Let's take a brief stroll down memory lane. Below are a handful of the stories related to Indonesia over the past two years. Just by reading the titles, you can see Indonesia doesn't seem to be a fun place to live unless you're straight.
What threw us for a loop was the latest story we posted, Indonesia's President Jokowi Defends LGBT Rights. I think I yelled out, "HOLY CRAP" when I read the original post from Human Rights Watch. Was Indonesia just given a shot in the arm it needed. Will the president be able to advance his nation toward some kind of acceptance of LGBT rights soon?
We didn't have to wait too long for the dip stick to be pushed back in to Indonesian politics and see that the country is not thinking about moving forward, but alas, moving backwards on all rights, straight and gay.
Indonesia is the world's third-largest democracy, with more than 260 million people, but it's moving in a direction that some rights groups find very alarming. In what could end up being the latest victory for religious conservatives in the majority-Muslim country, its highest court is considering changing the constitution to outlaw sex outside of marriage, reports the Washington Post. Activists warn that a ruling to ban unmarried sex would not only make gay sex illegal in the country for the first time, it would turn the millions of couples who have only informal or ceremonial marriages into criminals. "It's obvious this law will be a disaster, and women will be most affected," says a women's rights activist.
Indonesia's legal code still has more in common with the law of colonial power Holland than Islamic law, but religious conservatives, including a group calling itself the "Family Love Alliance," have been pushing hard for change, the International Business Times reports. Some of the nine justices on the court have already expressed their support for a change to the constitution. In hearings over the last few weeks, "expert" witnesses have testified that homosexuality represents a danger to Indonesia. The witnesses included an anti-gay activist who claimed that gay marriage in the US was a conspiracy masterminded by a small group of Jews, the Post reports. A decision is expected later this year. – newser.com
Do we categorize this as going overboard on the gays? Are we ruining it for everyone? Or is Indonesia trying to become more religiously devout?
Is this throwing the baby out with the bath water?
Or is this throwing out colonial laws and moving toward a more religious state?