‘Pink Pinky’ campaign seeks repeal of Myanmar anti-gay law

Advocates for LGBT rights in Myanmar are waging a “pink pinky” campaign against the country’s colonial-era anti-gay law.
Advocacy for LGBT rights in Myanmar. (Photo courtesy of France 24)

Agence France-Presse reported:

Swe Zin Htet is a supporter of the Pink Pinky repeal campaign. The first openly lesbian Miss Universe competitor, she won last year’s  Miss Universe Myanmar contest.  (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

LGBT activists in Myanmar campaigning to decriminalise same-sex relations are urging thousands of people to paint their little finger pink as they try to highlight the issue ahead of elections later this year.

Although space is opening up for the LGBT community in the conservative country, same-sex relations are still illegal, a legacy of former colonial power Britain.

At the “pink pinky” campaign launch on Wednesday — held ahead of a Pride party in Yangon this weekend expected to attract more than 10,000 people — rights groups called for the ban to be repealed and for an anti-discrimination law to be enacted.

Fronting the movement is Myanmar’s Miss Universe contestant, who came out publicly as lesbian late last year — the first to do so in the event’s history.

“We need legal protection, we need legal recognition and we need legal reform,” Hla Myat Tun, deputy director of the group Colors Rainbow, told AFP.

This year’s Pride is the country’s sixth edition and biggest so far, spanning three weekends and multiple locations across the commercial hub, with organisers calling for attendees to show support with their hands.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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