Indonesia set to pass law banning all gay characters on TV

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Indonesian lawmakers have given the green light to a proposed law that would outlaw ‘LGBT behaviours’ on television.

The Jakarta Post reports that a proposed ban has been tacked to a broadcasting bill currently being discussed by the country’s Parliament.

The newspaper reports that a draft copy of the bill includes Orwellian new language that seeks to ban LGBT characters in TV shows.

Among the list of criteria for outlawed content in broadcasts includes programs containing “LGBT behaviour.”

This could cripple the TV industry, which would be effectively prevented from showing any show that features a character who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

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Reporting on LGBT rights issues would also be hampered, as would documentaries about anyone who happens to be gay.

The law would require the ‘screening’ of all TV shows, films and adverts by an external censorship body prior to broadcast in order to ensure compliance with the new rules.

It has broad support from across the parties in the country.

Speaking to the Post, Hanafi Rais of the National Mandate Party supported the ban, insisting: “I am sure there are still more creative ways to entertain people [instead of showing LGBT behaviour].”

Supiadin Aries Saputra of the NasDem Party said: “We can’t allow LGBT behaviour on TV. It is against our culture.

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“We have to ban it early before it becomes a lifestyle. It’s dangerous and can ruin the morality of the younger generation.”

Golkar Party lawmaker Bobby Ad­hi­tyo Rizaldi added: “People disagree with the [promotion of the] LGBT community. We can’t ignore such input from the public.”

LGBT groups in the country have condemned the bill, slamming it as an over-reach of authority and a clear attempt to hinder their growing movement.

It is legal to be gay in Indonesia apart from in the ultra-conservative Aceh province, which implements harsh punishments under Islamic law.

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Amnesty International earlier this year urged Indonesia to stop the caning and arrests of LGBT people in Aceh.

Several public floggings have taken place this year, with two men given 83 lashes each for ‘homosexual conduct’.

A report earlier this year alleged that there had been attempts to ‘cover up’ the anti-LGBT oppression in the region by moving the floggings away from the public eye.

Human Rights Watch said that the floggings continue, but that authorities in the Aceh Province have moved them away from being public.

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