The women, who are 32 and 22, pleaded guilty after sharia enforcement officials in the northeastern state of Terengganu found them having sex in a car with a dildo, according to local news outlet Sinar Harian.
They are set to be caned on August 28.
Judge Kamalruazmi Ismail told the women that “adequate punishment must be meted out so that this becomes a lesson and reminder to not just the two of you, but to members of society.”
Justice For Sisters (JFS), a Malaysian LGBT+ rights group, called the punishment “a gross violation” of the women’s “dignity and human rights.”
In a statement on the grassroots organisation’s blog, it added that “the erroneous and prejudicial sentence… amounts to torture.”
It was against Malaysian and international law to impose such a sentence, the group argued.
“The role of the court is to ensure justice is served and upheld, not to increase victimisation of persons based on personal prejudice,” the statement said.
“Punishment cannot be used as lessons for society. Punishment as a means to serve as lessons for others unfairly exploits and burdens the individuals with severe punishments as stand-ins for others.
“Such prejudicial thinking can dangerously allow for the abuse of power and exploitation of innocent people, perpetuating injustices.”
JFS continued: “Criminalisation of consensual sex between adults is a gross violation of human rights, and Malaysia has been called to review and repeal laws that criminalise LGBTQ persons based on consensual sexual acts in many international human rights forums.
“Consensual sex acts between adults is not a crime.”
The Universiti Sains Malaysia, based on the island of Penang, advertised the competition as “a campaign to invite friends who have [a] disorder in [their] sexual orientation to return to their natural nature in a worthwhile way.”
This was after Seth’s Southern Baptist parents discovered he was secretly gay.
“I was writing a paper, and my dad decided to check my phone late in the evening,” he told NBC
“He found a damning photograph of me and another guy. Nothing inappropriate, but it clearly indicated that I was gay.”
After his parents interrogated him about his sexuality until 4:30am, it wasn’t long before he was forced into therapy aimed at changing his sexuality.
“They sent me to a Christian counsellor,” he said. “It was clear that their intent was for me to walk out of therapy straight.”
He added: “It was not like a conversion camp, but it was definitely awkward conversion therapy where they tried encouraging stereotypical masculine tasks and things like that.”
Seth convinced his parents to let him leave the therapy after a few months, but in February, during his crucial senior year, their vocal intolerance reached new levels.
“I mean, there was just incident after incident,” he said. “They talked very negatively about the LGBTQ+ community. They said that gay people would not serve in the church.
“Then they were talking about transgender people as though they weren’t human, and that really, really bothered me.”
After numerous arguments, his parents gave him an ultimatum: go to their anti-gay church, or leave their home.
He couldn’t choose any other option but to leave – but he still had hope that his parents wouldn’t go through with it.
“The worst part was I was packing my bags, and I was walking out the door, and I was hoping that my mum would stand in my way,” remembered Seth.
“I was hoping that she would say: ‘I love my child more than I love my religion.’”
She didn’t, meaning that the teenager had to spend the next months sleeping at friends’ houses and working full-time to support himself while he completed high school with a 4.16 GPA.
And when the Georgetown acceptance letter came through, there was more pain in store for Seth, who realised that his financial aid package had been put together with the expectation that his family would contribute.
“I started to cry, because I realised there was no way that I could go to college,” said the 18-year-old. “Georgetown was my only option, because I had already denied my other acceptances.”
It was then that his former teacher and mentor Martin, whose same-sex wedding Seth attended as the ring bearer, stepped in.
On June 18, she started a GoFundMe page with a target of $20,000 and the message that “I know the goal seems unrealistic and the circumstances aren’t ideal, but I also know communities can make the impossible possible.
“It’s Pride Month and rainbows abound around the world. Help me bring a rainbow in the midst of Seth’s storm.”
The community responded – and how. The goal has been smashed more than three times over as people have rushed to help Seth live out his dream.
There have been nine gifts of $1,000 or more – plus a $500 donation from Martin herself – but the figure has been reached through community spirit.
“After we had hit $2,000, Seth was just like, ‘I’m so surprised that people, like, actually care about me,’” Martin said.
“He has had so much support and so many people reach out and say ‘You’re not alone,’ and ‘It gets better,’ all of the things that we all need to hear when we’re queer teenagers and are suffering,” she added.
“I’m just excited for him to have this community literally come around and put all of our arms together and bring him up and raise him up for the first time.”
Seth responded to the tsunami of support on the GoFundMe page, writing: “I simply cannot say thank you to you all enough. My dreams have come true because of you all.
