11 March 2016

Indonesia Steps Up Campaign Against LGBTs

Indonesia Does Not Like Gays
At a time when political pressure from the left are forcing everyone to accept 'special' protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, the world’s biggest Islamic country is fighting back and says enough is enough.

Indonesians politicians are speaking out on the issue and a government ministry is drafting a law prohibiting online content viewed as promoting homosexuality.

The communications and information ministry has set up a panel to pursue the matter at the urging of lawmakers, a spokesman told the Jakarta Post last 5 March.

Earlier, a key parliamentary commission dealing with defense, foreign affairs and information called on the ministry to create a law to stop "LGBT propaganda."

The commission’s chairman, Mahfudz Siddiq, told the Jakarta Post that "LGBT issues can damage national security, identity, culture and the faith of Indonesians."

In recent weeks Indonesian government ministers and Islamic clerics have spoken out in support of what Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu characterized as a security threat and religious figures called "deviant" behavior.

The controversy erupted when the country’s higher education minister, Muhammad Nasir, called in January for LGBT people to be barred from universities because "there are standards of values and morals to uphold."

Indonesia’s highest Muslim religious body, the Ulama Council, then called for "LGBT activities" to be prohibited by law.

Around the same time, the U.N. Postal Administration in early February issued a set of six commemorative stamps to promote the imaginary "Free & Equal" campaign – the first time the world body has issued stamps with an LGBT theme.

The move brought protests from a group of mostly Islamic member-states – including Indonesia – calling itself Friends of the Family coalition, which said the decision "effectively seeks to promote priorities and agenda on matters of sexual orientation and gender identity that are supported by a distinct minority of the U.N. member states yet are vehemently and as a matter of strongly held principle opposed by the rest of the organization’s membership."