As the world’s most populous Muslim nation intensifies efforts to purge LGBTs from the country, powerful American technology companies have stepped in to help.
Following a series of highly public raids and floggings enacted against gays, lesbians, and transgenders, the Indonesian government is also moving toward outlawing homosexuality entirely.
Several public floggings took place in 2017 against men caught in homosexual acts. In one instance, two men received 83 lashes each before a crowd of 2,000 onlookers chanting “Hit him harder!”
In a public spectacle earlier this month, Indonesian authorities arrested 12 transgenders, shaved their heads and dressed them in masculine clothing “to turn them into men” while parading them before a crowd. The raid was called “operasi penyakit masyarakat,” which translates as “community sickness operation,” reports Pink News.
Police officers also further humiliated the transgenders “by way of having them run for some time and telling them to chant loudly until their male voices came out,” one cop reported.
Today, bowing to pressure from the Muslim nation’s leaders, Google has abruptly pulled all gay dating apps from its Play Store in Indonesia. The apps are often the only means gay people, particularly in repressive societies, have to communicate with one another.
The government demanded, and Google complied to, purging 73 LBGT-related apps, including Blued, the largest gay dating app in Asia, from the Play Store.
The government also announced it will move to scrub “gay propaganda” from the Internet.
Although only the Aceh province, which is ruled by sharia law, currently outlaws homosexuality, the entire country is poised to pass a law criminalizing same-sex acts nationwide. The bill reportedly has support from all 10 of the country’s main political parties and makes gay sex punishable by up to five years in prison.
Arsul Sani, the secretary general of Indonesia’s PPP Party, who helped author the bill, said, “it applies to people of the same gender who have sex, which is basically a forbidden act […] It’s considered the same as adultery, where men and women having sex outside marriage can be considered a crime.”
The bill is expected to pass as soon as Valentine’s Day.
feature image via South China Morning Post