Indonesia was never known for its gay-friendliness, but the government has been taking steps to show that there is absolutely no room for the LGBT community within Indonesian society. Earlier this year, the officials called to ban LGBT people from university campuses, beginning a year long attack against them from “vigilante Islamist groups…ministers, religious hardliners and influential Islamic organisations over a two-month period,” writes the Malaysian Star.
When the Southeast Asian community reached out for help from the government, it responded by showing that protecting LGBT people is not a priority.
“Rights of citizens like going to school and getting an ID card are protected, but there is no room in Indonesia for the proliferation of the LGBT movement,” presidential spokesman Johan Budi told AFP.
More high-profile figures came out to condemn homosexuality. The defense minister likened it to a “type of modern warfare.”
The Human Rights Watch said that “what began as public condemnation quickly grew into calls for criminalisation and ‘cures’, laying bare the depth and breadth of officials’ individual prejudices”.
With an increase in anti-gay crimes, organizations have been forced to close their office and hide staff.
The hateful rhetoric may completely transform Indonesia in a legal sense, Islamic activists have called for a judicial review at the Constitutional Court to make gay sex illegal.
It sure makes one rethink taking that dream to Bali.