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The country's strict new laws were announced in 2014, and have been rolled out gradually.The latest phase of implementation, including the brutal new provisions, was quietly announced on the Brunei attorney general's website on December 29, 2018."Brunei must immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments, and revise its Penal Code in compliance with its human rights obligations.
A new statement from the office of Brunei's Prime Minister says the country has "always been practicing a dual legal system, one that is based on the Syariah (Shariah) Law and the other on Common Law."The two systems will run in parallel starting April 3, the statement said, and will "maintain peace and order and preserve religion, life, family and individuals regardless of gender, nationality, race and faith.""The Syariah Law, apart from criminalizing and deterring acts that are against the teachings of Islam, it also aims to educate, respect and protect the legitimate rights of all individuals, society or nationality of any faiths and race." The new penal code was announced in May 2014, by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, who also acts as the country's prime minister.
In a controversial referendum in November last year, 67% voted to reject same-sex marriage.
Tens of thousands of people braved pouring rain Friday to demonstrate in favor of same-sex marriage outside the parliament, as lawmakers began voting on three draft bills, one tabled by the island's Cabinet -- which would ultimately prove successful -- and two watered-down rival bills tabled by conservative groups.
Last year, two men accused of being gay received 87 lashes for gay sex in the country's conservative Aceh province.
Tens of thousands of celebrators gathered outside Taiwan’s parliament on May 17, waving rainbow flags as the island’s government became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
Leaders weren’t the only ones talking about the news: posts about Taiwan’s law trended on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo, attracting over 100 million views.