Indonesia, Asia

The Republic of Indonesia is comprised of 17,508 islands. It is the world's largest archipelago state. With an estimated population of around 237 million people it is the world's fourth most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority nation; however, no reference is made to Islam in the Indonesian constitution. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. Most Indonesian Hindus are Balinese, and most Buddhists in modern-day Indonesia are ethnic Chinese. Bali has a population of about 3,151,000 and is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. Tourism is the largest single industry and as a result Bali is one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions.

Unlike other Muslim countries, Indonesia is relatively tolerant of homosexuality. As in many countries in South East Asia, it is a part of everyday life. Even in the media several gay or transsexual prominent people exist. Nevertheless this subject is low key and not openly talked about. Fanatical Muslim groups have been known to attack gay men. Homosexuality is a not a crime when it occurs in private and between consenting adults. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality

 

News & Reports:

 

Indonesian university shuts down student news site over lesbian love story

Students could face up to 12 years in prison under Indonesia’s stringent pornography laws University officials in Indonesia this month ordered a student news website shut down its entire operation after it published a fictional same-sex short story. Student journalists could also face up to 12 years in prison under Indonesia’s draconian pornography law, which… Read more »

UK soap star announces engagement in Sri Lanka, where gay sex is illegal

Opinion: Jimmy Essex and outlets covering his happy news make no mention of Sri Lankan legals. That’s a problem Actor Jimmy Essex, who starred on British soap Hollyoaks until last year, has gotten engaged to his musician boyfriend of six years. Sharing the news on social media yesterday, Jimmy said in a romantic Instagram announcement:… Read more »

Laws to ‘ban’ LGBTI people in Indonesian city are illegal

Indonesia’s Constitution says all citizens must be protected from discrimination regardless of sexuality Indonesia’s leading human rights organization said plans to ban LGBTI people in a major city goes against the country’s laws. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said police actions in the city of Depok goes against the country’s mandate to… Read more »

LGBTI ‘exorcisms’ on the rise in Indonesia

Religious conversion therapy can include being dunked in cold water and forced to eat ash Islamic exorcisms of LGBTI Indonesians are on the rise in Indonesia. Known as ruqyah, the practice uses prayers and, at times, physical torture to drive out evil spirits. Medical experts denounce conversion therapies because they cause serious psychological damage. Dede… Read more »

Dozens of men attack two transgender Indonesians in West Java

More than 50 men stripped, hit in the chest, and cut the hair of two waria in the latest attack on the LGBTI community in Indonesia A gang of dozens of men attacked two transgender women in Bekasi, West Java on Monday (19 November). It comes amid increasing hostility against LGBTI people in Indonesia. The… Read more »

Thousands protest LGBTI community in Bogor, Indonesia

‘LGBT is very contagious and dangerous for the nation’s generations’ one of the organizers said Thousands of anti-LGBTI protesters marched on the Mayor’s Office in Bogor, Indonesia on Friday (9 November). The rally, organized by Muslim groups, pressured Bogor’s mayor to ban LGBTI people from the city on Java island. Chairman of the Anti-LGBT Bogor… Read more »

Police arrest 10 ‘suspected lesbians’ after two women hug in Facebook photo

The LGBTI crackdown in Indonesia is intensifying again Indonesia’s ongoing crackdown on the LGBTI community has intensified with the arrest of 10 ‘suspected lesbian’ women. Police in Padang, West Sumatra arrested the 10 women after someone reported them for being LGBTI. The person saw a photo of of one of the women kissing and hugging… Read more »

Indonesian police stop an LGBTI pageant from happening in Bali

Indonesian authorities have stopped an LGBTI pageant from happening in Bali. Muslim leaders said all LGBTI events should be banned across Indonesia. Police said they cancelled the event because of ‘rejection from the Balinese community’. They cancelled the Mr and Miss Gaya Dewata event claiming they received letters of complaint from locals in Bali. The… Read more »

Gay men, adulterers publicly flogged in Aceh, Indonesia

Fifteen people, including five women, were punished with public caning Friday for violating Sharia law in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province. Two men accused of being gay received 87 lashes each for gay sex, while nine others were sentenced up to 26 lashes for adultery. Four people were caned for being drunk, including one woman who… Read more »

HRW: Indonesia’s ‘Unlawful Action’ Contributes to Soaring HIV Rate

A human rights watchdog says Indonesia’s crackdown on its LGBT community is contributing to the country’s soaring HIV rate. Human Rights Watch says Indonesian authorities have taken “unlawful action,” in collaboration sometimes with militant Islamist groups, against people presumed to be LGBT. A newly released 70-page report documents how the unlawful activities have impacted the… Read more »

“Scared in Public and Now No Privacy”

Human Rights and Public Health Impacts of Indonesia’s Anti-LGBT Moral Panic Summary On May 21, 2017, police in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, raided the Atlantis gym and sauna, arresting 141 people, most of whom were gay or bisexual men. Ten were ultimately prosecuted under Indonesia’s pornography law. The Atlantis was not just a “gay club,” but… Read more »

