Cyprus Mail

UK band The 1975 cancels Indonesia, Taiwan shows after Malaysia LGBT controversy

file photo: the brit awards at the o2 arena in london
FILE PHOTO: The 1975 perform at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

British band The 1975 said on Sunday they have cancelled shows in Taiwan and Muslim-majority Indonesia, a day after Malaysia banned them from performing there after their frontman kissed a bandmate on stage and criticised the country’s anti-LGBT laws.

“Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, it is impossible to proceed with the scheduled shows,” the pop rock group said in a statement, without elaborating.

Malaysia’s government halted a music festival in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Saturday and barred The 1975 after what it called “disrespectful actions”.

Homosexuality is a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Rights groups have warned of growing intolerance against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The events on Friday in Malaysia caused an uproar, angering not only the government, but members of the LGBT community, who said frontman Matty Healy’s actions could expose LGBT people to more stigma and discrimination.

The 1975 were due to play on Sunday in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, where homosexuality is a taboo subject, though not illegal except in sharia-ruled Aceh province.

Other LGBT-related events have also been cancelled in Indonesia due to objections from Islamic groups, including a planned visit last December by a U.S. LGBT special envoy, and the scrapping this month of a Southeast Asia LGBT event. Both came after pressure from religious conservatives.

It was not immediately clear why the band cancelled their July 25 show in Taiwan, which has a proud reputation as a bastion of LGBT rights and liberalism, including allowing same-sex marriage in 2019.

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