Statement from TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen

Truth Wins Out is profoundly troubled by news reports that Indonesia has introduced a bill that would include so-called “rehabilitation camps” for LGBT people. The abusive Family Resilience Bill is an oppressive form of religious tyranny that would psychologically scar LGBT people – as well as exercise Orwellian government control over the lives of Indonesian citizens.

Reuters reports that under the bill, homosexuality, incest and sadomasochism are defined as “sexual deviations” and it wants people to report themselves to government-sanctioned rehabilitation centers for treatment.

ABC News reports that the so-called treatment encompasses “social or psychological rehabilitation”, “spiritual guidance”, or “medical rehabilitation.”

We have witnessed similar private “ex-gay” programs and boot camps in the United States and they fail 100% of the time. They help absolutely no one, and leave a trail of broken people and devastated families. The idea that such gulags would be official government policy in Indonesia is appalling.

Every respected science-based medical and mental health association in the world is against such interventions. These groups know that LGBT people aren’t sick, so can’t be healed. LGBT people aren’t broken so they can’t be fixed. The American Psychiatric Association says that attempts to change sexual orientation can lead to “anxiety, depression and self-destructive behavior,” including suicide. So, where is Indonesia getting their information from on these failed programs? We’d love to find out

Let’s be clear: This draconian bill is proposing to create the infrastructure for cruel internment camps that would terrorize LGBT Indonesians. It seems modeled, to some extent, on Chinese camps for Uyghurs.

What Indonesia is attempting to do is a criminal undertaking that would grossly violate human rights.

This hateful and ignorant bill is a crude attempt to stigmatize, humiliate, harass and brutalize people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This bill perpetuates crass stereotypes, spreads outright lies about LGBT people and is a despicable and grotesque violation of civilization and basic human decency.

But this bill goes beyond that. It’s a hideous and inhumane effort to separate LGBT people from larger society and erase them from public life. Thus, it is an officially sanctioned hate crime and a form of outright eliminationism. The bill as written is reminiscent of the notorious Nuremberg Laws that targeted Jews in Nazi Germany.

Is this really what Indonesia wants to be known for? Every person contributing to this monstrosity should be held accountable and eventually tried in a court of law for human rights abuses.

Like all social policies designed by puritanical religious zealots, the Family Resilience Bill’s sponsor’s display stunning level of sexual immaturity and seek extreme social control society. The bill, for example, states that wives must “take care of household-related matters” and “treat the husband and the child well.” The invasive bill is also seeking a maximum penalty of seven years in prison for surrogacy.

According to ABC News: In recent years, LGBT Indonesians have faced a spike in police raids against their workplaces, homes and public entertainment venues. While homosexuality is not illegal, people are often publicly shamed by authorities and others have been charged under the country’s controversial anti-pornography law.

The spike in homophobia is literally killing LGBT people. According to the Human Rights Watch’s World Report released last month, HIV rates among men who have sex with men has increased five-fold since 2007 from 5 per cent to 25 per cent, spurred by rising anti-LGBT sentiment and officially-endorsed discrimination.

The idea that the Family Resilience Bill is actually helping real families is absurd. It’s not about help – it’s about hate, pure and simple.

Truth Wins Out urges Indonesia to dump this backward and barbaric bill. It’s basically a pogrom that would ruin the lives of LGBT people in a pathetic effort to score cheap political points.

Hopefully, sanity and civility will prevail and overcome this period of moral darkness, societal sickness, political pathology and homophobic hysteria that has infected Indonesia.

The eyes of the world are watching.