Malaysian health officials to amend gay ‘prevention’ contest

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian officials who launched a controversial video contest offering $1,000 cash prizes to explain how to “prevent” homosexuality have agreed to remove offending wording after widespread opposition, a LGBT activist said Friday. The competition sparked a backlash from activists who said such a move would further spread fear among Malaysia’s LGBT community. Contestants were invited to submit a short video clip addressing various categories, including homosexuality or “gender confusion,” and offering suggestions as to how these could be “prevented or controlled” as well as “issues and consequences.” But Nisha Ayub, Malaysia’s leading LGBT activist, said after a meeting with ministry officials on Wednesday, that “we all agreed that anything to do with LGBT ‘prevention’ will be removed.” The category of “gender confusion” will also be changed to “gender and sexuality”, she added. Earlier in the week, Human Rights Watch criticized the contest and called on the ministry to “clarify to the Malaysian public that sexual and gender diversity cannot be ‘prevented’ or ‘controlled’.”

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