Kuala Lumpur Bans Pride Celebration After Complaints By Religious Groups

Religious leaders condemned the festival for being held during Ramadan.

An LGBT pride festival scheduled for next month in Kuala Lumpur was cancelled by organizers this week in the face of criticism from religious groups.

“Courage in the Face of Adversity” was organized by students at Taylor’s University, a private school located in Subang Jaya, a suburb of the Malaysian capital.

taylor's university
Taylor's University

The event was to last three days and include movie screenings, a public forum, open mic performances and a pride march through the campus.

However, once a group of pro-Islamist bloggers found out that the festival would be taking place during Ramadan, they became furious and insisted that students cancel it.

Organizers eventually bent to their demands and cancelled the Pride fest. As of this writing, no one has stepped forward to speak out against the cancellation.

It’s not surprising that students would remain quiet on the issue as homosexuality is still criminalized throughout the country and LGBT rights are all but nonexistent. This past February, the government released a video promoting the use of conversion therapy on suspected gay citizens.

SINGAPORE - JUNE 13:  Participants dress in various shades of pink pose for a photo during the ?Pink Dot SG? event at Hong Lim Park on June 13, 2015 in Singapore. Pink Dot SG is Singapore's annual rally to support the Freedom to Love regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, entering its seventh consecutive year at Hong Lim Park with this year's Ambassadors, Corporate Sponsors, 2015 Campaign Video, and a fresh line-up for the Pink Dot Concert. Singapore has been shrouded in controversy over its approach to same sex relationships with an all out ban on same sex relationships between men.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Shaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Malaysia’s neighbor to the south Singapore has also faced some Pride-related woes this year, with its government vowing to block foreign funding from the country’s annual Pink Dot Rally. Thankfully, local businesses came together to cover the expenses and the event will go on as planned this July.

Earlier this week, LGBT activists held Lebanon’s first ever Pride celebration, which included a workshop on staying safe online, an exhibition on gender-fluid fashion and a coming-out storytelling event.

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