoshino, referring to Sato’s statement, said Sept. 21, “What’s most regrettable is that it doesn’t pay consideration to those who were hurt in this case. It is also a shame that it doesn’t refer to Sugita’s article, either.”

Weekend Read: Trump Admin embraces anti-LGBT hate, again

Weekend Read: Trump Admin embraces anti-LGBT hate, again

The Family Research Council (FRC) uses discredited research and junk science to attack and vilify LGBT people. It claims they’re incestuous and “violent,” for example, a danger to children and society.

The FRC is an anti-LGBT hate group . And today, it’s hosting some of the most extreme anti-LGBT groups in the country at its annual Values Voter Summit .

Joining them is none other than Secretary of State Mike Pompeo .

The news that such a high-ranking member of the Trump administration — one charged with representing the United States to the rest of the world — is choosing to attend an FRC event certainly “ raises eyebrows ,” as Nahal Toosi wrote for Politico .

As a former George W. Bush administration official told Toosi, “It’s unusual for a secretary of state to be at an event with ‘voter’ in the title.”

It’s much worse than that, in fact.

Pompeo, though, might feel right at home appearing with such far-right extremists. He’s spoken at numerous conferences hosted by ACT for America and Center for Security Policy , both anti-Muslim hate groups. And he’s not the only one from the Trump administration.

Just last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered remarks at a summit on “religious liberty” hosted by anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom .

Days later, a speechwriter for President Trump, Darren Beattie, was fired after revelations that he had spoken at a conference alongside Peter Brimelow , founder of the white nationalist website VDARE .

The Trump administration has opened its doors to the radical right. Not only are high-ranking officials speaking at events hosted by hate groups, they’re inviting extremists to consult on the administration’s policies, set its agenda and shape its rhetoric.

We saw another clear example this week with the news that it was Stephen Bannon and Kris Kobach who were behind the addition of a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census questionnaire.

Both have ties to extremists who would like to see exactly such a policy out of the White House. Bannon, of course, is Trump’s former chief strategist, a man who has boasted of transforming Breitbart News into “the platform for the alt-right.” Kobach , now the secretary of state in Kansas, is a longtime lawyer for the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform . He is also one of the nation’s leading proponents of state laws that suppress the votes of the poor and people of color.

We’ve been tracking instances of extremism in the White House . In less than a year, we’ve found 160 incidents, with at least 15 different hate groups involved in some way.

That’s unacceptable. And it’s why last weekend, we went to Washington to talk to residents who — like us — won’t stand for the bigotry on display at today’s so-called Values Voter Summit .

It’s overwhelmingly clear that the “values” Pompeo will be supporting – tacitly, at the very least –will not be those of LGBT people.

They won’t the values of the DC residents who are standing with us to say #Y’allMeansAll .

They won’t even be the values of the majority of Americans , whose government should represent their interests rather than the interests of a hate group.

Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for the State Department, told Politico that Pompeo’s message today is “not political. It’s not a Republican or Democrat message.”

That makes no difference. He has already sent a clear message by agreeing to even appear at the summit. And we’ve all heard it.

The Editors

P.S. Here are some other pieces we think are valuable this week: Americans want to believe jobs are the solution to poverty. They’re not . by Matthew Desmond for The New York Times Magazine

SPLC’s Weekend Read is a weekly summary of the most important news reporting and commentary from around the country on civil rights, economic and racial inequality, and hate and extremism. Sign up to receive the Weekend Read every Saturday morning .

Los Angeles is going to host the first Bisexual Pride in the US

Los Angeles is going to host the first Bisexual Pride in the US

Bi Pride will coincide with Bi Visibility Day (Mimi Hoang) Los Angeles is set to host the first ever city-wide Bisexual Pride celebration in the US.

The event will be held in West Hollywood on 22 September ahead of Bisexual Visibility Day . It will also coincide with Bisexual Awareness Month.

Bi Pride is being organised by the City of West Hollywood, the group amBi LA and Human Rights Campaign LA.

Ian Lawrence-Tourinho, President of the amBi network, told Pink News the organisers want to signal to the bi community that they are welcome.

“While West Hollywood is ostensibly an LGBT Mecca, it has been historically far from clear that bi people are welcome there. Even during LA LGBT Pride (which takes place in West Hollywood) in June – what you might expect to be a time of great acceptance and openness – bi people are frequently met with hostility and aggression at the celebrations, whether at the official event or afterwards at the bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood,” he said.

“Whether we are wearing a bi T-shirt, or our bisexuality comes up in conversation, the reaction is generally quite negative.” Lawrence-Tourinho added the date was chosen to coincide with Bi Visibility Day to help tackle bi erasure. The event is organised by the group amBi (Jennie Roberson) “Bi Erasure (the opposite of bi visibility) is one of our community’s biggest challenges – people erasing us from dialog, news stories, history, films/TV, and everywhere else,” he said.

“Part of this is because people cannot immediately see or read our sexuality based on the gender of our partner. People see a woman with another woman, and think of us as lesbians. People see a woman with a man, they think of us as straight.”

Although Bi Visibility Day has been celebrated more and more by communities around the world, Lawrence-Tourinho said it was important to “make a big splash” to promote visibility.

