In a strongly Muslim country the court is given us a victory…
Malaysia: Court Victory for Transgender RightsNow let’s see if the court’s ruling is followed or will it be ignored.
‘Cross-Dressing’ Ban Ruled Unconstitutional
Human Rights Watch
November 7, 2014
(New York) – A Malaysian appeals court ruling that a ban on cross-dressing was unconstitutional is an important victory for the rights of transgender people in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today.
On November 7, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Putrajaya Court of Appeal said that a state Sharia-law ban on cross-dressing was “degrading, oppressive and inhuman” and that so long as it was in force, transgender people “will continue to live in uncertainty, misery and indignity.”
Muslims, who according to government statistics make up about 60 percent of Malaysia’s population, are subject to state-level Sharia (Islamic law) ordinances, in addition to the federal criminal law. Since the 1980s, every state has passed Sharia criminal enactments that institutionalize discrimination against transgender people. All 13 Malaysian states prohibit Muslim men from “dressing as women,” while three states also criminalize “women posing as men.” The laws, enforced by state Islamic Religious Departments, do not define what constitutes transgender dressing or posing.
“This ruling puts the Malaysian government on notice that all laws discriminating against transgender people could be unconstitutional,” Dittrich said. “The government urgently needs to scrap its discriminatory laws and protect transgender people. The authorities, like the court, should recognize that transgender people have the same rights as all Malaysians.”