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International teachers in Indonesia given ‘psychological exams’ to uncover sexual orientation and LGBT views

Emma Powys Maurice December 24, 2019
Indonesia

Students at an Islamic school in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia (Ed Wray/Getty)

International teachers in some Indonesian schools are being subjected to intrusive ‘psychological exams’ aimed at uncovering their sexual orientation and attitude towards LGBT+ rights.

Questions seen by the New York Times include “Agree or disagree: ‘I would feel uncomfortable knowing my daughter’s or son’s teacher was homosexual,'” and “True or false: ‘The gender composition of an orgy would be irrelevant to my decision to participate.'”

Some questions were reserved specifically for men, such as: “I wouldn’t want to die without having experimented sexually with both men and women,” and “I can be sexually attracted to anyone in the right circumstances.”

Homosexuality is currently not illegal in Indonesia except in the autonomous province of Aceh, where LGBT+ people can be caned under Shariah law.

However, the test is allowed under a 2015 government regulation that prohibits international schools from hiring foreign teachers who have ‘an indication of abnormal sexual behaviour or orientation.'”

This regulation applies to the 168 international schools across the country and requires schools have a psychologist certify that each teacher holds acceptable views. Teachers critical of the tests have been afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.

One school, The Mentari Intercultural School in Jakarta, reportedly asked at least 38 questions concerning sexual orientation and attitude towards LGBT+ rights.

Teachers there were asked whether they agreed that Pride celebrations are “ridiculous because they assume an individual’s sexual orientation should constitute a source of pride,” and if they thought they should try to reduce students’ prejudice toward homosexuality.

“For foreign teachers, if the psychologist declares that a candidate has a deviant sexual orientation, certainly the school will not hire that person,” a Ministry of Education and Culture official told the New York Times.

Anti-LGBT+ sentiment is growing in Indonesia

Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world and is becoming increasingly intolerant towards gay rights, with the newly-elected vice president, Ma’ruf Amin, supporting criminalisation of LGBT+ people.

It recently emerged that several Indonesian ministries have issued an outright ban on LGBT+ applicants, saying they only want to hire “the normal ones” without “behavioural deviations”.

The LGBTQ+ Danger Index recently ranked Indonesia as one of the many countries unsafe for LGBT+ travel due to its censorship laws and lack of criminalisation of violence.

More: aceh, Indonesia, jakarta, LGBT travel, LGBT travellers, Ma’ruf Amin

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