“Through this entire process of sharing my story, I have been shown by an abundance of loving and generous people that Jacksonville is a place of growth and support.
“I appreciate that you all have given me the reassurance to live authentically and the ability to continue to be relentless and tenacious in pursuing my dreams,” he added.
“Your passionate response to my situation reassures me that Jacksonville (and our country) will not tolerate injustices towards the LGBTQ+ community.
“Since this story became public, I have had numerous people reach out to me and say that they are going through similar situations.
“Unfortunately, this is still a problem in Jacksonville (and across the country) for many people, not just me.
“So, I ask that you all continue to be allies in whatever capacity, not just for the LGBTQ+ community, but for all marginalised groups.”
The teenager said he was “forever grateful to you all for making my lifelong dream of attending college possible.”
Next month, he will move to Washington DC to join Georgetown’s Class of 2022.
Last month, San Francisco’s LGBT+ community held a celebratory funeral for trans student Daine Grey, who took his own life, after crowdfunding more than $25,000 – including a donation from celebrity chef Nigella Lawson – to pay for the costs.
The Delaware law also stops the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families from directing families to conversion therapy, according to The Hill.
The bill was voted through the state Senate by 12-3 in May 2017, and the state House passed it by a vote of 24-14 last month.
Democratic Representative Debra Heffernan, one of the bill’s sponsors, welcomed the news, saying: “Conversion Therapy is pseudoscience and child endangerment, plain and simple.”
The Human Rights Campaign’s national press secretary Sarah McBride, who is from Delaware, said: “So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is dangerous, cruel and uniformly rejected by every major mental health and child welfare organisation.
“Today’s signing is a critical step forward in the fight to ensure that Delaware is a safe and affirming state for all LGBTQ youth, and we hope that the values and progress reflected in this law guide the ongoing conversation in Delaware about protecting LGBTQ students from discrimination.”
Mark Purpura, a board member of Equality Delaware, hailed the law, saying: “This bill sends an important message that a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity is neither capable of being changed nor does it need to be changed, and efforts to try to do so in the name of therapy have no place in our state.
“Instead, we should strive to understand and support each child’s unique personal identity to better empower them to thrive in school, at home, and in our community.”
Writing on Twitter, Governor Carney said: “All Delawareans, including Delaware children, deserve to be respected for who they are, and I was proud to sign Senate Bill 65 into law today.
“Discredited practices like conversion therapy have no place in Delaware.
I’m thankful for the legislators and advocates who moved SB 65 forward.
Thank you specifically to Rep. Heffernan and Sen. McDowell for their leadership on this important issue, and to all members of the General Assembly who voted to make this new law a reality. pic.twitter.com/vQi3Mj4bbK
The EU body voted by 435 to 109 to adopt text calling on member states to outlaw the discredited practice.
It says: “[The European Parliament] welcomes initiatives prohibiting LGBTI conversion therapies and banning the pathologisation of trans identities and urges all Member States to adopt similar measures that respect and uphold the right to gender identity and gender expression.”
It was the first time the Parliament had made the specific disavowal of conversion therapies.
Avalos, who suffered head injuries and had cigarette burns all over his corpse, told the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Families before his death that he had been beaten, locked up and left unfed.
When Sean Cole, 29, discovered that his eleven-year-old son “compromising position” with another boy, he told his 20-year-old girlfriend Khadeijah Moore to perform sex acts on his son when he visited his home on Thanksgiving.
And the Seattle judge has once again stood in Trump’s way, handing down a ruling on June 15 which rejected the administration’s request to stop most trans people from serving while it appeals her order from April, which created an injunction on instituting the ban.
In her latest ruling, she wrote: “The status quo shall remain ‘steady as she goes,’ and the preliminary injunction shall remain in full force and effect nationwide.”
Pechman added that “because transgender people have long been subjected to systemic oppression and forced to live in silence, they are a protected class.
“Therefore, any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care.”
The judge also said the government needed to demonstrate that the proposed ban “was sincerely motivated by compelling interests, rather than by prejudice or stereotype, and that it is narrowly tailored to achieve those interests.”
Trans troops and activists welcomed the decision, with Lambda Legal senior attorney Peter Renn saying: “Yet again, the Trump Administration has tried to implement and expedite discrimination, and yet again, the court has said no.
“You would think the administration would get tired of all the losing, and more importantly, would read the writing on the wall and abandon this discriminatory and harmful scheme to prevent brave and qualified transgender people from serving their country.”
