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Indonesian police stop an LGBTI pageant from happening in Bali

Indonesian police stop an LGBTI pageant from happening in Bali

a group of people dressed in white in a row. the first row are women sitting down and men are standing behind them, they are all wearing sashes over their clothes

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 Gaya Dewata wesbite was also down.

One of the groups that complained about the event was the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI). The MUI is Indonesia’s top clerical Muslim body. Bali is mainly Hindu and more LGBTI friendly than other parts of Indonesia. But the country is still majority Muslim.

‘This is clearly very alarming, because these actions (the pageant) are clearly contrary to moral and religious values ​​in Indonesia,’ said Chairperson of the Bali MUI, Muhammad Taufik Asadi.

Indonesia has cracked down on the LGBTI community since the beginning of 2016. The historically tolerant nation began the increased persecution and violence against the LGBTI community as Muslim fundamentalist groups became more influential.

The national MUI chapter has called for the ban to apply to all events across Indonesia.

‘Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender practices and free sex must be prohibited because they are contrary to religious values,’ the deputy chairperson of MUI, Zainut Tauhid Sa’adi told media on Thursday.

‘Rejection of LGBT has even become a collective agreement in positive law in Indonesia.’

Gaya Daweta organizers have not replied to media requests for comment.