Although the “LGBT panic” that gripped Indonesia earlier this year has largely died down, groups intolerant of gay rights continue to attack the marginalized group, even taking their case to the country’s highest court.
A group of 12 academics from Aliansi Cinta Keluarga (Family Love Alliance) are currently petitioning the Constitutional Court to redefine existing laws to make homosexual acts between consenting adults illegal and punishable by up to 5 years in jail.
The group had three “expert” witnesses offer testimony before the court’s panel of judges yesterday, who each argued that homosexuality was inherently immoral and went against Indonesia’s founding principles.
“Is this in agreement with Pancasila? Are relations through the rectum a part of civilized humanity? It is a dirty thing and [now] we must recognize it as a human right. Is that normal?” Dr Dewi Inong said before the judges in court yesterday as quoted by Detik.
Dewi also argued that homosexual acts should be criminalized because they were more likely to cause the transmission of HIV and other sexual diseases.
Apparently the doctor is ignorant of the extensive research that shows that in places where LGBT rights are respected and people are more tolerant of homosexuality, HIV rates decrease significantly – once you reduce the social stigma of homosexuality, individuals are far more likely to get proper sexual health education, engage in safe sexual practices and to seek treatment if they have any signs of illness.
Despite the government’s poor track record on protecting LGBT rights, they have at least never crossed the line, that many other neighboring countries like Malaysia and Singapore have, of actually making homosexual acts illegal. As these sorts of cases are brought before the court every so often and have consistently failed, we hope this case will follow suit and also be rejected as being without merit.