Now Reading
University in Indonesia launches program to ‘normalize’ LGBT people

University in Indonesia launches program to ‘normalize’ LGBT people

International Day Against Homophobia in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2015

The head of a university in Gorontalo, northern Indonesia has initiated a program to ‘normalize’ gay students.

Syamsu Qamar Badu, the rector of the State University of Gorontalo (UNG), issued a new set of policies targeting LGBTI people.

This includes a ‘special team’ employed to look out for, and offer ‘counseling’ for, students they suspect of identifying as LGBTI.

‘This identification process will not be easy, but we can’t just let it happen if there are male students wearing lipstick on campus,’ Badu said.

Badu says he launched the program to create a ‘college of civilization’, and he hopes the new guidance will help bring LGBTI people ‘back to normalcy’.

Local LGBTI groups are contesting the rector’s plan.

Wahiyudin Mamonto, head of the Institute for Research and Human Resources Development of Nahdlatul Ulama, told the Jakarta Post: ‘The policy is based on mere hatred’.

‘UNG must guarantee non-discriminatory education for people of whatever sexual orientation,’ an LGBT activist said.

Indonesia has a tradition of homophobic discrimination, in part due to having one of the largest conservative Muslim-majority populations in the world.

The Indonesia Psychiatric Association (PDSKJI) still classifies homosexuality as an illness.