In Indonesia, hostility and social backlash against LGBTQ people has risen in the past few years. Although it is not illegal to be gay in most of the country, there is growing anxiety among the LGBTQ community about their future legal rights that may soon be rescinded.
Currently, the only place where homosexuality is illegal is in the province of Aceh, which is governed by Sharia law. However, human rights advocates worry about a recent development, as the nation’s House of Representatives seeks to create a criminal code for which homosexuality could be punishable by imprisonment.
It is predicted that this code will be passed and implemented as early as February 14. This unknown future adds to the already intense homophobia that is sweeping the nation. Activists are bringing light to targeted raids, public condemnation, and social intolerance, which have made being queer life-threatening.
The rise in governmental condemnation of homosexuality is prevalent, as a spokesperson for Indonesian President Joko Widodo said there is “no room” in the nation for LGBTQ equality. Coming from a considerably moderate country, this is extremely concerning, as legal repercussions become a morbid reality.
Could this be the result of Trumpism in international politics, or a long-brewing case of misinformation, bigotry, and hate? Whatever the reasons, there is now a time-sensitive plea to protect those who seem to have the entire country and its government against them.