Ricky Sim’s SM article was featured on the International Section of New York Lesbian/Gay Law Notes October 2013 issue. The text is reproduced here.
MALAYSIA – A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal ruled that a decision by police to ban a Sexuality Festival that had been held without incident for several years was not subject to judicial review, according to a report in New Straits Times.
The activity, named Seksualiti Merdaka, was an annual festival celebrating human rights of people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity, and promoted LGBT rights in Malaysia. The police ruling was evidently made in response to complaints about the event by faith-based organizations.
The police contended that the festival was “deviationist activity” that could destroy “the practice of religious freedom<’ that it could create disharmony, enmity and disturb public order and threatened national security. There was no proof as to any of these allegations, but they were accepted by the court.
The court said that a ruling now on the police decision to ban the event in 2011 was “academic,” inasmuch as the festival went on for two days with official approval.
An extensive discussion of issues raised by the decision by Brooklyn Law School student Ricky Sim, who interned as a Human Rights Fellow in Malaysia during the summer, can be found in a blog posting: http://www.loyarburok.com/2013/09/03/seksualiti-merdeka-judicial-review-part-1-do-ask-tell-definition-deviationist-activity/.
Full version of New York Lesbian/Gay Law Notes – October 2013 issue.