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The wicked calls for LGBT ban

Tempo - December 1, 2023

Jakarta – There are increasing anti-LGBT opinions voiced in several regions. This is a wicked tactic from politicians blindly seeking popularity.

As the general elections draw near, a growing number of politicians and regional officials are rushing to call for bans against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. These politicians and officials are not only wrong in their thinking. Their actions are wicked because they are using discrimination to bring political gains.

In Pekanbaru, Riau, for example, anti-LGBT banners have appeared in several places. Pekanbaru government officials, the Riau Governor, and regional legislators are united in their opposition to the presence of LGBT people. Previously, Medan Mayor Bobby Nasution in North Sumatra made a similar statement on New Year's Eve 2023.

Other regions have even passed anti-LGBT laws. Take Bogor, West Java, which issued a bylaw on the Prevention of and Countermeasures against Deviant Sexual Behavior. Pariaman, West Sumatra, has a similar law. Politicians in Garut, West Java, have also been pushing for a bylaw banning people with different sexual orientations.

These politicians and regional heads are ignoring several international conventions that prohibit discrimination against any citizen, including LGBT people. A more civilized global community has guaranteed equality for LGBT people through a resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council passed in Geneva in 2014. This resolution states that every person is born free and equal and that everybody is entitled to rights and freedoms without any form of discrimination.

Our own Constitution protects every citizen from discrimination on any basis whatsoever. The 1945 Constitution guarantees the rights of every citizen regardless of their sexual orientation. Therefore, nobody, including politicians and regional officials, is allowed to violate the rights of LGBT people.

This anti-LGBT sentiment from officials and politicians in the run-up to the election will only worsen discrimination and lead to persecution of minority communities. People with a negative opinion of this vulnerable group will gain ammunition with which to spread hatred, for example, through social media. They might even be inspired to commit criminal acts based on their hatred of the LGBT community. But even without these wicked calls from politicians and the government, the rights of LGBT people – including the right to vote or obtain identity cards – are often ignored in many regions.

Politicians who use anti-LGBT sentiment have no legitimacy to participate in a democratic political contest, let alone be elected. Before the campaigning has even started, they already use the wrong tactics to garner support from the majority of voters by blaming the minority. If these discriminative politicians are elected, the national motto of Unity in Diversity will lose even more of its meaning. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender groups will be backed into a corner and ignored.

[Read the Complete Story in Tempo English Magazine.]

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1803772/the-wicked-calls-for-lgbt-ba