Equality advocates are calling on the Australian government to speak out against moves in Indonesia to criminalise homosexuality.
A leaked version of the proposed ‘Family Resilience’ law before the Indonesian parliament has revealed that it would see gay people sent to ‘rehabilitation camps’, Gay Star News has reported.
The law would also allow authorities to remove the children of those who did not turn themselves in.
Ivan Hinton-Teoh, spokesperson for advocacy group just.equal, called on the Australian government to speak up in support of LGBTIQ people in Indonesia.
“Less than a fortnight ago, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, addressed the Australian parliament about the importance of freedom and human rights,” he said.
“Australia’s foreign minister should seek clarification on the President’s position regarding the proposed law, and make it clear the Australian government unequivocally condemns it.”
Hinton-Teoh said that the Australian government has a moral duty and an economic interest in defending LGBTIQ equality in the Asia Pacific region.
“It is in Australia’s interest to promote LGBTIQ acceptance in our region because societies that are accepting of LGBTIQ people are more equal, more stable, and more prosperous,” he said.
In addition to criminalising homosexuality, Indonesia’s proposed new law would ban BDSM, while defining ‘families’ based on marriage and children and dictating that household duties fall to wives.
While homosexuality is currently mostly legal in the Muslim-majority country, in the province of Aceh and the city of Palembang, gay sex is subject to corporal punishment under Sharia law.
Indonesia has been cracking down on LGBTIQ people in recent years, with men publicly flogged in Aceh for gay sex, trans women rounded up in Jakarta for ‘rehabilitation’, and raids on saunas leading to arrests of gay and bisexual men.
Human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, have already condemned the proposed new law.