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Malaysia's Mahathir Says Asia Won't Follow West on LGBT Rights

  • Newly-elected leader says west has shunned traditional family
  • Comments contrast with Asia’s general pro-LGBT legal reforms
Mahathir Mohamad
Mahathir MohamadPhotographer: Samsul Said/Bloomberg

Going against a growing tide of legal reforms sweeping across the region, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Asia didn’t need to "copy" the west in accepting its lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender citizens.

Mahathir said western countries were disregarding the traditional family unit by allowing gay marriages and permitting gay couples to adopt children. His comments come after India’s Supreme Court struck down a 158-year-old colonial-era law banning gay sex, Australia legalized same-sex marriage and a Hong Kong court granted visa rights to same-sex expatriate couples in Asia’s premier financial hub.