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Jakarta Post

Homophobic state forces LGBT community to lay low

  • Gisela Swaragita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 17 2018   /  12:37 am

As the world is commemorating International Day Against Homophobia on May 17, Indonesian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have been laying low in response to actions and statements from government officials over the past two years that could be perceived as state homophobia.

Among the most recent such activity was a banner circulating on social media this month that drew criticism from netizens. The banner, signed by the West Java Social Affairs Agency, campaigned for “war against societal illnesses” including “LGBT”. Besides LGBT, the office listed “beggars, ex-convicts, people with HIV/AIDS, and prostitutes” as illnesses.

The previous month, the Attorney General’s Office seized hundreds of comic books reportedly depicting LGBT images from the Pasar Baru Post Office in Central Jakarta, Antara news agency reported.

In February, the D...