Out Abroad: Owners of LGBT Swatch Watches Face Jail Time; A Man Gets Convicted After Protesting Against Drag Queen Event

Photo via swatch.com.

 Owners of LGBT Swatch watches face three years in jail in Malaysia, a man is convicted after protesting against a drag queen event in the United Kingdom, and the World Bank halts lending to Uganda.

Owners of LGBT Swatch Watches Face Three Years in Jail

The interior ministry of Malaysia announced that owners or sellers of the rainbow-colored Swatch watches will face three years in prison, saying that the LGBTQ symbols could “harm morals.”

The Guardian reported that in May, Malaysia’s law enforcement unit raided Swatch stores at 11 shopping malls across the country since the watches had “LGBT elements.”

Anyone who “prints, imports, produces ... or has in his possession” such items faces a jail term of up to three years, the ministry said in a statement.

Swatch filed a lawsuit against the government over the seizure of the watches, saying they “did not promote any sexual activity but merely a fun and joyous expression of peace and love.”

Man Convicted After Protest Against Drag Queen Event


Photo via Peter Kyle MP, Twitter.

A U.K. man was found guilty of a public order offense for protesting against a drag queen story-telling event for children.

According to The Guardian, 59-year-old Lance O’Connor was accused of being “aggressive and intimidating” towards organizers and attenders and made comments that were motivated by “hostility relating to sexual orientation and transgender identity.”

He was also accused of being “aggressive and intimidating” towards one of the gallery’s operations managers, Matthew Rowan, who was standing outside the event doors.

Judge Minhas found him guilty of an offense against Rowan saying O’Connor’s comments went “beyond freedom of expression into hate speech.”

He will face sentencing in September.

World Bank Halts New Lending to Uganda


Photo courtesy of worldbank.org.

The World Bank announced that it is halting new lending to the Ugandan government after the passing of the country’s anti-LGBTQ law.

According to Reuters, the bank says the law, which criminalizes same-sex relations, contradicts their values.

In response, Uganda dismissed the rule, calling it unjust.

Okello Oryem, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs, said the bank was being hypocritical since they lend to countries in the Middle East and Asia that have the same or harsher laws on homosexuality.

"No new public financing to Uganda will be presented to our Board of Executive Directors until the efficacy of the additional measures has been tested," the bank said in a statement. It continued, "We remain committed to helping all Ugandans - without exception - escape poverty, access vital services, and improve their lives."

Reuters reported that The World Bank provided $5.4 billion in International Development Association financing to Uganda by the end of 2022, and that many of these projects could be affected by the new law.


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