Supporters of LGBT rights in Indonesia were given a small victory last month when the Constitutional Court rejected a petition to amend the country’s criminal code that would’ve made homosexual acts illegal, but paranoia towards the minority group remains strong throughout Indonesian society, with discrimination often perpetuated and institutionalized by government authorities.
Earlier today, the official (and very active) Twitter account for the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) responded to a question about whether LGBT soldier were accepted into the military force like this:
Ooohhh, no cannot. At the time of selection there is a mental health test and LGBT is a mental disorder. If there are still many soldier candidates that are mentally fit, why should we accept the mentally ill?
The tweet quickly went viral and garnered a great deal of support but also quite a lot of criticism, to which the TNI AU account then responded:
Answering dozens of mentions directly 👉🏻 until today there are still many prospective TNI soldiers who have normal sexual orientations (note that in Indonesian, the only word for straight is normal).
TNI soldiers also are regulated by norms of soldiering including religious norms & legal norms, so they must be healthy both physically and mentally 💂
In response to the numerous tweets arguing that LGBT sexual orientations are not mental illnesses (as is the prevailing opinion in the international psychiatric community), the TNI AU account shared this link about a psychiatrist at Universitas Indonesia who believes they are.
After one person replied that the article only gave one person’s opinion and did not offer scientific proof, the TNI AU account answered with this:
As a military soldier that is devoted to God and as Muslims the Quran is enough scientific proof. Is there science higher and more reliable than the holy book? In scripture, LGBT is not only prohibited but “cursed”.
Well, it’s hard to argue with that…. Or, rather, it’s hard to argue with somebody who believes that.