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Jakarta Post

Government drafts ban on LGBT websites

The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   ●   Sat, March 5, 2016

Apparently under pressure to take preventive measures against the spread of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) propaganda through the internet, the Communications and Information Ministry is drafting a bill to ban websites that promote such activities.

Ministry spokesperson Ismail Cawidu said the ministry had set up a panel that would meet to discuss the matter as soon as possible.

'€œThe House commission has urged us, so we have to follow up on their proposal. However, the panel will still refer to the mechanism [to ban such websites] as stipulated in the prevailing provision,'€ he said on Friday.

He added that the ministry plans to familiarize the public and the media with the proposal to get their input and opinions.

Earlier, the House of Representatives Commission I on political and communications affairs urged the ministry in a meeting on Thursday to create a law to stop LGBT propaganda.

Commission I chairman Mahfudz Siddiq of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) said the bill would focus on legislation for national cyber security, ensuring that the development of information technology could be controlled by the state. He then said that the bill would include a ban on cyber content that could threaten national interests.

'€œLGBT issues can damage national security, identity, culture and the faith of Indonesians,'€ Siddiq told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He also claimed that the existing public concern over homosexual behavior has the potential to trigger conflicts in society.

Separately, Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Din Syamsuddin said in a seminar on Friday that people should not express hate toward LGBT people as has been apparent in trends on social media.

'€We need to give the LGBT people direction, especially for the LGBT people who realize that homosexuality is indecent behavior,'€ Din said.

The MUI issued an edict about lesbian and gay behavior, sodomy and sexual abuse in 2014, forbidding homosexuality because of claims of a huge outcry from the public.

Romo Antonius Benny Susetyo, a Catholic priest and a religious freedom advocate, stated that Indonesians should not judge LGBT people and that the government must not create a law that could harm them.

While citing an example from abroad, Benny said Singapore'€™s banning of LGBT people has not been effective because the number of openly LGBT people in the neighboring country keeps increasing regardless.

'€œWe must address the LGBT problem wisely and a law is not needed to solve this kind of problem,'€ Benny said.

Most recently, the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) has cited the P3 (broadcasting code of conduct) and the SPS (broadcasting programs standards) to discourage broadcasters from the airing of programs that contain LGBT content.

The KPI pointed out that many television stations broadcast programs about LGBT issues and people, both in the form of journalistic reports and entertainment. (wnd)


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