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Indonesia moves to ban gay apps and websites

2016-09-22
Indonesia has decided to ban gay dating apps such as Grindr,  as well as a number of LGBT websites. In August this year, calls were made to criminalise homosexuality, as attitudes towards the LGBT community become increasingly hostile in the Southeast Asian country. The decision to ban LGBT apps and websites was made last week by government officials, BuzzFeed reports. "The participants of the meeting all agree to block websites promoting LGBT," Aidil Chendramata, Director of Information Security for the Ministry of Communications told the news site. "Most of the contents are leading toward pornography [and have] violated the law on pornography and the law on child protection." According to Communications Ministry spokesperson Noor Iza, the clampdown is aimed at shutting down platforms that promote "sexual deviancy". According to BuzzFeed, this will affect over 80 websites and apps. Yuli Rustinawati, chair of LGBT group Arus Pelangi, explained how the ban will make LGBT communities in the country more vulnerable. "If gay applications are closed down, it only makes the community even more isolated as they won’t be able to find friends via the virtual world,’ Rustinawati said. ‘It is quite strange to ban people from finding friends," she said. Rita Hendrawaty, chairwoman of conservative group Family Love Alliance, said that they wanted to have “much clearer norms” in society last month, when the group called for homosexual acts to be criminalised. "We are not intending to criminalise those who have deviant sexual orientation. That is not the point. They can be free to live but do not show what is their lifestyle,” she added. More stories: Gay boyband fan fiction inspires racy new web series – WATCH Get the look for less: Recreate the best celebrity looks from London Fashion Week