It looks like Indonesia will not criminalize gay sex after all

The law will now ban the vague concept of ‘indecent’ sex which could have much broader consequences After months of debate, it seems as though Indonesia will not go ahead with plans to criminalize homosexuality. The idea to criminalize homosexuality was first floated at a Criminal Code (KUHP) bill working committee meeting. It quickly gained… Read more »

Gay sex to be banned in Indonesia – but it’s ‘not discriminatory,’ say lawmakers

Gay sex is set to be made illegal in Indonesia. The country’s new criminal code, which includes a prohibition on homosexual acts, is currently being discussed in the House of Representatives, with a goal of passing it into law later this year. ? Arsul Sani, a member of the People’s Representative Council which is forming… Read more »

Gay men will no longer be whipped in public in Indonesia

Gay sex in Indonesia will not be publicly punished with lashings anymore – but men will still receive the punishment behind closed doors. Aceh, the only region of the secular country where Sharia law is in effect, will continue to conduct the barbaric practice, which saw two men caned 83 times last year for consensual… Read more »

4 People Facing 100 Lashes For Alleged Gay Sex In Indonesia

Banda Aceh, Indonesia – Rights activists called on Tuesday for Indonesia’s Aceh province to release four people detained on suspicion of having homosexual sex, amid concerns over the persecution of the LGBT community in the world’s third-largest democracy. Secular Indonesia is predominantly Muslim but ultra-conservative Aceh is the only province to follow sharia, or Islamic… Read more »

Indonesian man and transgender woman could be caned 100 times for ‘having gay sex’

An Indonesian man and a transgender woman have been arrested for ‘having gay sex’. The pair face being sentenced to receive up to 100 lashes if convicted. ? Local residents reportedly broke into a hair salon in Aceh – the only region of the Muslim-majority country where Sharia law is in effect and gay sex… Read more »

Indonesia is rounding up transgender women and sending them to rehab

Transgender women in Indonesia are being rounded up and forced to go to rehabilitation centres, according to reports. The Jakarta Social Agency prompted the wave of detentions by classifying trans women as people who have social dysfunctional traits, according to The Jakarta Post. ? Chaidir, head of rehabilitation affairs at the agency, said it regularly… Read more »

Fear and horror among Indonesia’s LGBT community as gay sex ban looms

(CNN) – When Ael left home to go to school in Jakarta, his parents warned him to be careful in the big city. “Be a kind person,” his mother told him. He worked hard and found a good job as a teacher in the sprawling Indonesian capital, but seven years later the 23-year-old is fearful… Read more »

Indonesia is considering making extramarital and gay sex illegal, and the UN calls it ‘hateful’

Indonesia’s parliament is currently deliberating revisions to its criminal code, including proposals to outlaw sex outside marriage, same-sex relations, and co-habitation. The United Nations human rights chief on Wednesday criticized the proposal as “hateful.” Currently, Indonesian law does not regulate homosexuality, except in the ultra-conservative Islamic province of Aceh. Jakarta (Reuters) – The United Nations… Read more »

Indonesian Parliament to Propose Banning Gay Sex, Adultery

Indonesia’s Parliament is drafting proposed revisions to the national criminal code to prohibit all extramarital and same-gender relations, prompting outrage among activists decrying the attack on the LGBT community. Proposals are expected to be finalized in the next several weeks. The draft aims to ban extramarital sex, same-gender relations and cohabitation, all of which were… Read more »

Indonesia sentences gay club workers to 2-3 years in prison

An Indonesian court has sentenced 10 men arrested in a raid at a gay club and sauna to between two and three years in prison, an activist and a relative of one of the men said. They were among more than 140 men detained after the raid in May on what police said was a… Read more »

Top Indonesia court rejects attempt to criminalize gay sex

Jakarta, Indonesia — Indonesia’s top court on Thursday ruled against petitioners seeking to make gay sex and sex outside marriage illegal in a victory for the country’s besieged LGBT minority. The 5-to-4 decision by the nine-judge panel of the Constitutional Court rejected the arguments of a conservative group, the Family Love Alliance, which believes Indonesia… Read more »

Indonesian Supreme Court blocks appeal to ban gay sex

The Indonesian Supreme Court has blocked a measure to ban gay sex in the country after a push from a religious group lodged a petition. The Family Love Alliance, which launched a petition to Jakarta court to ban extra-marital and gay sex last year, has been left stumped after its appeal to the Supreme Court… Read more »

Small victories can’t stop the dangers for LGBTIQ people in Southeast Asia

A new report found the LGBTIQ community in Southeast Asia is experiencing ‘small steps sideways, big steps back’ The situation for LGBTIQ people in Southeast Asia has deteriorated, despite some small victories in the region. Rising influential conservative social forces had led to the increasing criminalization and pathologization of LGBTIQ people in the region. A… Read more »

Anti-gay hysteria is on the rise in Indonesia

Sodomy is not a crime, but may soon become one Until a year ago, Mama Yuli could count on a steady stream of reporters and television crews to make their way to her small orange house in Jakarta’s suburbs for a peek at what is thought to be Indonesia’s only shelter for transgender women. Yulianus… Read more »

