The mayor of Padang, in West Sumatra, led thousands of city residents on an anti-LGBT march on Sunday (18 November). It is the latest state-sanctioned move to vilify the community in Indonesia.
He organized the two-kilometer protest march to reject LGBT Indonesians and ‘declare a sin-free Padang’, according to local media.
Padang Mayor Mahyeldi, a member of the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party, told marchers he would increase police numbers to protect residents from LGBT people.
‘To the perpetrators of sin, let them repent and those who protect them immediately be aware because they will face opposition from all parties and communities in Padang as well as security forces’, he said, according to Coconuts Jakarta.
Mahyeldi and other local government leaders signed a charter promising to rid Padang of adultery, alcohol, drugs, and LGBT.
New wave of hatred
Muslim-majority Indonesia’s LGBTI crackdown began in 2016.
But, regional authorities have recently initiated a number of anti-LGBTI regulations and activities ahead of elections next year.
Payakumbuh, the second-largest city in West Sumatra, is planning to revise a 2016 bylaw on social ills. It wants to ban LGBTI activists to prevent ‘deviant behavior’ from spreading.
Furthermore, West Sumatra Deputy Governor, Nasrul Abit, called on villages to punish LGBTI residents.
Meanwhile, in East Kotawaringin regency, Central Kalimantan, the local government is also drafting anti-LGBTI bylaws.
A number of LGBTI individuals have moved to safer parts of the country or fled altogether, they said.
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Author: Rik Glauert