22 February 2016

Growing Campaign Against Gays in Indonesia

Anti-Gay Campaign
According to Nicole Mormann of takepart.com, there is a growing anti-LGBT movement is spreading across Indonesia—and across social media.

In recent days, the Indonesian government has enacted a series of anti-LGBT measures that spurred like-minded citizens to take to Twitter and the streets to lash out against the gay community.

Using the hashtag #tolakLGBT—the Malay word tolak means reject—Indonesians have been tweeting out a number of sentiments against same-sex couples, along with cartoon depictions of nuts and bolts—to represent the perspective that sex is made for a man and woman—and photos of a sign that reiterates the cliché phrase "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."

The most recent anti-LGBT statements come after vice president Jusuf Kalla requested last 15 February that the United Nations Development Programme not fund the nation’s LGBT community programs. The UNDP had allocated about US$ 8 million for LGBT campaigns in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia.

A few days ago, the national broadcasting commission, known as KPI, announced a ban on TV and radio programs that made "LGBT behaviors" seem normal because they could adversely influence children. The Indonesian government also asked popular social-sharing apps Facebook and WhatsApp to get rid of LGBT-related emojis and stickers, such as the male couple holding hands, in its nationwide products and outlets. The push came amid concern that emojis and stickers could attract children.

Indonesia is one of the least accepting countries for LGBT people, according to a 2013 Pew Research study on global views of homosexuality. More than 37,000 people in 39 countries were interviewed. A majority of Indonesians—93 percent, to be exact—believe that homosexuality should be rejected.