Legislators in Indonesia are reportedly planning to criminalise homosexuality, which would make gay sex punishable by up to five years in prison.
The bill – supported by Indonesia’s 10 main political parties – could go into effect as early as Valentine’s Day, according to The House of Representatives.
Activist Kate Wilson told ABC: “Some have even said they will be doing it on February 14. A lot of people have seen the irony between that being Valentine’s Day and the potential for raids on boarding houses, houses and apartments to catch couples having sex outside of marriage.”
Lawmaker Arsul Sani – the secretary general of the PPP Party – co-created the new criminal code, and said: “It applies to people of the same gender who have sex, which is basically a forbidden act.
“It’s considered the same as adultery, where men and women having sex outside marriage can be considered a crime.”
Homosexuality and same-sex relations are legal in most of Indonesia, save for the ultra conservative Aceh province which is ruled by Islamic law.
However, LGBTQ relationships are largely disapproved of by society – particularly public displays of affection between same-sex couples.
As part of a wider crackdown on the LGBTQ community in the country, officials have also called for Google to take down 73 LGBTQ-related applications from the Google Play Store.
Earlier this month, Indonesia’s Air Force came under fire for stating LGBTQ people can’t serve in the armed forces because of a “mental disorder.”
The controversial statement stemmed from their Air Force’s Twitter account (@_TNIAU), tweeting that soldiers were forbidden from committing immoral acts, which resulted in user RatnaPurba (@ratpruba) questioning: “What about the LGBT?”
They responded: “There is a mental health test in the selection process. LGBT is included as a mental disorder. If there are still many candidate soldiers who are mentally healthy, then why should unhealthy ones be accepted?”
In December, an Indonesian court ruled that 10 men will be sent to prison after being arrested during a raid at a gay club and sauna earlier last May.
During the raid, 140 men were detained by police at the Atlantis spa in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on suspicion of participating in a sex party at the venue.
The men were detained and tried under anti-pornography laws, and have now been found guilty, according to an activist and relative of one of the men.
Those charged include two visitors to the spa, who police allege performed oral sex.
Several employees including managers, a gym trainer, a security guard and a stripper make up the other eight men who have been charged.