An Indonesian minister has said LGBTI students should be banned from university.
‘There are standard values and moral standards to be maintained. The campus is a moral guardian,’ Muhammad Nasir, minister of research, technology and higher education, said on Saturday (23 January).
He made the comments in response to a recent controversy over a poster advertising counseling services for LGBTI students at the University of Indonesia, which went viral last week.
The university has since disavowed the Support Group and Resource Center on Sexuality Studies (SGRC), and a legislator warned that the LGBTI community posed a serious threat to the nation.
‘LGBT groups should not be allowed to develop and be given space to conduct their activities. Even more serious are those LGBT members who go into universities with scientific studies, or hold discussion groups,’ said Nasir Djamil.
SGRC has defended its LGBT Peer Support Network, which it said was set up because ‘LGBT teens in Indonesia are more prone to suicide as a result of rejection and discrimination they received from the society.’
A change.org petition has also been launched condemning the minister’s statements, which had more than 1,000 signatures at the time of writing.
The petition says banning LGBTI students from campuses would violate the constitution, which states that ‘every citizen is entitled to education.’
‘Banning LGBTs on campus is incompatible with the nature of education,’ it reads.