The Malaysian government has begun holding seminars aiming to help teachers and parents spot signs of homosexuality in children, underscoring a rise in religious conservatism in the Muslim majority nation.

So far, the Teachers Foundation of Malaysia has organized 10 seminars across the nation. Attendance at the last event on Wednesday reached 1,500 people, a spokesman for the organization said.

“It is a multi-religious and multicultural (event), after all, all religions are basically against that type of behavior,” said the official.

The federal government said in March that it is working to curb the “problem” of homosexuality, especially among Muslims who make up over 60 percent of Malaysia’s 29 million people.

According to a handout issued at a recent seminar, signs of homosexuality in boys may include preferences for tight, light coloured clothes and large handbags.

For girls, the details were less clear. Girls with lesbian tendencies have no affection for men and like to hang out and sleep in the company of women, the reports said.

Malaysia frowns on oral and gay sex, describing them as against the order of nature. Under civil law, offenders – male and female – can be jailed for up to 20 years, caned or fined.

Actual prosecutions are rare, although former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has twice been tried for sodomy, in cases he called political conspiracies.

He spent six years in jail, but the courts have since cleared him on appeal or dropped charges for lack of evidence.

Official intolerance of gays has been on the rise. Last year, despite widespread criticism, the east coast state of Terengganu set up a camp for “effeminate” boys to show them how to become men.

The latest seminar for the teachers and parents was run by deputy education minister Puad Zarkashi, his office confirmed.

Zarkashi said that being able to identify the signs will help contain the spread of the unhealthy lifestyle among the young, especially students.

“Youths are easily influenced by websites and blogs relating to LGBT groups,” he was quoted as saying, using the acronym for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“This can also spread among their friends. We are worried that this happens during schooling time.”

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Jim Wallace, the head of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) claims that smoking is healthier than the lifestyle that would be promoted by same-sex marriage.

Mr Wallace made the claim in a debate on marriage equality with Greens leader Christine Milne at the University of Tasmania.

Answering a question from a student on the relevance of his views, he said health statistics among the gay community were worse than those for smokers.

“I think we’re going to owe smokers a big apology when the homosexual community’s own statistics for its health – which it presents when it wants more money for health – are that is has higher rates of drug-taking, of suicide, it has the life of a male reduced by up to 20 years,” he told the audience.

“The life of smokers is reduced by something like seven to 10 years and yet we tell all our kids at school they shouldn’t smoke.”

After the debate, Mr Wallace said the figures saddened him.

Senator Milne accused the ACL of homophobia and said Christians should be more concerned with poverty than homosexuality.

Mr Wallace accused the Greens of demonising churches with “hate language” and caring more for trees than children.

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A gay couple claims in court that Continental Airlines workers humiliated them by taking a dildo from their luggage and taping it outside the bag for everyone in baggage claim to see.

Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger sued United Continental Holdings and Continental Airlines in Harris County Court Houston.

The men say they arrived in Houston from Costa Rica, retrieved their undisturbed checked luggage and after going through Customs rechecked their bags for a flight to Norfolk, Va.

“Upon arriving in Norfolk, plaintiffs exited the aircraft and went to the baggage claim area,” the complaint states.

“Plaintiffs’ bags were sent to the baggage carousel where plaintiffs discovered, to their horror, that a private sex toy had been removed from one of their bags, covered in a greasy foul-smelling substance and taped prominently to the top of their bag.

“Plaintiffs experienced extreme shock and horror when they observed the above-described bag and when observing the surprised and/or laughing faces of numerous onlookers in the baggage claim area.

Plaintiffs were experiencing such a high degree of shock and embarrassment that they felt compelled to call two friends to come to the airport to assist them.

Fortunately, the friends arrived and were able to assist plaintiffs out of the airport and to their home, but by that time the damage had already been done, and plaintiffs had suffered severe emotional trauma.”

The men claim the baggage handlers probably pulled the prank “because of the fact that the sex toy was contained in the bag of a male, and because the employee(s) responsible knew that the bag belonged to a male due to the name tag attached to the bag and the male clothing contained in the bag.”

They seek punitive damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and negligence.

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The popular cartoon character SpongeBob Squarepants is homosexual, according to a study by the National Commission for the protection of morality in Ukraine, the Ukrainian newspaper Ukraínskaya Pravda reported on Thursday.

The Commission has been studying some of the most popular animated series on Ukrainian television and is set to propose a countrywide ban on some of them, claiming they “present a real threat to children”.

Series like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Pokemon, The Teletubbies and Futurama are “projects aimed at the destruction of the family, and the promotion of drugs and other vices.”

Japanese Anime series are also, they say, “a clear example of sexist propaganda” according to an article published in one of Ukraine’s leading daily newspapers.

According to Irina Medvédeva, a psychologist quoted in the study, children aged between 3 and 5 years, after being exposed to such series, “pull faces and make jokes in front of adults they don’t know, laugh out loud and repeat nonsense phrases in a brazen manner.”

The report goes on to say that “The Teletubbies deliberately aims to create subnormal (men), who spend all day in front of the television with their mouths open swallowing all types of information,” behaviour which, it claims, complies with the “psychology of losers”.

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A former Teletubby has broken her silence to insist: Laa-Laa, Tinky Winky, Dipsy and Po weren’t gay.

Nikky Smedley, who played yellow-suited Laa-Laa, spoke out to rubbish claims smash hit children’s show Teletubbies was laced wih gay innuendo.

She said: “I think it’s embarrassing for the people who said it.

“What kind of person can take the obvious innocence and turn it into something else? We were hardly sexual beings.” Nikky, now working as a professional storyteller, last donned the famous furry outfit in 2007. During her ten years as Laa-Laa, the BBC show battled rumours of gay undertones.

In 1999, American cleric Jerry Falwell claimed Tinky Winky was a homosexual role model for children, based on the fact he wore purple and had a triangular antenna. Both are symbols in the gay pride movement.

Nikky, from Solihull but now living in Shipston on Stour, has rubbished the rumour-mill.

She’s proud of her part in the BBC blockbuster, but doesn’t miss it.

“I don’t pine for pink custard, if that’s what you mean,” said the 49-year-old.

“When the show was explained to me, I thought it was a work of genius. I thought it will be massive. It came from a place of love and engagement for young children. It is fantastic that somewhere in the world a child will be looking at Laa-Laa and laughing.”

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A viral video currently spreading on China’s internet features a Chinese woman fighting with a man who turns out to be the groom’s boyfriend, the groom helplessly caught between them trying to explain.

In China, it is common for gay men and women to get married because of the pressure put on them by their parents and family to have a baby. In these cases the spouse mostly does not know that their partner is gay.

The translated dialogue courtesy ChinaSmack:

Boyfriend: You shut up, us two were together long before you entered the picture!
Bride: What do you mean you two were together long before I was in the picture?
Groom: Hey hey, don’t get physical, don’t get physical.
Bride: Just who the fuck are you!?
Boyfriend: Shut up!
Bride: It’s my wedding, what are you doing here?! Who are you? Who is he?
Groom: Wait, wait, wait.
Bride: Who is he? Tell me, who is he?
Groom: Let me explain.
Boyfriend: Don’t explain to her.
Bride: What are you doing, what fucking business is it of yours?
Best Man: Enough, enough, both of you calm down.
Bride: Tell me, who is he? Who is he?!
Bride: You come back here!

Some people have claimed that this video could be fake and may be the end of a short film.

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