Indonesia puts anti-gay bill on hold

Indonesian legislators have put on hold a bill to make both consensual gay sex and  extramarital sex a crime.

The Equal Eyes news recap from UNAIDS reported on that development in the majority-Muslim nation, which suffers from widespread homophobic:

Indonesian LGBT community wins respite from criminalisation

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Indonesia is breathing a sigh of relief, at least temporarily, as legislators have put on hold the passage of revisions to the Criminal Code that would criminalise gay sex along with extramarital sex.

Teuku Taufiqulhadi (Photo courtesy of JowoNews)
Teuku Taufiqulhadi (Photo courtesy of JowoNews)

Teuku Taufiqulhadi, a member of the House of Representatives committee deliberating the bill, said the revisions were almost final but some articles required approval from different factions in Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, justice, human rights and security.

The bill was previously scheduled to be passed during the House session in February but was sidelined after a public outcry over several controversial articles. It is part of a wider series of revisions that have evolved over the past 12 years to amend the penal code originally written by the Dutch during the colonial era.

“We are giving more time in the next two or three months for the public to provide feedback on the bill to us,” Taufiqulhadi, a legislator from the National Democratic Party, told Asia Focus.

The Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association (ICMI) has already made its position clear and it is taking a hard line. Its members told lawmakers earlier this month that the law should contain deterrents to LGBT activities. They also recommended that homosexuality should be categorised as a mental illness.

Grace Poore of OutRight International urged moderate politicians to institute anti-discrimination protections. She also called upon moderate faith leaders, health providers, and families to offer refuge to the community.

For more information, read the article “Indonesian LGBT community wins respite from criminalisation” in the Bangkok Post.

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Thanks for information from Equal Eyes.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

3 Comments

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  1. I think the Indonesian legislators know very well that when they want to remain part of the international community they need to dismiss of the bill in total! Accepting the bill to become law would make Indonesia the laughing stock of the world, as it would be one of the most hypocritical laws around, considering the homosexual attitude and practices of a huge number of the legislators, known throughout the world!

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