Seksualiti Merdeka not a ‘free sex party’, says Marina

(The Star) – Seksualiti Merdeka is about discussion and spreading awareness on the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LBGT) community and not a free sex party, said Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

Marina, who has launched the event the past two years, said she was upset with the unfair reporting by certain quarters, portraying the event as a “pesta seks bebas”.

“In the past two years, the event was held without a hitch. It only discussed human rights from the LBGT (lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender) community,” said Marina.

She added that the event was filled with talks and activities to spread awareness on the LBGT and also sexual orientation.

She said this after police recorded statements from former Bar Council president Datuk S. Ambiga, Tenaganita executive director Irene Fernandez, Empower Malaysia executive director Maria Chin Abdullah, and Seksualiti Merdeka co-founder Pang Khee Teik.

All of them had their statements taken at the Tenaganita office here Sunday.

Ambiga said the LBGT community is a minority that faces discrimination daily and such irresponsible reporting could cause more harm than good.

“The Mak Nyah (transexuals) are one of the minorities, who face a lot of discrimination and some of them even get beaten up for being themselves.

“I am seriously concerned that labelling them negatively can lead to them being abused more frequently,” she said adding that she would take legal action if such reporting continued.

Pang said he would meet with Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar in the next three days to clarify the intentions of the event.

“We are not a perhimpunan haram (illegal gathering) or a pesta seks bebas like certain quarters have suggested,” he said.

Seksualiti Merdeka, an event organised by a coalition of NGOs, artistes, activists and individuals, have described themselves as “Malaysia’s only festival celebrating the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientation”.

The event has been held annually since 2008, and was supposed to host a series of activities to last until Nov 13 at the Annexe Gallery of Central Market here.