Islamic, Catholic, Buddhist and Confucian leaders sign a joint statement calling for an end of violence against gay people but also reiterate their opposition to homosexual practices. For Islamic leader, stopping advertising by LGBT groups will help people get "back on track to normalcy.
Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Leaders from Indonesia’s religious groups have waded into the debate over the place of the LGBT community in society.
In a joint statement issued on Thursday, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the Indonesia Catholic Bishops’ Conference (KWI), the Council of Buddhist Communities (Walubi) and the Confucian Supreme Council of Indonesia (Matakin) rejected all forms of propaganda in favour of LGBT legalisation, stating that LGBT behaviours are a “social illness” that violates religious teachings and principles of the Constitution.
For MUI leader Yusnar Yusuf, not encouraging LGBT values and behavious is key to helping LGBT people get "back on track to normalcy.
Putting limitations on the promotion of LGBT activities would act as a form of "treatment" in encouraging the elimination of any tendencies toward deviant sexual behavior.
"It is important now to invite everyone to think positively about them in that they are sick people who need to be healed," Yusnar said at a press conference on Thursday.
Although religious leaders also condemned all forms of violence against gay people, they joined government in calling for a stop to foreign funding for NGOs that promote LGBT rights.
The government’s policy is to tolerate homosexuality as a prerogative of some people in society (who must be protected as citizens), but to ban public campaigns that seek to influence other people to adopt that lifestyle.
The controversy over homosexuality came to the fore after the Support Group and Resources Centre (SGRC) applied for a permit to operate at the University of Indonesia, which the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Muhammad Nasir, turned down.
Fr Siswantoko, from KWI, said it was important not to isolate LGBT people but to welcome them, because a healthy society also depends on their rehabilitation.
For its part, the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) announced new regulations – discriminatory according to their critics – that ban all forms of communication on TV, radio, or other means of communication that promote LGBT activities.
The government has also blocked popular microblogging website Tumblr, claiming it contained pornography and promoted LGBT relationships.