Does liking Coldplay make you gay?
Are you gay, if you’re a fan of Coldplay? The answer is yes – according to an anti-LGBTQ+ group that protested against the band’s performance in Indonesia.
On Wednesday (16 November), more than 200 conservative Muslims protested outside the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, calling for Coldplay’s concert that night to be cancelled.
Demonstrators held banners that read: “Reject, cancel and disband Coldplay concerts,” with the rock group being branded an LGBTQ+ “propagandist” and band members accused of damaging the country’s “faith and morals”.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, and while most parts do not criminalise homosexuality – with the exception of Aceh and South Sumatra provinces – there are no specific laws to protect the LGBTQ+ community against hate crimes or discrimination.
According to the Associated Press, the same protest group organised demonstrations the week before at number of venues in Jakarta, including outside the British embassy.
The band’s pro-LGBTQ+ stance is part of the reason for their popularity, with lead vocalist Chris Martin happily wearing rainbow colours and displaying Pride flags during performances.
Anwar Abbas, the deputy chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, a body of Islamic scholars, was quoted by the Independent as saying: “We know that Coldplay supports LGBT+, but now the question is, is the LGBT+ behaviour in line with… our constitution?
“There are six religions recognised in this country, and not one of them allows and tolerates LGBT+ practice.”
Martin previously responded to calls for the band to cancel its first-ever concert in Malaysia by saying: “Everybody is welcome [at] our show. We love all people, all kinds of people, all religions, all leaders, all followers. Nobody is excluded.”
The Coldplay frontman said of anyone “not happy that we’re coming, we love you too”.
In July, British indie band The 1975 cancelled their scheduled shows in Indonesia and Taiwan after a headline gig in Malaysia saw frontman Matty Healy attack the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ stance and kiss the band’s bassist on stage.
Healy previously faced criticism for kissing a male fan at a show in Dubai. Sexual activity between men is illegal in the United Arab Emirates.
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