Malaysia drops ‘educating’ parents how to spot LGBT traits, will teach gay ‘prevention’Bottom Highlights Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
Malaysian Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi said the government plans to go ahead with an effort to “prevent, overcome and correct symptoms of homosexuality in children,” but won’t – as it had planned to do prior to an international uproar in many western countries – publish a list of identifying characteristics for spotting potentially LGBT offspring.
“There will be no published guidelines to identify gay and lesbian traits,” a local news report quoted the minister as saying.
But the minister did not discuss the steps the government would take or instruct parents to take in order to “correct” or “prevent” homosexuality.
LGBT as well as other civil and human rights groups expressed their dismay and surprise that the federal government in Malaysia had announced that it was in possession of an index of homosexual traits identifiable in “at-risk” children, which it would distribute to parents in order to help them head off their children’s potential homosexuality.
LGBT rights groups cried foul, imploring the government to reconsider its entire plan. They had hoped officials would chuck the entire program into the dustbin. At stake, opponents said, is the threat of increasing discrimination and even violence against LGBT Malaysians.
The Education Ministry subsequently denied endorsing the list.
Said Mr Mohd Puad: “There are no such published guidelines and I was only invited to officiate these events (seminars on handling LGBT issues) by the non-government organisations involved.
“We in the Ministry of Education look at this LGBT issue seriously, and all we wish to do is to educate people, parents especially, on how to overcome this issue, how to prevent it as well as early corrective measures.”
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