In the 11 months since the President’s inflammatory series of tweets made thousands of troops fear that their livelihoods were in danger, his trans ban has been held up by legal challenges and judges’ rulings, and has been roundly condemned by human rights groups, as well as a series of politicians and military figures.
The statement from the White House agreed with the ideas outlined in a memo by Defence Secretary James Mattis, who said there were “substantial risks” associated with trans servicepeople.
The Defence Secretary said that permitting some of them to serve would mean exempting them from a series of mental, physical and sex-based standards.
He added that it “could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality.”
In a similar vein, lawyers representing the government told Pechman that stopping a ban on trans people means the military has “to adhere to a policy it has concluded poses substantial risks,” but the federal judge rejected this argument.
She pointed out that General Mark Milley, the Army’s chief of staff, had informed the Senate Armed Services Committee that he’d received “precisely zero” reports of any issues with trans servicepeople.
She said that Hogg, who recently led a successful die-in campaign against Publix over its support of a National Rifle Association-backed candidate for Governor, had expressed strong support for the event.
Fugleberg, who is arranging the die-in with fellow activist Frank Kravchuk, started planning it less than two weeks ago, in conjunction with a march on June 11 in Orlando led by Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf.
In the space of 10 days, the campaign has attracted more than 1,000 followers on Twitter, with attention on the event expected to ramp up in the coming days.
n terms of where she stands on gun control, Fugleberg said: “I’d like to see universal background checks, which right now are not great considering the Pulse shooter was able to acquire guns when he’d been on an FBI watch list.”
And according to local publication The Nation, Thailand may beat Taiwan to that deadline.
The justice minister is set to present the final draft of the bill to the Cabinet for approval after a subcommittee is done with creating it, a source at the ministry’s Rights and Liberties Protection Department said.
It is expected to be passed before the next general election, which is set to be held in February 2019.
Oklahoma lawmakers have voted in favour of a bill which enable adoption and foster agencies to reject same-sex couples because of their religious beliefs.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 1140 on April 26, after the bill had been passed by the state Senate on March 13.
If Republican Governor Mary Fallin signs it into law, the legislation will come into affect on November 1 this year.
The bill says that “no private childplacing agency receiving neither federal nor state funds shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”
But many states have tried to find ways around this ruling, mostly through the idea that there should be a religious exception for people and agencies who believe LGB people should not be parents because of their faith.
Including Oklahoma, eight states – including Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia – have managed to pass a law of this kind, which stops same-sex couples from fostering or adopting kids.
GLAAD’s vice president of programmes Zeke Stokes condemned the legislation, saying: “This bill is heartless and un-American.
“No qualified parent should be turned away from adoption or foster agencies simply because they are LGBTQ.”
Stokes called the bill an “attempt to write anti-LGBTQ discrimination into law at the expense of the state’s youth in need of loving and supportive homes.”
The US is currently embroiled in a battle between so-called religious liberty and LGBT people that centres on whether homophobic Christians should have the ability to discriminate against gay people.
The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, but never saw the light of day in the House or Senate, with several attempts to attach it to other prospective laws failing. Eventually, time ran out for its supporters, with the legislative session ending on March 30.
Oklahoma already has anti-LGBT legislation on the books, as one of several states with a so-called ‘no promo homo’ law which prohibits teachers in publicly funded schools from discussing LGBT issues in the classroom.
Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas have similar laws.
That study, which had 2,300 respondents, found that women were 33 percent more likely to orgasm when they were having sex with another woman.
The newly released results were discovered by Arielle Kuperberg – an associate professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro – and Alicia M. Walker, assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University.
Published in Archives of Sexual Behaviour, “Heterosexual College Students Who Hookup with Same-Sex Partners” listed some characteristics of people who would have sexual relations with same-sex partners but continue to self-identify as straight.
Tellingly, these included “more conservative attitudes.”
The researchers also found that there were distinct types of stright people who would engage in gay sex.
Three types,” they explained, “comprising 60% of students, could be classified as mostly private sexual experimentation among those with little prior same-sex experience, including some who did not enjoy the encounter.”
But, Kuperberg and Walker continued, “the other two types in this group enjoyed the encounter, but differed on drunkenness and desire for a future relationship with their partner.”
They said that though some of the hookups were explained away as “performative bisexuality” by women, this factor made up a small minority of the students – just 12 percent, in fact.
More than one in four – 28 percent – had “strong religious practices and/or beliefs that may preclude a non-heterosexual identity, including 7 percent who exhibited ‘internalised heterosexism.’”