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 Community Forum, Abdul Halim, said the rally was held due to ‘rampant’ activities by the city’s LGBTI population, according to Tempo.co.
‘LGBT is very contagious and dangerous for the nation’s generations’,’ he said, according to the news website. ‘It can even cause dangerous and contagious diseases, such as HIV and AIDS.’
‘The community must play an active role in refusing them and not giving them any space to keep them from growing,’ he also reportedly said.
A Facebook post appearing to show the protest (below), says ‘Bogor rejects LGBT’.
Fresh wave of hatred
Indonesia’s LGBTI community is facing a fresh wave of intimidation and arrests, Human Rights Watch warned recently.
Potential policies include forming official lists of allegedly LGBTI individuals, according to HRW.
Officials also proposed teaching falsehoods about LGBTI people in schools. And subjecting LGBTI people to ‘conversion therapy’ to alter sexual orientation or gender identity. They also proposed censoring LGBTI-related speech to counter the ‘LGBTI threat’.
Gay sex is not illegal in Indonesia. But, since early 2016, ‘government-driven moral panic’ over the LGBTI community has engulfed the nation, according to HRW.
In the last three years, government officials have called for criminalizing gay sex and censoring LGBTI content in the media. They have also suggested ‘curing’ LGBTI individuals.
What’s more, police have raided saunas, nightclubs, hotels, and private homes.
In 2017, Indonesia charged more than 300 LGBTI people under the country’s vague ‘pornography’ laws.