Malaysia: Court Victory for Transgender Rights

Southeast AsiaNovember 8, 2014 – Reported by Human Rights Watch – (New York) – A Malaysian appeals court ruling that a ban on cross-dressing was unconstitutional is an important victory for the rights of transgender people in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today.

On November 7, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Putrajaya Court of Appeal said that a state Sharia-law ban on cross-dressing was “degrading, oppressive and inhuman” and that so long as it was in force, transgender people “will continue to live in uncertainty, misery and indignity.”

“The court’s rejection of the ban on cross-dressing was a strong affirmation of the rights of transgender people in Malaysia,” said Boris Dittrich, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch  “By upholding the constitution over a discriminatory state law, the court is saying all Malaysians can express themselves as the people they want to be.” The case was filed by transgender women in Malaysia who challenged section 66 of the Sharia law in Negeri Sembilan state, which prohibits “any male person who in any public place wears a woman’s attire or poses as a woman.” The state’s Religious Department has used this law repeatedly to arrest transgender women – most recently, in a mass arrest of 16 transgender women at a wedding party on the night of June 8, 2014…

via Malaysia: Court Victory for Transgender Rights | Human Rights Watch.

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