Indonesian lesbian gives passionate plea for equality


indonesian lesbian gay singer kami mata family resilience bill
Photo: Twitter

A lesbian woman in Indonesia has taken to social media to demand a Bill attacking her country’s LGBTIQ community be dropped.

The new Bill, backed by some Indonesian MPs, would effectively outlaw homosexuality as “deviant” behaviour, equating it with incest and S&M sex.

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The law would require anyone “suffering” from such “sexual deviations” to report to state-sanctioned rehab centres.

In a message on Twitter, Indonesian singer Kai Mata describes herself as a “flaming gay” and blasts the homophobic laws.

“My name is Kai Mata. I’m Indonesian and I’m also a flaming gay,” she said in her video message on Twitter.

“No laws will change that. No conversion therapy will change that. Neither will the hate and threats.

“I’m speaking out because it shouldn’t be so hard seeing two girls in love.”

Mata, who is a singer, called on supporters to sign an Indonesian-language Change.org petition demanding the Family Resilience Bill be scrapped.

“If passed, LGBTQ Indonesians will face mandated conversion therapy by the government,” Mata writes in her message.

“Though it isn’t yet law, it normalises pre-existing homophobia and hateful rhetoric. LGBTQ citizens of Indonesia have been silenced through societal shame and fear.

“This Bill pushes LGBTQ Indonesians deeper into the closet and further away from speaking out.”

Discussion on the bill has yet to start. However the proposed legislation has made it onto the parliament’s priority list for the 2020 to 2024 period.

Parties supporting President Joko Widodo currently control 74% of seats in the country’s parliament.

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LGBTIQ advocates say it is vital to see how the government will respond to the proposal.

Australian advocates support LGBTIQ community in Indonesia

Homosexuality is not illegal in most of Indonesia. However, leaders have increasingly targeted the country’s LGBTIQ community with homophobic rhetoric and police raids in recent years.

In February, Australian group just.equal urged our government to call on President Joko Widodo to condemn the Bill. Widodo was visiting Australia for trade talks.

“The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, addressed the Australian parliament about the importance of freedom and human rights,” spokesperson Ivan Hinton-Teoh said.

“Australia’s foreign minister should seek clarification on the President’s position regarding the proposed law.

“[The minister] should make it clear the Australian government unequivocally condemns it.”

Hinton-Teoh said the Australian Government has a moral duty and economic interest in defending LGBTIQ equality in the Asia Pacific region.

“Societies that are accepting of LGBTIQ people are more equal, more stable, and more prosperous,” he said.

In a speech to parliament, Joko Widodo called for both nations to combat “identity politics, fostering greater tolerance, ending terrorism and improving human rights.”

“We must continue to advocate the values of democracy, human rights, stop intolerance, stop xenophobia, stop radicalism and stop terrorism,” he said.

“Identity politics is a trap to democracy, a threat to adversity and a threat to tolerance.

“These threats will become more actual exploitation for short-term political interests, resulting in hatred, fear and even social conflict.

“These democratic and diverse countries, we must work hard, side by side together, to defend the values of democracy, tolerance and adversity and to look at the clash of civilisation.”

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