Success: Cross Dressing Ban Found Unconstitutional


Target: Justice Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus

Goal: Applaud decision to rule ‘cross dressing ban’ unconstitutional

In a landmark victory for transgender rights in Malaysia, an appeals court recently ruled that a ban on cross-dressing was unconstitutional. A three-judge panel at the Putrajaya Court of Appeal stated that a state Sharia-law ban on cross-dressing was ‘degrading, oppressive and inhuman.’

A previous Force Change petition brought to light the injustices and prejudice faced by many transgender Malaysian’s, from discrimination in accessing employment and health care, to abuse and sexual assault. The case was filed by trans women in Malaysia who sought to challenge a section of Sharia law which says that it is illegal for a man to wear women’s attire or pose as a woman in a public place.

The ban was continually abused by Malaysia’s Religious Department, which used it as a way to discriminate against and unlawfully arrest trans people, lesbians and gay men. Justice Datuk Yunus advocated fiercely in opposition to the ban, telling the prosecution that it violated the appellants’ rights to ‘live with dignity, earn a livelihood, and directly affects their freedom of movement, expression, and equal protection of the law.’

Previously, the LGBT community, particularly trans men and women, faced deplorable treatment and incredible barriers. Human Rights Watch’s 73-page report, “I’m Scared to Be a Woman,” documented government abuses and horrific stories of harassment and assault at the hands of Malaysian officials, Religious Department officials, and the police. Also, appeals court justices continued to support the ban, expressing that it helped curb homosexual desires, and prevent the spread of HIV.

Sign the petition to thank Justice Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus for making Malaysia’s cross-dressing ban unconstitutional.


Dear Justice Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus,

I would like to thank you for your significant efforts in the fight for LGBT rights in Malaysia. For far too long the country’s LGBT community has faced, prejudice, discrimination, abuse, unlawful apprehension and fierce opposition while simply trying to live their lives and be who they are.

I wholeheartedly support your decision in making the cross-dressing ban unconstitutional, and for realizing that the religious Sharia law was nothing but a draconian and ignorant attempt at treating LGBT people like second-class citizens.

Your efforts deserve to be lauded, and as an LGBT supporter and advocate I extend my appreciation for this victorious accomplishment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Zscout370 via Wikimedia

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