10 countries in Asia that are LGBT-friendly
YESTERDAY, India’s Supreme Court legalized gay sex, a ruling that overturns a 2013 judgment that upheld section 377 under which gay sex is categorized as an “unnatural offense”.
The 157-year-old section 377 states that gay sex is punishable by a 10-year jail term.
Not only that, the court also ruled discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation a fundamental violation of rights.
“Thursday’s decision was delivered by a five-judge bench headed by India’s outgoing chief justice Dipak Misra and was unanimous,” BBC reported.
“Another judge, Indu Malhotra, said she believed ‘history owes an apology’ to LGBT people for ostracising them.”
The historic decision was celebrated by many, with campaigners outside the court cheering and breaking down in tears of joy.
While the average person living in the bigger cities such as Delhi, Bombay, Kolkatta, Chennai, and Bangalore are generally unaffected by the verdict, religious groups and conservative rural communities are still strongly opposing it.
It is hoped that with the ruling, attitudes will change and the communities will find full acceptance.
On the other end of the spectrum, Malaysia made international headlines this week when two Malaysia Muslim women were caned in public for attempting to have lesbian sex.
The sentence, which was passed in the state of Terengganu under the Syariah law, drew the ire of lawmakers and rights activists from around the globe.
“Caning is a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and may amount to torture,” Amnesty International Malaysia said in a statement.
“People should not live in fear because they are attracted to people of the same sex. The Malaysian authorities must immediately repeal repressive laws, outlaw torturous punishments and ratify the U.N. Convention Against Torture.”
For many in Malaysia, it is too close for comfort as the incident follows a brutal attack which took place in the state of Negeri Sembilan, south of Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, just a couple of weeks prior.
A transgender woman, Suki was beaten up by eight men with sticks and plastic pipes which left her with broken ribs, a ruptured spleen, and head injuries that required seven stitches.
The assailants have since been arrested by the police, but the growing hostility towards gay and transgender people in the country is evident.
If you are an LGBT traveler hoping to visit some Asian destinations, here are some countries where homosexuality is not illegal:
- South Korea