Indonesia's plan to outlaw same-sex relationships worrying

JAKARTA: The discussions around revisions to Indonesia’s penal code showed that “strains of intolerance” have crept into the country, United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said on Wednesday (Feb 7).

Indonesia’s parliament is currently drafting proposed revisions to the criminal code to expand the definition of adultery and criminalise consensual sex between legally unmarried persons, and could include same-sex relationships.

Speaking to journalists at the end of his three-day visit to Indonesia, Zeid said: "The extremist views playing out in the political arena are deeply worrying, accompanied as they are by rising levels of incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence in various parts of the country, including Aceh."

Same-sex relationships are frowned upon but currently not criminalised in the world’s most populous Muslim country, except in the province of Aceh which is ruled by Syariah law. Zeid said he had raised the LGBT issue when he met Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday.

“If Muslim societies expect others to fight against Islamophobia, we should be prepared to end discrimination at home too," Mr Zeid told journalists. "Islamophobia is wrong. Discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs and colour is wrong. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or any other status is wrong.” Read more via Channel News Asia