Pakistani actor Veena Malik has announced her support for gay marriage.
The star of Pakistani and Indian films, and contestant in the Indian version of Big Brother, Bigg Boss, said:
‘I openly support the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and I don’t feel shy about doing it,’ reported The Express Tribune.
Malik added that ‘every person has the right to live their life’ and asked:
‘If US President Barack Obama and Hollywood beauties can stand up for gay marriage, why can’t every citizen support this cause?’
On Twitter, Malik was hailed as the first Pakistani celebrity to publicly support gay marriage. In Pakistan the colonial British laws that criminalise homosexuality, which were repealed in India in 2009, still exist.
Reactions to her statement were mostly positive but one tweeter said: ‘she is taking all the shortcuts to become famous’.
The Girl Dictionary tweeted: ‘People may hate you for being different & not living by society's standards, but deep down, they wish they had the courage to do the same.’