Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia
From psychiatrists to politicians, the onslaught against the LGBT community in Indonesia has continued unabated this week.
Following plans to censor LGBT issues in the media and a spate of anti-gay remarks from officials, it was reported on Wednesday that the Indonesian Psychiatrists’ Association (PDSKJI) views homosexuality as a mental disorder.
“We really do care about them. What we are worried about is, if left untreated, such sexual tendencies could become a commonly accepted condition in society,” PDSKJI member Suzy Yusna Dewi told The Jakarta Post.
She said that homosexuality is similar to drug addiction, and “without constant intervention, a person can easily return to their previous sexual tendency once he or she experiences withdrawal.”
Her organisation, it was revealed, categorises gays, lesbians and bisexuals as “people with psychiatric problems” and transgender people as having “mental disorders”.
Indonesia’s mental health professionals are very much behind the times; the World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a disorder back in 1990.
Earlier in the week, on Monday, the mayor of the Indonesian city of Tangerang urged members of the community to breastfeed their children. Bizarrely, he went on to warn that poor nutrition, including feeding youngsters instant noodles, would lead to “more LGBT” children.
The next day, Indonesia’s Defence Minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, took the attack against LGBT people a step further. He cautioned that they are a growing threat to the country and its sovereignty.
“This is a kind of a modern warfare…It’s the cheapest kind of war there is,” said Ryacudu in a bizarre diatribe against countries that promote LGBT equality.
“It’s 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 argued.
“In a proxy war – another state might have occupied the minds of the nation without anyone realising it,” continued Ryacudu, adding that, “This sort of brainwashing is dangerous, as it skews the mindset of our nation away from our base ideology.”
Communication and broadcasting bureaucrats recently moved to block any LGBT content in the media and have ordered social media and messaging apps to remove same-sex themed emoticons from their services or be banned from the country.
Since January, local government and education officials have called for discriminatory anti-LGBT measures, including suggesting bans on LGBT student groups on university campuses and ordering police to halt an HIV outreach event for gay and bisexual men.
Homosexuality is legal in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Islamic nation, except for Muslims in the Aceh province. The national government allowed the province to introduce a by-law through which Muslims found guilty of homosexuality face up to 100 lashes and up to 100 months in prison.