Bandung Mayor: You can support LGBT rights, just don’t do it on social media or I’ll have you blocked

The recent controversy over LGBT rights has led numerous politicians to make their feelings on the matter clear. Yesterday, Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama defended members of the LGBT community, arguing that nobody has the right to judge somebody else’s sexual orientation.

Also yesterday, Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil (a potential rival to Ahok in the 2017 Jakarta governor’s race) showed his true colors by saying that, while it’s okay if people want to support LGBT rights, they shouldn’t talk about it publicly, especially on social media.

“Speaking personally, basically I am not concerned about their personal affairs. But it becomes a problem when a private matter that cannot be accepted as the norm is published,” Ridwan said at his home yesterday as quoted by Tempo.

The Bandung mayor went further, saying that if there were people caught discussing LGBT openly on social media he would act to stop it.

“So, if there are publications on an account like that, I would definitely find a way to block it,” he said.

Ridwan said that although social media is personal by nature, it still has rules. “Social media also has rules on pornography, as it does not fit the norms.”

The mayor of Bandung admitted that there might be some question of what norms were accepted and where the government had authority to act on it, but he said that many social media accounts on Twitter had been blocked because of posting things regarding LGBT issues, justifying his stance.

Ridwan is popularly seen as a progressive, forward-thinking politician, so hearing him talk like this is pretty disappointing. Perhaps he thinks that’s what he needs to say from a political standpoint, but either way we find it disheartening. Thank goodness we still have Ahok.

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