INDONESIA: Government May Ban LGBT Websites

From the Jakarta Post:

Apparently under pressure to take preventive measures against the spread of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) propaganda through the internet, the Communications and Information Ministry is drafting a bill to ban websites that promote such activities. Ministry spokesperson Ismail Cawidu said the ministry had set up a panel that would meet to discuss the matter as soon as possible.

“The House commission has urged us, so we have to follow up on their proposal. However, the panel will still refer to the mechanism [to ban such websites] as stipulated in the prevailing provision,” he said on Friday. He added that the ministry plans to familiarize the public and the media with the proposal to get their input and opinions.

Commission I chairman Mahfudz Siddiq of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) said the bill would focus on legislation for national cyber security, ensuring that the development of information technology could be controlled by the state. He then said that the bill would include a ban on cyber content that could threaten national interests. “LGBT issues can damage national security, identity, culture and the faith of Indonesians,” Siddiq told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Last month politician Hidayat Nur Wahid [photo] called for blocking LGBT sites and compared LGBT rights to “radical terrorism.” In recent weeks Indonesia has banned “effeminate” men from television and demanded that social media sites block gay emojis.

RELATED: Homosexuality is legal in Indonesia except for Muslims in the heavily populated provinces of Aceh and South Sumatra, where Sharia Law is in effect. Indonesia is the world’s most-populous Muslim-majority nation, with 87% of its 255 million residents being Sunni Muslims.