The Jakarta Post
The leading Indonesian psychiatric body has classified homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism as mental disorders, which it says can be cured through proper treatment.
Indonesian Psychiatrists Association ( PDSKJI ) member Suzy Yusna Dewi said that most of the time, the aforementioned sexual tendencies were triggered by external factors, such as the influence of a person's social environment, and therefore they could be healed through psychiatric treatment.
"We really do care about them. What we are worried about is, if left untreated, such sexual tendencies could become a commonly accepted condition in society," Suzy told thejakartapost.com on Tuesday.
She made comments about the association's recent statement to address rising concerns about the growing prominence of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) community, which has drawn sharp criticism from government and religious leaders.
Referring to Law No.18/2014 on Mental Health and the association's Mental Health and Mental Disorder Diagnostic Guidelines, the PDSKJI categorizes homosexuals and bisexuals as 'people with psychiatric problems', while transgender people have 'mental disorders'.
According to this classification, a psychiatric problem is condition in which a person is at risk of developing a mental disorder.
A person with mental disorder will develop physical symptoms and behavior that may affect their welfare and social functioning.
The PDSKJI said that psychiatric problems of homosexuals and bisexuals and mental disorders of transgender people had nothing to do with schizophrenia or other conditions such as intersex , or an anomaly in a person's genetic or chromosomal makeup.
Commenting on the issue of homosexuality and bisexuality, Suzy said there was not enough data to support the idea that the conditions were caused by biological factors, adding that limiting inappropriate social interaction could be effective in curbing such abnormal sexual tendencies.
The psychiatrist further said proper interventions were crucial in curing psychiatric problems and mental disorders. She said that a person's sexual appetite was a mental issue similar in nature to drug addiction.
'Without constant intervention, a person can easily return to their previous sexual tendency once he or she experiences withdrawal,' Suzy said.
She stressed the importance of upholding national values and norms. 'We must respect Indonesian traditions, which culturally do not accept same-sex marriage, and we should not bow to the influence of foreign values that may not fit in with our values,' said Suzy.
On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization ( WHO ) removed homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders.
In support of WHO's stance, Chatarina Wahyurini of the Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association ( PKBI ) said her organization recognized the existence of people with different orientations and did not view them as having disorders.
Referring to its stance on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, Wahyurini said the PKBI called for an end to discrimination of minority groups. She urged the government to take a more serious approach to providing protection and security to every citizen regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Repeating what was stated in a press statement released by the PKBI on Monday, Wahyurini referred to Indonesia's national ideology, Pancasila, which she said guaranteed and protected diversity. The 1945 Constitution also protects the right of every Indonesian citizen to be protected from any form of discrimination.
Wahyurini said the LGBT community should have equal access to public services and space needed to freely express their identity, participate in dialogue and to contribute to the nation in a positive manner. ( ebf )