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'Spot a gay" list sparks outrage

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:59 PM

From Bangkok Post


Kuala Lumpur: A stereotype-laden checklist for spotting gay men and lesbian women published by a popular Malaysian newspaper has sparked outrage in the Muslim-majority nation, with activists warning it could endanger lives.


The Malay-language tabloid Sinar Harian claimed gay men love to go to the gym -- just to check out other men -- wear tight clothes to show off their physiques and tend to sport beards, while their eyes widen when they see handsome men.


Lesbians, the paper said, "hate men" and enjoy hugging.


The list, published Friday, was swiftly met with derision online, while campaigners warned it could further stoke animosity against LGBTQ groups, who have been increasingly targeted with violence and discrimination in recent years.


"It exposes these people to bullying, which could lead to violent hate crimes towards them," Eric Paulsen, Lawyers for Liberty executive director, told AFP Tuesday.


Malaysia has experienced growing religious fundamentalism in recent years, sparking friction between conservative forces and those campaigning for greater rights.


The country retains its colonial-era criminal ban on sodomy, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, caning or a fine.



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