Today, on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, two Sumatran men were sentenced to public whipping with a cane. Their crime? Consensual gay sex in private. The victims had been apprehended by a gang of vigilantes who broke into their private room to catch them “in the act”. Its a chilling development in an alarming trend: Indonesia’s slide into the ranks of countries ruled by religious extremism.
The judgement follows on from the appalling, racist and transparently political incarceration of Jakarta’s governor ( a double minority, being Christian and Chinese) for “blasphemy”) an offense that a) it is clear he did not commit and b) should not be illegal anyway in any modern country. The courts have sent a clear message – they will side with the loud voices of religious conservatives.
The same law has been used to persecute the Gafatar minority, whose unorthodox and syncretic blend of…
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