Anti-LGBT Movement in Indonesia Attempts to Criminalize Same-Sex Relations


(Gender-based discrimination / Tradition, Culture, Religion)

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With negative public sentiment toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) reaching an all-time high, the anti-LGBT movement in the country is seeking to criminalize same-sex relationships.

A group of academics and activists have requested that the Constitutional Court annul a number of articles in the Criminal Code (KUHP) to make it illegal for homosexuals to engage in sexual activities.

The court, which has affirmed that the plaintiffs have constitutional grounds to present their case, has held five hearings in which expert witnesses, presented by the petitioners, told the court that homosexuality was “contagious” and that it “could trigger a spike in HIV infections”.

One of the plaintiffs, Rita Hendrawaty, who is also chairwoman of an organization called the Family Love Alliance, claimed she did not intend to put LGBT people in prison.

“The government asked us [why we are trying to criminalize LGBT people], saying that if we do so, then prisons will be full. But we are merely trying to take preventive measures, so that Indonesia has clearer norms and regulations stipulating that anyone having casual sex is committing adultery,” she told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

…The various attempts to criminalize homosexuality have alarmed advocates of LGBT rights.

“This is dangerous for our LGBT friends. No one should be allowed to criminalize a minority group in Indonesia. Furthermore, the government shouldn’t be that nosy, trying to manage people’s lives in bed,” Arus Pelangi secretary Ryan Korbarri told the Post.

Ryan said the allegation that the LGBT community was trying to spread homosexuality was baseless, as the community in Indonesia was only trying to fight to have the same rights as other Indonesian citizens.

Read the full article from The Jakarta Post.