Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim democracy, has had a reputation for gay tolerance in the conservative Islamic world. But that may be changing. A wave of police raids, vigilante attacks, and calls to criminalize homosexuality, has left many in the country's LGBTI community fearing for their safety.
In May, an Indonesian gay couple was punished with 80 lashes after vigilantes burst into their home and filmed them having sex. They were the first men to be publicly caned for same-sex relations in Aceh province, where Islamic law is enforced. In the rest of the country, being gay is legal. But in the same month, officers detained 141 men in a raid at a sauna in Jakarta, accusing them of involvement in a prostitution ring. A series of incidents like these is sending a chill through the LGBTI community.
== ADI 28 ==
A lot of gays don't like partying, don't like free sex. This is what needs to be changed. The Indonesian society's perception that leads to judging someone from what they can see only on the outside.
Adi and Ahmed, a gay couple living in Jakarta, said they fear the society is growing intolerant, leading people to hide their lifestyle.
== AHMAD university lecturer, 33 ==
We've thought about wanting to move away, switch citizenship, or find other possibilities which could ensure a more proper life for us.
Indonesian police deny targeting the LGBTI community.
== RIKWANTO spokesperson, Indonesia's National Police==
We appeal for such things not to be done, as long as they are kept private and their (LGBT community's) personal affairs are kept to themselves, then it will not be a problem.
Indonesians used to have a 'live and let live' attitude to the LGBTI population. The problem began in 2016, when some politicians started to make attacks on the issue. Among them was the defense minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, who said the LGBTI movement was more dangerous than a nuclear war. Recently, Islamic conservatives called for a boycott of Starbucks over its pro-gay stance.
== LUKMANUL HAKIM chairman, economic affairs, ulema council==
Indonesia's Ulema Council totally disagrees with parties or groups who support the LGBT (community).
With anti-LGBTI rhetoric on the rise, several gay dating apps have been banned. Activists say that one politician who has been mostly silent amid the ongoing discrimination has been the Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
== RAFAEL DA COSTA chairperson, GAYa Nusantara==
So far, we see that protection from the government for LGBT is still lacking. Our space is getting more and more limited.
Homosexuality remains a taboo topic with the public. A poll found 93 percent of respondents in Indonesia disagreed that society should accept homosexuality.
TRANSLATED BY：SASHA CHIU