Malaysian transgenders lose court battle

Case challenging Islamic law’s prohibition of cross-dressing fails

Malaysian transgenders lose court battle
12 October 2012

Four transgender women in Malaysia lost a landmark court case yesterday that challenged an Islamic law that prohibits cross-dressing. 

Muslims in Malaysia are subject to syariah (sharia) law which bars men from dressing as women.

The case challenged the law in the High Court, arguing it infringes the plaintiffs’ constitutional right of non-discrimination.

‘The [judge] said they are born male, they are still male and so the law applies to them… She said cross dressing is condemned in Islam,’ Thilaga Sulathireh, an activist supporting, the case told AFP.

‘It shows if you are Muslim, it’s difficult to challenge anything in this country.’

The four plaintiffs were make-up artists Juzaili Khamis, Shukor Jani, Wan Fairol Wan Ismail and Adam Shazrul Yusoff who have all previously been arrested for cross-dressing.

‘I’m disappointed because it basically deprives me of my freedom and deprives me of the right for me to be myself,’ said Juzaili Khamis about the ruling, The New York Times reports.

The judge, Justice Siti Mariah Ahmad, suggested counselling for the transsexual community in her ruling.

The team plan to appeal. 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Alabama teen arrested for plans to bomb gay, black classmates

A 17-year-old, who describes himself as a 'white supremacist', will deny plotting to blow up six students and a teacher
Peter Tatchell highlights: the first 60 years

Peter Tatchell highlights: the first 60 years

The start of a three-part interview with gay activist Peter Tatchell, who is 60 tomorrow; including the moment he tried to arrest President Mugabe
No thumbnail available

Four female couples file federal lawsuit to challenge Idaho's gay marriage ban

Plaintiffs include university instructors, teacher of deaf children and a military veteran
No thumbnail available

The surrogate mom who decided to only carry children for gay men

One Californian mom explains why she regards surrogacy, and helping gay men to become dads, as her own form of ‘Uterine Activism’
No thumbnail available

Pope says gay people are not fully developed humans

Head of the Catholic Church says family is threatened by a 'defection in human nature'
No thumbnail available

GSN and G-A-Y debate calls for 'back to basics' gay pride in London

Demands for audit of Pride London finances to prevent repeat of this year's cash crisis which led to heavily scaled back event
No thumbnail available

Colorado passes civil unions bill in 39-26 vote

Governor John Hickenlooper to sign into law
No thumbnail available

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander 'wouldn't mind' having gay teammate

But says 'walking around nude, or whatever' in locker room could be tricky for some
No thumbnail available

TV psychic Sally Morgan fires anti-gay husband: 'I am a gay icon'

Medium says she cannot see the future when it comes to her marriage
No thumbnail available

Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry will air pro-marriage ad during Republican convention

Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry TV spot highlights pro-marriage Republicans will run during GOP convention