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Malaysian Prime Minister Has Homophobic Episode

Report: Gay Priests Mistreat Women

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

Malaysian Prime Minister
Has Homophobic Episode

Mahathir Mohamad The prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, told BBC Radio 4 that if gay British officials come to Malaysia with their boyfriends, they will be sent packing.

"British people accept homosexual ministers, but if they ever come here, bringing their boyfriend along, we'll throw them out," he said November 1.

Britain has had two openly gay Cabinet ministers -- former culture secretary Chris Smith and agriculture secretary Nick Brown -- and at least seven openly gay members of Parliament. In addition, the current Foreign Office minister whose portfolio includes Malaysia, Ben Bradshaw, is openly gay.

Mahathir fired his deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, in 1998, accusing him of having gay sex. Anwar was convicted of engaging in sodomy and sent to prison for 15 years. Anwar says he was framed because Mahathir feared he was scheming to replace him.

The maximum punishment for having gay sex in Malaysia is 20 years in jail and a flogging.

Britain's Smith has been openly gay for more than a decade. Brown came out Nov. 7, 1998, to preempt plans by an ex-boyfriend to tell their story to the media.

Another cabinet minister, Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, resigned after being mugged in 1998 while cruising for male sex on London's Clapham Common. Shortly thereafter, Times of London columnist Matthew Parris outed Trade Secretary Peter Mandelson on BBC2-TV's Newsnight program. Mandelson later resigned in an unrelated scandal.
Report: Gay Priests Mistreat Women

Closeted gay priests and other members of "the old-boy network" mistreat female priests in the Church of England, the Independent reported October 25.

The claims come from the Group for the Rescinding of the Act of Synod (GRAS). That 1993 act allows traditionalists in the Anglican Church the freedom to believe that female ordination is invalid.

The women priests allegedly have been called "witches," given the cold shoulder, and passed over for promotions.

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
Malaysia's Anwar Launches Police Brutality Suit

Malaysian Sodomy Trial Update

Priests with AIDS Dying - Four Times More Likely Than Others

Related Sites:
BBC Profile: Mahathir Mohamad
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"One would be really blinding oneself if one did not recognize that, within the church, there is a group of gay men who feel incredibly uncomfortable about women and seem to be setting up a world in which women do not exist," said Monica Furlong, author of the GRAS report.

Another GRAS activist, the Reverend Mary Robins, said that closeted, misogynist gay priests "came to work in the church because they wanted a woman-free world and now the poor things find that we are here."

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