Yohanes Liestyo Poerwoto – Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) Deputy Chairperson Anwar Abbas has condemned a statement by Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD who said that being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) is kodrat (nature, natural destiny) so it cannot be prohibited.
Abbas believes that LGBT is not in the category of kodrat and actually contradicts it. Thus, Anwar says that the presence of LGBT people in Indonesia must be rejected and driven out because it violates the nation's philosophy.
"If this is so, then LGBT cannot be included in the category of kodrat and instead goes against and is contrary to kodrat. Therefore the presence of LGBT in this country must be rejected and removed from our life and livelihoods, especially in Indonesia because these attitudes and views as well as the lifestyle clearly contradict the philosophy of our nation, [the state ideology of] Pancasila, and the 1945 Constitution", he said in a written statement on Monday May 22.
Quoting from a statement by Indonesian scholar Mansour Fakih, Abbas said that kodrat is a biological determination that is permanent or does not change. This, he added, it represents a determination by God.
"As an example, it is kodrat for a women to menstruate, get pregnant, give birth and breastfeed. While it is kodrat for men to have sperm and women to have ovaries", said Abbas.
Aside from this, Abbas also gave another example related to kodrat such as men paring with women and vice versa. So, he continued, it is kodrat for a man to love a women and vice versa.
Nevertheless, Abbas admitted that humans can deny their kodrat as men and women, although this is actually dangerous because it harms themselves and many other people.
In this case, Abbas also gave as an example the extinction of humanity if men marry men and women marry women.
"So it is certain that in 150 years from now there will not be one human child who lives on this earth. How could this happen? Because it's the consequence of humanity violating its kodrat", he said.
Earlier, Mahfud MD touched on the LGBT problem when giving greeting to an Islamic Students Association Alumni Corps (KAHMI) national coordinating meeting that was held on Saturday May 20 in Puncak, Bogor.
He explained that LGBT is kodrat so it cannot be prohibited. According to Mahfud, what is prohibited in the context of LGBT is their behaviour.
"LGBT as kodrat cannot be prohibited, right. What is prohibited is their behaviour. LGBT people were created by God. Therefore it cannot be prohibited", he said as quoted by Tribunnews.com on the KAHMI YouTube channel on Monday May 22.
Mahfud's statement was in relation to explaining the new Criminal Code (KUHP) which was recently enacted into law.
In 2017, he said there were protests over several articles in the draft KUHP, which was still being discussed, but was criticised by the public. He gave as examples the prohibitions on LGBT and domestic animals entering other people's yards.
Following the protests the deliberations on the law were postponed. The House of Representatives (DPR) restarted deliberations last year and it was passed in to law at the end of the year.
Based on the new KUHP, Mahfud said there are no prohibitions on LGBT because what is prohibited is not LGBT itself but the behaviour that is displayed in public.
He reinterred that they are human beings despite being LGBT because they are a creation of God.
Therefore it cannot be prohibited, it is God who caused them to live as homos, lesbians, but it's when their behaviour is shown to people, that's what isn't allowed", he said.
Furthermore, Mahfud said that the new KUHP, which will come into force in 2026, it does not contain articles related to LGBT even though there were parties that pushed for it to be regulated.
"So what's the formula? Under the draft KUHP, which will apply later, it says in its formulation that whosoever has sexual relations outside of marriage and minors [can be prosecuted], LGBT right, it isn't covered there, although that not all of it", he said.
"Because for example, an adult no, underage is difficult to prove, right, it must be witnessed, right, and you don't want LGBT people to be witnessed by other people", he concluded.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "MUI Kecam Pernyataan Mahfud MD Sebut LGBT adalah Kodrat dan Tak Bisa Dilarang".]