Malaysia's highest court rejected an appeal by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim against a 2014 sodomy conviction and upheld a five-year prison term that will likely end a political career marked by controversy.
A man who brought the first constitutional challenge against the ban on sodomy in Malaysia and who was appealing against his conviction of 60 years in jail and 22 strokes of rotan for sodomising a 14-year-old male lost his appeal.
Dr Kua Kia Soong, director of SUARAM or Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Voice of the Malaysian People), issued a press statement calling on "progressive Malaysians, political parties and organisations to stand up for the rights of all LGBT and the abolition of our outdated sodomy laws."
Ahead of the biennial 2009 Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit to be held Nov 27-29, representatives of gay groups from ten countries including Singapore, Malaysia and India are attending a parallel conference called the Commonwealth People's Forum with the aim of campaigning for the repeal of sodomy laws - a very common feature of ex-British colonies. Alex Au writes from Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.
Upholding a lower court ruling, Hong Kong's highest court has ruled that the territory's laws which applies specifically to gay men but not heterosexuals "for the same or comparable conduct" is unconstitutional and discriminatory.
Never enacted in the United Kingdom, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and its identical twins in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore and other former colonies was for export only, says professor emeritus of law Douglas Sanders.