The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has called for legislation to ban lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activities in Indonesia.
"We want a stern prohibition of LGBT activities and other deviant sexual activities and legislation that categorizes them as crime," MUI chairman Maruf Amin said on Wednesday as quoted by Antara news agency.
The council called for criminal punishment of any people who engaged in sexual activities related to, or encouraged, promoted or financed activities connected with the LGBT community.
The MUI, a government-sanctioned body, also urged the government to set up compulsory rehabilitation services for every person with an inclination of deviant sexual tendencies.
Maruf said the MUI supported the government in recent statements to restrict foreign funding, including from global organizations such as the UN, that promoted LGBT issues in the country.
The council was ready to undertake any necessary action to stop the flow of funds toward the LGBT community, Maruf said, adding that the promotion of LGBT activities was against Islam as stipulated in a 2014 MUI fatwa.
"The fatwa states that homosexuality, whether lesbian or gay, and sodomy is legally haram and a form of crime," Maruf said.
Separately, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said the LGBT phenomenon was a societal problem that threatened religious life, constancy in the institution of family, and the character of the nation.
"The [LGBT movement] is a potential threat to the marriage law in Indonesia that does not accept same-sex marriage," Lukman said.
The Religious Affairs Ministry has asked religious institutions to identify the root causes that made someone become lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Lukman said he had asked that such research be conducted based on religious and psychological approaches.
"We cannot be hostile and hate them, as they are also citizens of the state, but it doesn't mean that we condone and allow for the LGBT movement to shift the religious values and the identity of the nation," he added.
The minister added that one of the ways to address LGBT issues, which he believed threatened Indonesia's future generations, was by strengthening the functions of the family in the community and the country.
He added that the ministry aimed to strengthen the family institution as the fort in the defense against LGBT problems.
Lukman said the ministry was currently in the process of developing optimized pre-marriage courses for couples, consultation and guidance for families as well as mediation in family problems. In doing so, the ministry would collaborate with the Religious Guidance Counseling Agency (BPA) and religious community organizations. (liz/ebf)