Indonesian Lawmakers Mulling Over Ban on Gay TV Characters

Lawmakers in Indonesia are considering banning LGBTQ characters from national television shows in yet another effort to clamp down on gay activities in the country.

The proposed ban–which looks to outlaw any lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer “behaviour” from TV programmes–has been added to a broadcasting bill currently being deliberated in the House of Representatives. The restriction has reportedly gained cross-party support.

“We can’t allow LGBT behaviour on TV. It is against our culture,” said legislator Supiadin Aries Saputra of the NasDem party, as quoted by The Jakarta Post.

The lawmaker added that screenings of LGBTQ characters should be stopped before it “becomes a lifestyle” that can “ruin the morality of the younger generation”.

Another lawmaker, Hanafi Rais from the National Mandate Party said he believed there are still “more creative ways to entertain people” instead of showing LGBTQ on screen.

While being gay is not illegal in Indonesian law, conservative forces in the country have been aggressively targeting a clamp down on the gay community. In May police raided a gay sauna in Jakarta, arresting 141 men using loosely defined pornography laws.

Additionally, the province of Aceh implements its own autonomous sharia law and gay behavior is considered a grave crime. In May two men were publicly caned after being caught having a consensual sexual relationship.

Photo by advocate.com

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Ardi Wirdana is a Jakarta-based journalist covering a variety of topics including business, policy, and news in Indonesia.


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