By Alex Bollinger
Malaysia’s top court has approved a man’s challenge to the nation’s Islamic ban on homosexuality, allowing his case to go forward.
The plaintiff – whose name has not been made public – is a Muslim man in his 30’s, according to his lawyer. He was arrested in 2018 for allegedly having sex with another man, which he says he didn’t do.
Malaysia’s official state religion is Islam, and it has a dual-track legal system with Islamic criminal and family law applicable only to Muslims. That legal system bans sex “against the order of nature” with a penalty of fines, caning, and up to 20 years in prison.
The plaintiff argues that his state, Selangor, can’t ban homosexuality under its Muslim legal system when it’s already banned under the civil legal system. The civil ban on homosexuality – still on the books since Malaysia was a British colony – is rarely enforced.
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