Indonesian city approves bylaw to punish people who commit ‘LGBT acts’

An Indonesian city has proposed a bylaw that will see LGBTQ people punished for “immoral acts with the same-sex”.

The city of Pariaman in West Sumatra passed regulation earlier this week in an attempt to “eradicate LGBT” in the region by penalising people who are caught committing homosexual acts.

The deputy mayor Mardison Mahyudin announced that “acts that are considered LGBT” will be banned under the new regulation.

“According to our customs, the Minang customs, we are against such acts and behaviour,” he said, according to Openly.

Clauses in the proposed new regulation discriminate against LGBTQ people “who conduct activity that disturbs public order” or commit “immoral acts with the same-sex”.

If an LGBTQ person is caught committing a homosexual act, they could be fined up to 1 million rupiah which converts to roughly £55 ($70).

The proposed bylaw will now be evaluated by the governor within the next 15 days.

Homosexuality is currently not regulated by law in Indonesia, but there have been an increase in bylaws recently specifically targeted at the LGBTQ community.

The only region in Indonesia where homosexuality is outlawed currently is the ultra conservative province of Aceh.

“It’s a local ordinance that has no grounds on Indonesia’s constitution nor other national laws,” Andreas Harsono, a researcher at Human Rights Watch told Reuters.

“It’s just another sign that Indonesia is increasingly having two legal systems: the constitutional one and the so-called Islamic sharia system.”

Back in October, Indonesian police arrested a gay couple, reportedly for running a pro-LGBTQ Facebook page.

Indonesia has been turning more hostile toward the LGBTQ community in 2018. At the start of the year they started banning all gay dating apps, with a spokesperson saying that they contained “content related to pornography.”

And at one point in the year, it looked like the country could have banned homosexuality by Valentine’s Day. The bill that aims to ban homosexuality had backing from all 10 of the main Indonesian political parties.

One Indonesian city, Depok, even created a taskforce to “anticipate the spread of LGBT” among young people.

Speaking about why the taskforce had been spread up, Coconuts reported the city’s deputy mayor, Muhammad Idris as saying: “Religion has agreed that LGBT acts are forbidden, so legally we will overcome this problem so that it will not spread.”

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