On Sept 20, 2016 The Conversation published this article:
Indonesia’s LGBT community has been weathering “unprecedented attacks” through hateful public comments by top public officials since early this year.But the biggest threat yet has come recently in a legal move by a conservative group, the Family Love Alliance (AILA), to criminalise any sexual activity outside marriage. The Constitutional Court is deliberating the alliance’s request to change the definitions of adultery, rape and sodomy in the Criminal Code.The police have joined the chorus of discrimination against LGBT people by urging the government to ban online gay dating applications. The Communication and Informatics Ministry has declared it will ban the apps.Both AILA and the police say their demands are based on a need to protect children from sexual abuse and child prostitution. In a recent police raid of a child prostitution ring, police found the gay dating apps on the suspect’s iPad.Sexual violence against children and child prostitution in Indonesia are serious problems which the government must tackle. Yet it begs the question of why, in doing so, the police are only interested in banning gay dating apps.Numerous social media platforms such as Facebook also provide potential platforms for crimes, including child prostitution.Amid the rhetoric of protecting children, AILA also seems to ignore Indonesian marriage law that allows child marriage.