“That’s where the idea for the big Bi Pride event including a Bi Visibility Walk came from,” he added. “That bi people are here, that we matter, that being bi is great and something to be celebrated!” People will take part in a Bi Visibility Walk (Mimi Hoang) Lawrence-Tourinho said the celebration will hopefully “grow and evolve over the years”, adding it is a chance for organisations to engage our community on “a level of respect”.

“I’m very excited at what the future holds,” he said, adding that there is “tremendous room for improvement” when it comes to bi visibility.

“We need LGBT organisations to remember that at least half the people they claim to represent are bi people. Pretty much without exception, we are always an afterthought.

“Bi Visibility needs to progress to a point where we are represented frequently in media, in all kinds of stories and in respectful ways. Bi people deserve to feel ‘normal’, like we are not alone.”

US anti-transgender advert features man peeping into women’s toilet

US anti-transgender advert features man peeping into women’s toilet

The advert was released in Massachusetts (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) A transphobic advert has been released by a group which is seeking to repeal an anti-discrimination law in Massachusetts in the US.

The video features a scene in which a man wearing a hoodie hides in a toilet cubicle as a teenage girl walks in.

A narrator can be heard saying the new law “means any many who says he is a woman can enter a women’s locker room, dressing room, or bathroom at any time, even convicted sex offenders”.

The girl can be seen beginning to undress as the man peers out of the cubicle.

The advert was allegedly funded by the conservative Renew Massachusetts Coalition and Massachusetts Family Institute, as well as individual donors, according to local news outlet Mass Live .

Massachusetts will vote in the midterm election on 6 November and one of the questions is a veto referendum, which will allow people to vote on whether they want to repeal a state law. The ad was released to overturn an anti-discrimination law (Mark Makela/Getty) The law, Senate Bill 2407, prohibits discrimination in areas of public access on the basis of gender identity. It was passed in 2016.

A No vote would repeal this anti-discrimination law, while a Yes vote would keep it in place and continue protecting people who are not cisgender in Massachusetts.

The advert has been criticised as propagating damaging myths, including that sexual predators will take advantage of laws which protect trans people.

Research published in 2013 by UCLA think tank the Williams Institute found trans students can be subjected to harassment, sexual assault or violence when trying to use the toilet. The ad promotes myths about gender-neutral toilets (Getty) Verbal harassment was reported by 68 percent of trans people who took part in the study, who said they had been questioned about their gender, ridiculed, verbally threatened or stared at.

Earlier this year, a transgender woman was forced to leave a restaurant after using the women’s bathroom.

Charlotte Clymer, who works for the Human Rights Campaign, was repeatedly asked to prove that she was female – which she did not have to do, legally – before being thrown out of Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar in Washington DC.

The incident came as trans people face increasing hostility in the US, with President Donald Trump repeatedly attempting to impose a military trans ban and various states and school districts trying to stop trans kids from using their bathroom of choice.

Black and Gold singer Sam Sparro marries boyfriend in California

Black and Gold singer Sam Sparro marries boyfriend in California

The pair married in California (Instagram/Sam Sparro) Australian singer Sam Sparro has married his American boyfriend Zion Lennox in Joshua Tree, California.

Posting a photo of the pair to Instagram this week, Lennox wrote: “So excited to be marrying the love of my life tomorrow @samsparro.”

Sparro is known for his 2008 song Black and Gold, announced he was getting married two weeks ago on Twitter.

The pair started dating around March 2015.

Gay marriage is legal in more than two dozen countries around the world , including in Australia, after a historic bill was passed in the House of Representatives at the end of 2017.

Finland, Malta and Germany also legalised same-sex marriage last year. According to the Pew Research Center , the countries that allow gay marriage include: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, England/Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, the US, Uruguay and Sweden.

Although same-sex marriage is legal in England, Wales and Scotland, it is not yet recognised in Northern Ireland.

In June, the Czech government backed a bill to allow same-sex marriage , but Romania has moved closer to banning gay marriage. Sydney celebrating legalising same-sex marriage (Cole Bennetts/Getty Images) This week, Romanian senators voted in favour of a measure that could be used to change the country’s constitution so that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.

The vote has been announced for 6-7 October.

Romania’s other parliament chamber voted in support of the same measure last year.

Social Democrats leader Liviu Dragnea is pushing forward with the referendum after three million people signed a petition which called for the constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Suhakam: religion and political homophobia not license to ‘terrorise’ LGBT community

Suhakam: religion and political homophobia not license to 'terrorise' LGBT community

PETALING JAYA: No parties have the right to discriminate against the LGBT community says Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).

In a statement released today. Suhakam said that it has been consistent with its stance on the matter.

"The government cannot allow a situation where personal religious belief as well as political homophobia is a licence to terrorise the LGBT community," said its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail (pic) .

It added that there have been numerous cases against individuals from the community, including harassment and murder.

"Suhakam believes that it is time for the government to be more serious in protecting all Malaysians by creating anti-discrimination laws.

"We would like to stress that all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, should have the same basic rights as stated in the Federal Constitution," he said.

While championing human rights, the commission emphasised that it did not support same-sex marriages.

"Suhakam refers to multiple media reports that gave the impression that Suhakam champions homosexual marriages in Malaysia. This is to state that we do not support same-sex marriages in Malaysia," he said.