The Jakarta Post
The People's Conscience Party (Hanura) has called for a specific law against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to curb their presence in the country, amid heightened discrimination against the community.
The law should provide for sanctions, rehabilitation and restrictions on LGBT activities said Hanura secretary-general Berliana Kartakusumah, who believes that people are turned homosexual or transgender because of environment influences.
'Being LGBT is an infectious and dangerous disease,' he said in a discussion at the House of Represantatives on Friday.
'LGBT must be banned, like we banned communism and drug trafficking."
Social and state pressure on the LGBT community has recently risen as Indonesian psychiatrists declared LGBT people mentally disordered while clerics declared them haram, or forbidden according to Islam.
Ministers of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo also said that LGBT identity is a social disease that must be cured, but called for the public not to be violent toward LGBT people because they were still Indonesia citizens.
Still, the recent reports have caused rising discrimination againt LGBT people. Threats have also been reported like those directed at an Islamic boarding school for transgender students in Yogyakarta that faced shutdown last month amid pressure from locals and hard-line groups.
The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has rejected the call for a new law and questioned the government's willingness to the ensure the fulfilment of rights for all citizens.
'The state has an obligation to prevent LGBT people from phobias that lead to violence."
'Do not let them be discriminated against in terms of work, health services or freedom of expression. The state has to be there for them," Komnas HAM commissioner Indadun Rahmat said, adding that the state must use a humanistic approach in handling LGBT issues.
In contrast, advisor at the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) Din Syamsuddin said that same-sex relationships violated the human right to reproduce and were haram as stated in an edict issued by the MUI. However, Din called for Muslims not to show hatred for the LGBT community.
'We do not need to hate, abuse or neglect them. Rather, we should sympathize and help them,' he said. (rin)
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