Indonesia: Now Indonesia Wants to Hide Its Floggings

Fear and Loathing The authorities in Aceh – Indonesia’s only province that implements full Sharia (Islamic law) – clearly feel stung by the international outcry they generated when police publicly flogged two gay men in May. Their solution, it appears, is to put an end to public floggings. Instead, they’re just going to flog people indoors, away from the cameras.… Read more »

Indonesian province introduces new police taskforce targeting LGBT citizens in latest crackdown

Homosexuality legal in majority of country but human rights advocates increasingly concerned by persecution and harassment of gay and transgender people Police in Indonesia’s most populous province plan to deploy a taskforce to investigate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activity, a move likely to fuel concerns of a widening crackdown on the community in the… Read more »

Indonesian men caned for gay sex in Aceh

Two men have been caned 83 times each in the Indonesian province of Aceh after being caught having sex. The men stood on stage in white gowns praying while a team of hooded men lashed their backs with a cane. The pair, aged 20 and 23, were found in bed together by vigilantes who entered… Read more »

Indonesia Police Arrest 141 Men Accused of Having Gay Sex Party

Jakarta, Indonesia — The police in Indonesia have arrested 141 men at a sauna in the capital on suspicion of having a gay sex party, the latest crackdown on homosexuality in the country. After the arrests in Jakarta on Sunday night, the police released to local news organizations numerous photographs of shirtless men who had… Read more »

Jakarta gay club raid leads to more than 100 men arrested

More than 100 men have been arrested for pornography, a crime that can carry a jail sentence, during a police raid on the Atlantis gay club in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. About 140 men were detained for questioning. Andreas Harsono from Human Rights Watch told the ABC some of the men were naked in a… Read more »

Sharia court sentences gay men to public lashing in Indonesia

A Sharia court in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province sentenced two gay men to a public caning Wednesday. The men, ages 20 and 23, were arrested in March by vigilantes within their community in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province. They were subsequently found guilty of violating Aceh’s strict Islamic laws and were sentenced to… Read more »

Give 80 lashings to men arrested for having gay sex, prosecutors urge judge

Two Indonesian men arrested for having gay sex have been told their punishment should be 80 lashes in public. The 20 and 23-year-old defendants reportedly appeared at the Shariah court last night without a lawyer, and heard the prosecution tell the judge they should receive 80 lashings with a cane. The case in Banda Aceh… Read more »

Indonesia’s LGBT community survives despite growing threats from government, clerics

Indonesia’s reigning transgender beauty queen holds her head up high as a wave of intolerance sweeps across Indonesia. Kiki, or Qie Nabh Tappiii, became Miss Waria Indonesia at a time when Indonesian officials, clerics and even government ministers regularly launch verbal assaults on the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Waria is the… Read more »

Gay couple arrested for having sex face up to 100 lashings

A gay couple face up to 100 lashings by cane after a neighbours reported them to police for having sex. If found guilty the two men will be the first to be caned in Indonesia for gay sex, according to the Shariah police’s chief investigator. The men, aged 23 and 20, were arrested in the… Read more »

Gay Indonesians On Edge as Incidents of Brazen Homophobia Rise

Jakarta — Homophobic rhetoric is nothing new in Indonesian politics. In recent months, elected officials have labeled gay Indonesians as morally corrupt, inconsistent with national values, and “worse than nuclear warfare.” But the recent arrest of several gay men at a private party in south Jakarta’s Kalibata City was a shock for many, both because… Read more »

13 men arrested in Indonesia for holding ‘gay sex party’ even though they committed no crimes

Around 50 members of an extremist religious mob barged into the gay person’s home Jakarta police have arrested 13 men for holding a ‘gay sex party’ even though there is no evidence they committed a crime. Around 50 members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) barged into an apartment in South Jakarta, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar… Read more »

LGBT Jakartans: ‘Worse than a nuclear bomb? We just want to be accepted’

Intro: “In the Guardian newspaper Nov 26 was this report composed by a ‘typical’reporter Stanley Widianto which attempts to scare people into thinking that Armageddon is about to happen for the LGBT community in Indonesia. As usual the writer has found the worst examples of fear to re-enforce his negative point of view. He does… Read more »

What’s behind Indonesian authorities’ desire to control LGBT sexuality?

Indonesia’s LGBT community has been weathering “unprecedented attacks” through hateful public comments by top public officials since early this year. But the biggest threat yet has come recently in a legal move by a conservative group, the Family Love Alliance (AILA), to criminalise any sexual activity outside marriage. The Constitutional Court is deliberating the alliance’s… Read more »

Indonesian police want gay dating app ban

Jakarta – Indonesian police said Friday they want a ban on gay dating apps in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country after a paedophile ring allegedly used popular service Grindr to pimp boys. It was the latest move by Indonesian authorities against homosexuals, who have faced a sudden backlash this year, with the government recently… Read more »

A Happy Warrior in a Faltering Battle for Indonesian Gay Rights

Surabaya, Indonesia — After the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage last year, a leading Indonesian television station held a prime-time debate about whether this Muslim-majority democracy should do the same. On one side of the stage stood a conservative Muslim theologian and a member of Parliament, both of whom strongly rejected the idea… Read more »