The Jakarta Post
Keep it short: In Aceh, the only province that formally adopts Islamic law, sharia enforcement officers target not only LGBT people but also men who sport hairstyles that are not deemed Islamic.(Antara/Ampelsa)In Indonesia, the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights started to become a major national issue that grabbed world attention only a few years ago when conservative religious leaders and public officials began to exploit the issue for their own political ends.
Since then the LGBT community has been scapegoated for various ills besetting Indonesia, such as the spread of HIV, moral decadence and prostitution. Today, the issue is a hot political “commodity” that no political actors want to miss out on.
Until the early 1990s, LGBT people used to enjoy relative peace free from fear of persecution. In cities, they formed social organizations to...