Indonesia

Indonesia Could Criminalize Homosexuality By Valentine's Day

The situation in Indonesia is getting worse by the day.

Indonesia used to be considered a relatively liberal country, besides the intensely religious province known as Aceh, but it's quickly becoming dangerous for LGBTQ people.

While homosexuality is currently legal in the country (and the country’s president defended LGBTQ rights just last year), the country has been growing animosity towards LGBTQ people.

Not only has discussion of criminalizing homosexuality become a frequent occurrence for the country, but increasing instances of anti-gay sentiment from the government has caused a lot of concern.

This has led to developments like lawmakers banning depictions of LGBTQ people on television (including documentaries and even news coverage), and multiple arrests like the two men from last week.

Now, it seems that Google has taken down 73 popular LGBTQ-related apps from Indonesia’s Google Play Store at the request of the government.

Communications ministry spokesperson Noor Iza confirmed on Wednesday that one app taken down was Blued, which has 27 million users globally. Their reasoning? They say the app contained pornography.

"There was some negative content related to pornography inside the application," Iza told AFP.

"Probably one or some members of the application put the pornographic content inside."

That said, it seems several LGBTQ-related apps remain on Indonesia’s version of the Apple app store with no word of when or if they’d be taken down.

On top of that, 13 transwomen were captured by officials in the sharia law ruled Aceh. Their heads were shaven and they were ordered to dress and talk like men.

Lastly, it seems the country’s government is ready to push forward with criminalizing homosexuality.

“Some have even said they will be doing it on February 14,” activist Kate Walton told ABC. “A lot of people have seen the irony between that being Valentine’s Day (due to its Western origins) and the potential for raids on boarding houses, houses and apartments to catch couples having sex outside of marriage.”

No matter when, it looks like homosexuality will be criminalized in Indonesia soon and the country is taking a nosedive in its treatment of LGBTQ people.

Indonesian Police Arrested Two Men Over A Leaked Gay Sex Tape

In a time when Indonesia is cracking down on gay and bisexual men, a gay sex video was somehow uploaded online. As you might guess, things didn’t end well for the two men starring in the video.

Police in the city of Depok, arrested the two men this past Saturday after a random citizen reported the video to authorities.

“They have been arrested and detained," Depok police spokesman Putu Kholis Aryana told AFP.

"We will apply the law on pornography and the electronic information and transactions (ITE) law."

While homosexuality and gay sex are legal in Indonesia, except for in the highly religious Aceh province, there is an ever growing toxic attitude towards gay men in the country.

As such, the police have been cracking down on gay and bisexual men while using other laws to excuse their actions.

This includes multiple raids on “gay sex” parties with the exuse of having sex in (semi) public, the deletion of gay apps from phone services with the excuse of the general public having access to them, and now the imprisonment of these two men because of a gay sex tape from who knows how long ago.

Our thoughts go out to gay and bisexual men in Indonesia, and we will keep you updated on the situation there.

h/t: Rappler

Indonesian Lawmakers Are Preparing To Ban LGBTQ Characters From TV

Image via Pexels

Indonesia is gearing up to potentially ban any LGBTQ characters from appearing on their tv screens.

The country’s Parliament is supposedly working on a broadcasting bill and The Jakarta Post reports that this ban has now been added to that earlier bill.

The terminology used in the new update of the bill states that LGBTQ behavior should not appear in broadcasted programs. This would not only prohibit any new shows from including an LGBTQ character, but any currently running shows (or reruns) with LGBTQ characters would be taken off the air.

But it gets even worse, this doesn’t just include fictional LGBTQ characters, but also LGBTQ people in real life. Now, news channels won’t be allowed to report on members of the LGBTQ community and documentaries can’t depict our issues as well.

As insane as we may think it is to have all of these tv shows screened by a third party censorship bureau, to the majority of Indonesia’s lawmakers it seems reasonable and they said so when speaking to The Post.

Hanafi Rais of the National Mandate Party stated that, “I am sure there are still more creative ways to entertain people [than showing LGBTQ people].”

Supiadin Aries Saputra of the NasDem Party said, “We can’t allow LGBT behaviour on TV. It is against our culture.”

“We have to ban it early before it becomes a lifestyle. It’s dangerous and can ruin the morality of the younger generation.”

Meanwhile, Golkar Party lawmaker Bobby Ad­hi­tyo Rizaldi added, “People disagree with the LGBT community. We can’t ignore such input from the public.”

While lawmakers prepare to possibly pass the bill, LGBTQ advocacy groups are speaking out against it and state that this is clearly the government overreaching with their power and blatantly trying to thwart the LGBTQ movement.

Keep in mind, in the majority of Indonesia it is legal to be gay besides in the providence of Aceh where Islamic law is still practiced.