Indonesia: Minister on back foot over anti-gay remarks

A minister has found himself on the receiving end of angry scorn and fierce criticism following comments he made attacking the LGBT community. Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir took to his Twitter account @menristekdikti on Monday to clarify the statement he made on Sunday, in which he said that LGBT “corrupted the nation's morals”.

Nasir agreed that members of the LGBT community, as Indonesian citizens, were entitled to equality before the law: "But that does not mean that the state legitimizes the LGBT status. Only their rights as citizens must be guaranteed by the state," he tweeted on Monday to his 16,500 followers.

His earlier comments that LGBT elements should be barred from universities as there were "values and moral standards to uphold" met with a wave of public fury and criticism.

A petition issued on by a student named Poedjiati Tan from Surabaya demands that Nasir withdraw his comments regarding LGBT and morality, as well as his calls for a ban on LGBT people within universities. Read more via Jakarta Post