My first weeks here were a little shocking I must say, and yes Mom , you “told me so”…
I grew up in Latin America, so street harassment is something every latina girl and woman learns how to deal with at a very young age, but in terms on women’s rights and access to decision making positions, I can’t deny I was shocked…
But as the Stop Street Harassment week recently took place in the western countries, the issue came back to my mind, and I decided to go a little further: If that is the situation for women, what about the LGBTQ folks? I took at this video about LGBT Rights in Malaysia and well, here’s what I’ve found in the Malaysian Penal Code
Section 377B. Punishment for committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature.
“Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to whipping.”
Therefore, discrimination against LGBT members is actually very common in Malaysia. Some companies won’t hire you if you’re openly gay, some get blatantly harassed or verbally abused daily. Gay people is still terrified to come out to even relatives because it’s considered unacceptable. Legal implications can’t be avoid but social condemnation, that must be hard to deal with…
But the the weirdest irony from my perspective is that Inciting a child to an act of gross indecency is punished with imprisonment up to 5 years.
Section 377E. Inciting a child to an act of gross indecency
“Any person who incites a child under the age of fourteen years to any act of gross indecency with him or another person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to whipping”
So child sexual abuse, which is internationally recognized as a crime and marks a person’s life forever, get 5 years max and LGBT couples 20?
Hold on, I mean in case that wasn’t enough, there is something else to appreciate even more the country where you were born and the rights you have just because of being a citizen of that piece of land, and the fact of living in open and tolerant societies.
377D. Outrages on decency
“Any person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any person of, any act of gross indecency with another person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.”
Anyway, my intrinsic optimistic bias makes me thankful for having the opportunity to live in other realities and therefore love my origins even more everyday.
P.S: Definitely some laws were meant to be broken!