Malaysian court rules against gay rights activists seeking to challenge ban on arts festival

Reposted from The Washington Post:

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s High Court on Thursday dismissed a bid by activists to challenge a police ban on a gay arts festival, in a rare legal case involving gay rights in the Muslim-majority nation.

Organizers of the “Sexual Independence” festival had hoped to overturn a ban imposed last November on the event, which would have featured musical performances, talks on sexuality issues and a poster exhibition.

The festival was meant to promote dialogue about gay issues in the socially conservative Southeast Asian country, where a young gay man received death threats in 2010 after posting a YouTube clip defending his sexuality.

Police ordered activists to scrap the event after Muslim organizations said it would disrupt public order.

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