Brunei claims anti-gay law is intended to ‘prevent’ rather than punish
Brunei foreign minister Erywan Yusof has claimed the country’s new anti-gay laws—under which gay sex is punishable by death—would focus “more on prevention than punishment.”
In a letter to the United Nations, Yusof claimed that the laws would aim to “educate, deter, rehabilitate and nurture.”
Brunei: foreign minister claims the laws will protect their ‘traditional, religious and cultural values’
In the letter, Yusof said the laws are intended to preserve Brunei’s “traditional, religious and cultural values.” He claimed the laws are not man-made, but are “ordained by Allah.”
He argued that gay people would be unlikely to be stoned to death under the laws due to the “extremely high evidentiary threshold.” He said a gay man will be sentenced to death by stoning if two or four men “of high moral standing” can say they have “no doubt at all” about the claims made against him.
“It must be appreciated that the diversities in cultural, traditional and religious values in the world means that there is no one standard that fits all.”
– Brunei foreign minister Erywan Yusof
He said the laws would only apply to Muslims, but also said that others could be tried under the laws if they were found to have had gay sex with a Muslim.
Elsewhere in the letter, Yusof—without any irony—claimed that Brunei strongly rejects acts of torture and said they were committed to human rights.
He also argued that Brunei is a safe haven for women where their rights are promoted and respected, and said they have opportunities in healthcare, education and employment that they don’t have elsewhere.
“It must be appreciated that the diversities in cultural, traditional and religious values in the world means that there is no one standard that fits all,” Yusof said.
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