Proposed Indonesian bill would force LGBTQ people to go to rehabilitation centres

The bill would also ban surrogacy.

A proposed Indonesian bill, called the Family Resilience bill, aims to ban surrogacy and send all LGBTQ people to rehabilitation centres for ‘treatment.’

The bill wants all people suffering from what it defines as a ‘sexual deviation’ including homosexuality, incest and sadomasochism to be sent to state-run rehabilitation centres.

Part of the draft bill, obtained by The Jakarta Post, reads: “Families experiencing crises due to sexual deviation are required to report their members to agencies handling family resilience or rehabilitation institutions to undergo treatment.”

It has not yet been said what this ‘treatment’ would consist of, but in 2018, ten trans individuals and eight lesbians were subjected to exorcisms in the city of Padang. They were hit with broomsticks while verses from the Quran were read at them.

Sodik Mujahid, a lawmaker from the Gerindra Party, who supports the bill said: “Let’s look at it more fundamentally. The practice of homosexuality for example – does it not disrupt the future of mankind on a family basis?”

Image by naeim a from Pixabay

The bill, which would also criminalise surrogacy with a seven-year jail term, defines families in Indonesia as married couples, married couples with kids, or single parents. It calls on women to “take care of household-related matters” and “treat the husband and the child well.”

Speaking to Reuters, Usman Hamid, from Amnesty International Indonesia, said: “It’s a very patriarchal bill and it will set back progress in gender equality and women’s rights protection.”

Tunggal Pawestri, a gender rights activist, added: “What about those who hold traditional beliefs who can’t register their marriages? And also people who can’t afford to register the marriages?”

The bill has been put down as a legislative priority for the parliament sitting from 2020-2024, although it has not yet been discussed with government ministries.

Last year, Indonesia was nearly successful in banning homosexuality, as it planned to criminalise sex outside of marriage, and same-sex marriage is not legal there. However, the voting on the bill was postponed following pressure from human rights groups and Australia.

Riska Carolina, the head of the legal division for LGBTQ group Arus Pelangi, said the group would fight to remove parts of the law that have “the potential for gross human rights violation, especially against the LGBT community.”

She added: “Regardless of the morality of the majority, the minority has the right to live as citizens in this country and we just want to live quietly.”

Related: Bali villas targeted by authorities for “catering” to the LGBTQ community

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