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Indonesia has ‘no room’ for LGBT community says president’s spokesperson

Kaitlyn Hayes August 11, 2016

The spokesperson for the president of Indonesia has said that the country has “no room” for the LGBT community.

Amid reports of an unprecedented amount of anti-LGBT attacks in Indonesia, Johan Budi, the spokesman for the president, has said there is “no room” for the LGBT community.

He said, “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.”

These comments come after the Human Rights Watch reported that politicians in Indonesia have been increasingly targeting the LGBT community.

In February, the government told Facebook and Whatsapp to remove all gay-themed emojis and banned Tumblr over LGBT content and porn.

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In March, reports emerged that the communications and information minister was drafting a bill to comprehensively ban LGBT “propaganda”.

The law was proposed by the House of Representatives Commission, whose chair, Mahfudz Siddiq, suggested that the issue was a matter of “national security”.

“LGBT issues can damage national security, identity, culture and the faith of Indonesians,” Siddiq told the Jakarta Post.

These are just some of the government officials that have recently made anti-LGBT comments, a strategy that activists believe may have been triggered by media coverage of the US decision to legalise same-sex marriage.

The higher education minister called for a ban on LGBT organisations on university campuses, while the defence minister compared gay rights groups to a “type of modern warfare”.

Earlier this month, Indonesia’s top court heard a case from activists who want to criminalise gay sex and make it punishable with prison sentences of up to 15 years.

In their report, 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.”

More: Asia, Gay, human rights watch, Indonesia, Indonesia, LGBT, president

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