The country’s leading mental health authority says they believe homosexuality should not be left ‘untreated’.
Indonesia’s leading psychiatric body has classified homosexuality and gender dysphoria as mental disorders – saying they believe the ‘conditions’ can be cured with ‘proper treatment’.
The Indonesian Psychiatrists Association (IPA) released a statement expressing its ‘worry and concern’ for members of the LGBT community.
“We really do care about them. What we are worried about is, if left untreated, such sexual tendencies could become a commonly accepted condition in society,” IPA member Suzy Yusna Dewi told The Jakarta Post.
Dewi want on to claim that homosexuality was triggered by external factors – such as social environment – and therefore could be ‘cured’ with the correct psychiatric treatment.
“Without constant intervention, a person can easily return to their previous sexual tendency once he or she experiences withdrawal,” she added.
The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders in 1970.
This is the latest example of increasingly anti-gay rhetoric to emerge from the South East Asian country.
Earlier this month, Indonesia’s Communications and Information Ministry announced plans to ban Tumblr due to its ‘LGBT content’, after advising social media operators WhatsApp and Facebook to limit the use gay emojis.
In January, higher education minister Muhammad Nasir suggested LGBT people should be banned from universities if they engage in public displays of affection.
Last year, an Indonesian province introduced a harsh new law that re-introduces caning as a punishment for homosexuality – and it also applies to foreign tourists.
The brutal practise takes place in the province of Aceh – the only part of the Asian nation which enforces Islamic Sharia law and has autonomous control over crime and punishment.
Homosexuality is legal in the rest of Indonesia, though the age of consent for gay sex is higher than for straight sex.
Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population – but outside of the Aceh, most practice a more moderate form of the faith.