Indonesian mayor leads thousands in anti-LGBT march
An Indonesian city mayor reportedly led thousands on a march to protest against LGBT+ people in the region on Sunday (November 18).
Mahyeldi Ansharullah, the mayor of Padang in West Sumatra, headed the 2km walk through the city, which was called the “Long March Action to Reject LGBT in West Sumatra and Declaration of Sin-Free Padang.”
Thousands reportedly attended the march.
The protest also aimed to “clean” the city of drugs, alcohol and gambling.
Indonesia mayor calls for LGBT+ sinners to “repent”
“To the perpetrators of sin, let them repent and those who protect them immediately be aware because they will face opposition from all parties and communities in Padang as well as security forces,” said Mahyeldi, reports state-run news agency Antara.
Earlier in November, it was reported that police arrested 10 women in Padang on suspicion of lesbian activity in Indonesia.
“To the perpetrators of sin, let them repent.”
— Mahyeldi Ansharullah, Mayor of Padang
In Indonesia, gay sex is illegal in the province of Aceh under Sharia law and for Muslims living in the city of Palembang.
However, the country is updating its criminal code, which looks set to ban same-sex sexual activity throughout the country.
Indonesia’s anti-LGBT+ crackdown
Indonesian authorities have also clamped down on LGBT+ activities in the past year.
In October, two Indonesian men were arrested on suspicion of setting up a Facebook page that co-ordinated gay hook-ups.
In July, two men were publicly flogged for having gay sex in Aceh.
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And, in February, Indonesian authorities set up a task force to stop “the LGBT disease.”
The new task force was established by Mayor Muhammad Idris of Depok, a district in West Java with more than 1.75 million people.
According to Indonesian publication Kompas, Idris said: “Religion has agreed that LGBT [people commit] forbidden acts, but legally we will overcome this problem so as not to worsen the issue.”
The mayor added: “This is our effort to prevent LGBT because many phone calls come to the Social Service requesting to help solve the LGBT disease.”
He said that “the campaign of rejecting LGBT will be conducted by this integrated team,” which would, he explained, “coach” LGBT people.
In January, police arrested 12 trans women in Aceh, shaving their heads and forcing them to wear typically male clothing in an effort to “turn them into men.”
In 2017, Indonesian police raided nightclubs, saunas and hotel rooms on suspicion of LGBT+ activities being carried out inside.