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Indonesia to ban homosexuality and S&M with ‘offenders’ having their children taken away

Emma Powys Maurice February 19, 2020
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Muslim protesters march against the LGBT+ community in Banda Aceh, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in 2017. (CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty)

A leaked draft of a new ‘Family Resilience’ law in Indonesia has revealed plans to ban homosexuality and S&M sex, with offenders to be threatened with losing custody of their children.

Under the proposed law, anyone “suffering” from “sexual deviations” would be required to report themselves to rehab facilities for treatment.

It defines sexual deviations as “urges to achieve sexual satisfaction through unusual and unreasonable ways” and includes sadomasochism and homosexuality in this category, alongside incest.

Those who fail to report themselves or their family members risk having their children taken away, either temporarily or permanently.

The bill would also outlaw surrogacy with a penalty of seven years in jail, and legally define the roles of a father and mother within the home.

Homosexuality is not illegal in most parts of Indonesia but it is widely considered to be a taboo. Indonesian law does not protect the LGBT+ community against discrimination and hate crimes, which are common.

As the Muslim-majority country shifts towards greater conservatism, there has been a surge in anti-LGBT+ sentiment, fuelled in part by a strong public reaction to the conviction of Reynhard Sinaga in the UK.

The Family Resilience bill is backed by politicians from four political parties and aims to foster “family-based development”. It also states that wives must “take care of household-related matters” and “treat the husband and the child well.”

A group of Muslim protesters march against the LGBT+ community in Banda Aceh, 2017 (Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty)

News of the bill has sparked widespread outrage from the country’s LGBT+ activists.

“It’s a very patriarchal bill and it will set back progress in gender equality and women’s rights protection,” Usman Hamid of Amnesty International Indonesia told Reuters.

Tunggal Pawestri, a gender rights activist, said the bill would be harmful for anyone who did not have a marriage certificate.

“What about those who hold traditional beliefs who can’t register their marriages?” she asked. “And also people who can’t afford to register the marriages?”

Defending the proposed law, Gerindra Party lawmaker Sodik Mujahid was quoted by kompas.com as saying that the practice of homosexuality “disrupts the future of mankind”.

 

 

More: criminalisation of homosexuality, Family Resilience bill, Indonesia, South East Asia

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