Constitutional law expert’s argument in favor of criminalizing gay sex: Seeing men kiss is wrong

Today the constitutional court is once again hearing testimony in favor of a petition to change the criminal code in order to make consensual sex between any unmarried adults, gay or straight, illegal and punishable by jail time (seriously).

But the focus of the hearings have largely been on why gay sex specifically needs to be outlawed. In previous cases, the “experts” testifying in favor of the petition argued that gay sex inherently leads to the spread of HIV and was not in line with the state ideology of Pancasila (both ridiculous arguments).

At today’s hearing, the court heard from Universitas Indonesia constitutional law “expert” Hamid Chalid, whose specific area of constitutional law expertise is apparently in the “criminalizing things that make him uncomfortable”.

“[Homosexuality] is spreading. it happened at the Universitas Indonesia train station, there were two men kissing. In a public area. Is that acceptable?” Hamid asked the court as quoted by Detik.

His nuanced legal arguments also included this gem, as tweeted by Rappler reporter Ursula Florene (who did a great job live tweeting today’s court proceeding):

“If the constitutional court doesn’t do something, there will be an LGBT party in front of the court building, like in America.” 

Perhaps even more disturbing that Hamid’s arguments were the statements of Constitutional Court Judge Patrialis Akbar, who said that Indonesia was not a secular country and that so-called human rights had to be limited by religious and moral beliefs.

With those kinds of statements coming from one of the judges, we’re becoming increasingly worried that the Constitutional Court might actually accept the petition, even though it seems like none of the arguments presented before the court have anything to do with the constitutionality of the original law. The next session in the petition’s hearing will take place next week.

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