Homophobic Valentine’s Day leaflets warn of gay “myths”


10_myths_homosexuality_malaysia_homophobic_flyerIslamic authorities in Malaysia marked Valentine’s Day by distributing flyers that attack gays and lesbians as mentally unstable, drug users and incapable of having long-term relationships.

The Malay Mail Online reports that the pamphlet, titled “10 myths about homosexuality”, was issued by the country’s Department of Islamic Development (Jakim).

The publication states, for example that, “research does not show that anyone is ‘born gay'” and insists that sexuality can be changed through “therapeutic interventions.”

It goes on to claim that because homosexuality is not “inborn, involuntary, immutable or innocuous” it therefore is not deserving of being protected from discrimination.

Without any context, the flyer also warns that gays and lesbians experience “considerably higher levels of mental illness and substance abuse” and that they face unhappy relationships.

“Homosexuals are less likely to enter into a committed relationship, less likely to be sexually faithful to a partner, even if they have one, and are less likely to remain committed for a lifetime…” it reads.

The Malay Mail noted that the flyer cites no sources for its claims and is very similar to a 2010 pamphlet published by the American anti-gay Christian group Family Research Council.

Jakim, a government department, has a history of anti-LGBT activities. Last year, it revealed that 1,000 people had gone through its programmes to “educate gender-confused individuals” since 2010.

Homosexuality remains illegal in Malaysia, with penalties of up to 20 years in jail.

In 2012, it was reported that the Malaysian Teachers Foundation was hosting seminars to help teachers and parents “identify gay children” in order to stop “the spread of the unhealthy lifestyle.”

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