Title: Indonesia: Getting Darker... Credit: Craig Young Comment Thursday 18th August 2016 - 12:40pm1471480800 Article: 18685 Rights
When I last wrote about Indonesia in March 2016, it was obvious that there was a major 'moral panic' underway against LGBT Indonesians. Several months later, the situation still has not improved. In fact, it's deteriorated still further. As I noted in my previous article, there was a half-hearted attempt to criminalise homosexuality before, but it failed to gain traction and disappeared within the national legislature. One exception to the previous rule of pluralism and tolerance was Aceh, a fundamentalist Sunni Islamist-dominated province which declared shariah law in 2002, and which sentences gay men to one hundred lashes corporal punishment. However, in March 2015, the Islamic Ulema Council of Indonesia declared homosexuality 'deviant' and 'contrary to the dignity of Indonesia,' which provoked a vigilante "Islamic Defenders Front" into trying to intimidate and disrupt LGBW individuals, groups and events. Before the advent of the IDF, Indonesia tolerated itswaria(transwomen) population, although they were largely restricted to work within beauty salons and the fashion and sex industries, given that while male homosexuality has thus far not been criminalised within Indonesia, nor are lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and waria included within national antidiscrimination laws. By contrast, the Islamic Defenders Front has support from high-ranking politicians, civil servants, police and members of Indonesia's armed forces. It also attacks advocates of religious pluralism in Indonesia, dissident Ahmaddiya Muslims, Christians, Hindu, alcoholic beverage sellers and others. Indigenous Dayak communities have waged a successful campaign to keep them out of their communities. During 2015/16, there have been growing signs of intolerance and religious social conservatism within Indonesia. These have ranged from attacks on Indonesian university LGBW associations, to censorship of LGBW television content, tourist visa restrictions, requests that the United Nations Development Programme not fund any Indonesian LGBW activities, comments from the Indonesian Psychologists Association that homosexuality should be 'repathologised,' conspiracist discourse from visiting Egyptian fundamentalist imams, the closure of an Islamic wariamadrassa(religious instruction school), and calls for capital punishment of male homosexuality as well as the imposition of 'reparative therapy' against LGBW Indonesians. Added to that, Indonesia's Minister of Communication and Information advocated further censorship, along the lines of Russia's 'anti-promotion' legislation, which would prevent any funding or positive information about LGBT concerns or organisations. At the same time, Indonesia's Gaya Nusantara organisation established hotlines in Yogakarta and Jakarta, drawing up evacuation plans should they become necessary. In August 2016, it seemed as if that might be advisable. Indonesia's Constitutional Court heard a request from the misnamed "Family Love Alliance," a Muslim social conservative group who wants to criminalise male homosexuality and impose a fifteen year imprisonment period if the Court accepts its request. It is calling for sex between adult males to be treated as severely as pedophilia and incest under Indonesian law. According to FLA's Rita Hendrawaty, its spokesperson, it wanted 'stronger and clearer norms' and denied any intent to criminalise LGBW Indonesians. Immorality, anal sex and alleged conflict with Indonesia's state philosophy have all been advanced as 'reasons' for criminalisation' However, one leading daily, theJakarta Post(04.08.2016), didn't sound convinced. FLA also wants Indonesian anti-adultery laws to include unmarried straight couples, and a gender-neutral definition of rape. Recommended: "Indonesia discussing LGBT anti-propaganda law" Gaynz.Com: 07.03.2016:http://www.gaynz. com/articles/publish/3/ article_18022.php Joseph McCormick: "Indonesia's top court considers case to criminalise consensual gay sex alongside sex with a minor" Pinknews: 04.08.2016:http://www. indonesias-top-court- considers-case-to-criminalise- consensual-gay-sex-alongside- sex-with-a-minor/ "Editorial: A more puritanical Indonesia?" Jakarta Post: 04.08.2016:http://www. 08/04/a-more-puritanical- indonesia.html Sylvia Tan: "Indonesia's largest Islamic group calls on government to criminalise gay sex, activism"Gay Star News:28.02.2016:http://www. indonesias-largest-islamic- group-calls-on-government-to- criminalize-gay-sex-activism/ #gs.McXcUnU Greg Hernandez: "Member of Indonesia's Parliament tweets that gays should be put to death"Gay Star News: 27.02.2016:http://www. member-of-indonesias- parliament-tweets-that-gays- should-be-put-to-death/ #gs._uBH5Fk Darren Wee: "Indonesia's only transgender school shut down"Gay Star News: 26.02.2016:http://www. gaystarnews.c om/article/indonesias-only- transgender-islamic-school- shut-down/#gs.yRn8t58 Darren Wee: "Indonesia psychiatric body classifies homosexuality as 'mental disorder":Gay Star News: 25.02.2016:http://www. /article/indonesia- psychiatric-body-classifies- homosexuality-as-mental- disorder/#gs.yd_11og Andrew Potts: "Cairo Grand Imam tells Indonesia that being gay is a 'satanic crime against humanity"Gay Star News: 25.02.2016:http://www. ticle/cairo-grand-imam-tells- indonesia-being-gay-is-a- satanic-crime-against- humanity/#gs.iqxFj4w Stefanie Girds: "Indonesian Defence Minister: LGBTI Movement 'more dangerous than nuclear war'Gay Star News:23.02.2016:http://www. gaystarn minister-lgbti-movement-more- dangerous-than-nuclear-war/# gs.2Zwh9Xg Darren Wee: "Indonesia orders messaging app to remove gay emojis"Gay Star News: 12.02.2016:http://www. indonesia-orders-m essaging-app-to-remove-gay- emojis/#gs.P=BTC2U Darren Wee: "Indonesia minister wants LGBTI students banned from university"Gay Star News:25.01.2016:http://www. /indonesia-minister-wants- lgbti-students-banned-from- university/#gs.iAaHYuw Naith Payton: "Indonesian clerics issue fatwa against gays"Pinknews:17.03.2016:http: // 2015/03/17/indonesian-clerics- issu e-fatwa-against-gays/ Stanley Widianto: "Bound by culture and religion, Indonesia is paranoid about LGBT rights but we won't be silenced"Guardian:26.02.2016:h ttp://www. 2016/feb/26/bound-by-culture- and-religion-indonesia-is- paranoid-about-lgbt-rights- but-we-wont-be-silenced Wikipedia/LGBT rights in Indonesia:http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/LGBT_ rights_in_Indonesia Wikipedia/Islamic Defenders Front: wiki/ Islamic_Defenders_Front Craig Young - 18th August 2016    
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