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Jakarta Post

Must not support LGBT to heal them: Religious leaders

  • Liza Yosephine

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, February 18 2016 | 05:47 pm Activists supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on May 17, 2015. (Kompas.com/Yunanto Wiji Utomo)(LGBT) community celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on May 17, 2015. (Kompas.com/Yunanto Wiji Utomo)

Activists supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) community celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on May 17, 2015. ( Kompas.com/Yunanto Wiji Utomo )

Religious groups have openly rejected all forms of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) activities, claiming that such rejection would help cure LGBT people of the tendency.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday, the groups said they rejected all forms of propaganda on and promotion of LGBT legalization and development in the country, stating that LGBT behavior was disturbing and against religious teachings and the Constitution.

The groups consist of the Indonesian Ulema Council ( MUI ), the Indonesia Catholics Bishops Conference ( KWI ), the Council of Buddhist Communities ( Walubi ) and the Confucian Supreme Council of Indonesia ( Matakin ).

The importance of not encouraging LGBT values and behaviors are key in helping LGBT people get "back on track to normalcy", MUI chief of religious tolerance Yusnar Yusuf said.

LGBT behaviors are spread through social interaction and thus must be prevented, he said.

The groups also argue that putting limitations on the promotion of LGBT activities would act as a form of "treatment" in encouraging the elimination of any tendencies toward deviant sexual behavior.

"It is important now to invite everyone to think positively about them in that they are sick people who need to be healed," Yusnar said in a press conference on Thursday.

The religious groups called LGBT tendencies a "social disease" and urged the government to ban any form of funding for campaigns of LGBT communities, especially from international organizations and foreign companies.

The government must also monitor all activities and any intervention by parties, including those who claim to act in the interest of human rights and democracy, Yusnar added.

Meanwhile, Catholic Priest PC. Siswantoko of the KWI said it was important not to isolate LGBT people but rather befriend them because a healthy social life would support their rehabilitation.

The groups also urge for the protection of LGBT people against violence as they were still citizens.

Campaigns condemning the LGBT community have grown stronger in the country, which has the biggest Muslim population in the world. The MUI and several Muslim organizations also declared on Wednesday that LGBT activities were haram and urged the prosecution of LGBT people.

Indonesian Broadcasting Commission ( KPI ) also issue a discriminatory rule against LGBT people by urging broadcasters, television and radio stations from running programs that promote the activities of LGBT.

The government has also taken a negative stance on the issue as ministers of the President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo administration said the state would protect LGBT rights but still condemned the LGBT community, saying the people were diseased and a threat to the nation's values.

The government has also blocked popular microblogging website Tumblr, claiming it contained pornography and promoted LGBT relationships. ( rin )( + )

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