With the moral panic over LGBT rights currently gripping Indonesia, it sometimes feels like Indonesian religious and political leaders are now holding a contest to see which one of them can denounce the pro-LGBT movement in the loudest, most scare-mongering way possible.
Well if they were having a contest, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu just won it.
Yesterday, Ryacudu declared that the the LGBT movement in Indonesia was a form of “proxy war” to destroy our country.
What is a proxy war? Well, it’s when two countries are at war. But not directly. And not openly. The “war” is conducted by agents – agents who might not even know they are part of a war.
But of course, our esteemed defense minister would not engage in paranoid fantasy. He must have excellent reasons to believe that the LGBT movement is part of a clandestine foreign plot to destroy Indonesia, right?
“[The LGBT movement] is dangerous as we can’t see who our foes are, but out of the blue everyone is brainwashed – now the (LGBT) community is demanding more freedom, it really is a threat,” he said as quoted by Tempo.
Ryacudu did not mention who these “foes” might be, but that’s probably just because he was worried about their secret agents who might have been listening in on him.
The defense minister added that he wrote about the subject of proxy wars 15 years ago, so he knows all about the incredible danger they pose. In fact, in his expert estimation, the pro-LGBT movement could actually be considered more dangerous than a nuclear bomb.
“In a nuclear war, if a bomb is dropped over Jakarta, Semarang will not be affected – but in a proxy war, everything we know could disappear in an instant – it’s dangerous,” he said.
Sure, that all makes sense…. right?
To be fair, there actually are a lot of people besides Ryacudu who believe that there are proxy wars over gay rights taking place around the world. But most of those people believe that it is being waged by anti-LGBT activists from the US who, having lost their war against gay rights in America, are using their resources to spread homophobia to countries like Uganda.
At any rate, now seems like a really good time for President Joko Widodo to finally speak up and let us know where he stands on the LGBT issue, because until he does we are just going to see more and more statements like this, which could eventually lead to even more oppression for one of Indonesia’s most persecuted minority groups.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!