by Rex Wockner
Malaysia’s National Fatwa Council issued a fatwa banning lesbian sex and “tomboyism” Oct. 23.
“It is unacceptable to see women who love the male lifestyle, including dressing in the clothes men wear,” said council chairman Abdul Shukor Husin. “(It) becomes clearer when they start to have sex with someone of the same gender, that is woman and woman. (We) have decided … that such acts are forbidden and banned.”
Malaysia’s civil law bans gay-male sex under penalty of up to 20 years in jail, but not lesbian sex. The country has a parallel Shariah law system for Muslims. For the moment, the lesbian fatwa is an edict rather than a full-blown law under the Shariah system.
Section 377A of the civil penal code bans “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” which is defined as insertion of the penis into another’s anus or mouth.
About 60 percent of Malaysia’s 25 million residents are Muslim, predominantly ethnic Malays. About 19 percent are Buddhist, 9 percent Christian, 6 percent Hindu, and 2.6 percent practitioners of Confucianism, Taoism or another traditional Chinese religion.