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Conservative Islamic party PKS blamed for pushing anti-LGBT bylaws

Republika - January 27, 2023

A. Syalaby Ichsan, Jakarta – The sudden emergence of regional governments planning to enact anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) regulations (Perda) has drawn scorn from LGBT rights activist Hartoyo.

According to Hartoyo, who is from the group SuaraKita (Our Voice), the planned bylaws that have suddenly sprung up in different parts of the country are only based on statements by individual politicians and local officials.

He gave the example of the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar where the discourse on an anti-LGBT bylaw emerged following remarks by a Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) legislator from the Islamic based Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS).

"For PKS cadres, it's not just in Makassar, in Senayan [the national parliament] there are also PKS cadres who want to propose criminalising LGBT. So they also want to in Bandung and Garut [West Java], Makassar, as well as nationally. The PKS cadres or maybe the PKS as a party, are itching to criminalise LGBT. So it's not a new phenomena", said Hartoyo when contacted by Republika recently.

Hartoyo asserted that the PKS habitually criminalises members of the LGBT community. This is why, said Hartoyo, the PKS was one of the political parties that opposed the recent enactment of the Draft Criminal Code into law.

"One of their main reasons I suspect was because there were no articles criminalising LGBT", he explained.

Nevertheless, Hartoyo accepts these different views and considers it natural for there to be proposals for anti-LGBT regulations, which he said do not yet have any academic studies backing them.

"The proposals or views on these Perda are only at the stage of personal proposals, only just a personal dream or ideal. Now, how will these dreams be realised, we'll just wait and see the future dynamics in each area. There are also many kinds of parties and views in the regions. And I'm sure that this diversity of views does not have a single understanding of LGBT", he said.

It has been reported that a number of regions have initiated moves to take the LGBT problem into the legislative arena, one of which is Makassar. Makassar Mayor Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto has declared his support for deliberations on a draft regional regulation (Ranperda) banning LGBT by the Makassar city DPRD.

"We very much support such deliberations and right from the start we have indeed rejected LGBT because we are a religious and traditional people", said Pomanto in Makassar on Sunday January 8.

Pomanto said that the draft regulation was initiated by the Makassar DPRD's Commission D that has also begun discussing the regulation. He said that with such a regulation banning LGBT, all forms of campaigning or activities that deviate from [normal] life or sexual orientation will no longer be justified.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Daerah Marak Rencanakan Perda Anti LGBT, Hartoyo Salahkan PKS".]

Source: https://iqra.republika.co.id/berita/rp4jk1483/daerah-marak-rencanakan-perda-anti-lgbt-hartoyo-salahkan-pk