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Indonesia bill targets ‘sexual deviations’

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Indonesia bill

Indonesia bill targets ‘sexual deviations’

Lawmakers in Indonesia are pushing a so-called “Family Resilience” bill that would require LGBT people to get treatment at rehabilitation centers as ‘sexual deviants.’

The legislators are part of four political parties that also want to outlaw surrogacy in Indonesia, which is considered the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

Presently, Indonesia is moving towards greater conservativism, with growing state and public hostility against the LGBT community.

Indonesia bill targets LGBT people, surrogacy

The draft of the bill, which was reviewed by Reuters, defines the family as the “smallest unit of society” that is married couples, married couples, and single parents.

The bill notes that wives must “take care of household-related matters” and “treat the husband and the child well.”

Likewise, the bill lumps homosexuality, incest, and sadomasochism as “sexual deviations.” Under the bill, these people should report to government-sanctioned rehabilitation centers for treatment.

More importantly, if those people don’t submit to rehabilitation, their family members are compelled to report them.

Surrogacy under this bill carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

Indonesia bill pending in parliament’s priority list

This bill has been included in the Indonesian parliament’s priority list for the 2020-2024 period.

However, since parties supporting Indonesian President Joko Widodo control 74 percent of the parliament, this bill would need government support to pass.

The proposed bill is reportedly intended to foster “family-based development,” according to a statement made by Ledia Hanifa, one of the bill’s proponents.

Sodik Mujahid, a supporter of the legislation and a party-member, told Jakarta Post that: “The practice of homosexuality, does it not disrupt the future of mankind on a family basis?”

Currently, Indonesia’s criminal codes don’t mention homosexuality. However, certain conservative provinces like Aceh have established punishments under local Shariah laws.

Rights groups slam proposed bill

Discussions about the bill has been trending on social media in Indonesia, with rights and civil society groups condemning the proposal.

Usman Hamid of Amnesty International Indonesia told Reuters: “It’s a very patriarchal Bill and it will set back progress in gender equality and women’s rights protection.”

Jessica Stern, executive director of the human rights group OutRight Action International, said the egislation would only intensify “the mounting persecution and hate” faced by LGBT people in Indonesia.

It would also make the community even more “vulnerable and isolated,” Stern said.

Dede Oetomo, co-founder of the Indonesian LGBTQ group Gaya Nusantara Foundation, said this is another attempt by lawmakers to target LGBT people following their 2018 failed attempt to criminalize homosexuality.

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