Indonesia is far from being the most LGBT-friendly country in the world, but homosexuality is not illegal (except in the province of Aceh, which was given special autonomy to enact sharia laws). That said, Indonesia has been in the grip of a LGBT moral panic in recent years, in which public officials constantly contribute to the paranoia by openly discriminating against the minority group.
The latest of such discrimination was carried out by the Regional Child Protection Agency (KPAD) in Bekasi regency, who today made public its unofficial census of LGBT individuals in the area.
According to the data, which KPAD said was obtained from local police records of LGBT communities in the area, there are 4,000 LGBT individuals in Bekasi regency.
“From there, the seeds for HIV/AIDS grow.”
More often than not, in Indonesia, homosexuals are blamed for rising HIV rates in the country, despite the fact that the majority of new infections are made through heterosexual transmission.
And while KPAD acknowledges that it has no legal means to prosecute the 4,000 LGBT individuals, the group says it hopes homosexuals will take advantage of therapy now provided by the regency.
“Because LGBT is a disease. In those clinics they can be treated through therapy,” Mohamad said.