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Indonesia wants to ban 'destructive' LGBTI content on TV

'It’s obviously going to be a bad law'

Indonesia wants to ban 'destructive' LGBTI content on TV
International Day Against Homophobia in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2015

A draft bill to ban all LGBTI content from television has been introduced in Indonesia.

The proposed legislation would change broadcast law to ban all ‘LGBT behavior’, but the draft bill does not exactly say what the behavior is.

According to a report in Reuters that ban could include explicitly gay characters, traditional or comedic shows with men dressed as women or ‘effeminate’ men.

Destructive and abnormal

Some of the politicians involved in drafting the bill shared their motivations behind the plan.

‘LGBT is not criminal, but if it enters the public sphere, if it’s broadcast to the public, then of course it must be regulated,’ Bobby Rizaldi told Reuters.

One MP, Hananfi Ris said ‘LGBT is an abnormality’ and would only be allowed on TV if it was ‘fixing’ it.

‘It is destructive for our younger generations. If the content has no educational qualities, and is only for commercial or advertising purposes, then we must reject it, he said.

Not good for human rights

Jakarta-based Andreas Harsono is a leading advocated with Human Rights Watch. He told Gay Star News the campaign to remove LGBT content from TV first started last year.

‘The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission first banned the broadcast of LGBT campaigns on February 12, 2016,’ he said.

‘Then it ratcheted up the ban to forbid portraying being LGBT as ‘normal’. Then they ratcheted it up yet again to ban the broadcast of effeminate men.

Harsono said HRW had repeatedly asked the Indonesian lawmakers to reverse that decision. It also called on the government not move forward on the new bill.

‘It is not a development that will protect human rights in Indonesia,’ he said.

‘The parliament should not make any law censoring LGBT-related information and should refuse to participate in drafting any such laws.

‘It’s obviously going to be a bad law. It will also marginalize LGBT communities in Indonesia, making them prone to militants’ attacks.’


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