Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Indonesia Sentences 10 Men to Prison Following Gay Club Raid

Indonesia Sentences 10 Men to Prison Following Gay Club Raid

Homosexuality is still legal in most of Indonesia, but in May two young men were caned for having gay sex in Aceh, a semiautonomous region governed by Shariah law.

The case was brought forward by the Family Love Alliance which claims there is a huge amount of immoral behaviour in the country and this is spread by social media and the internet. In a tweet it expressed hope that the court will not bow to group pressure.

The efforts to outlaw homosexuality are now being reviewed by some lawmakers in Parliament.

There was a backlash against the country's LGBT community past year with government ministers publicly making anti-gay statements. Conservative government officials and religious groups have made harsh anti-gay statements, and police have raided gay-themed parties and clubs and charged them under Indonesia's tough anti-pornography laws.

They were among more than 140 men detained after the raid in May on what police said was a sex party at the Atlantis spa in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.

"It's such a big verdict", she said. "It means that the Constitutional Court is consistently strengthening its position as the guardian of the Constitution and also as protector of human rights".

The judges in their ruling said it's not the Constitutional Court's role to criminalize private behavior or to usurp parliament by imposing laws on it.

On Thursday, Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled against a proposed ban on gay sex.

It argued that the influence of the gay community has been spreading, particularly since the United States legalised same-sex marriage, resulting in what it called "moral degradation". "We know exactly the magnitude of this problem - extramarital affairs and same-sex relationships", said a weeping Euis Sunarti, who was one of the applicants behind the criminalisation bid.

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