JAKARTA, Indonesia — The police in Indonesia have arrested men at a sauna in the capital on suspicion of having a gay sex party, the latest crackdown on homosexuality in the country. After the arrests in Jakarta on Sunday night, the police released to local news organizations numerous photographs of shirtless men who had been detained, alarming rights activists who said friends and families of the men may not have been aware of their sexual orientation. Same-sex relations are not illegal in most of Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation, though gay people are frequent targets of police raids and vigilante actions. Similar police raids and arrests have been reported around the country, including in Jakarta in November, when 13 men were taken into custody after the police were tipped off about what was said to be a gay sex party. Last week, two men in the northwestern province of Aceh were sentenced under Shariah law to 85 public lashes each for having sex with each other. Because of strong social and religious taboos against homosexuality in much of Indonesia, gatherings of gays often take place away from the public eye, like in saunas or at underground parties.
Indonesian police arrest 141 men over 'gay sex party'
Indonesian police arrest men over 'gay sex party' - BBC News
By Sophie Inge For Mailonline. An Indonesian court has sentenced ten men to two years in prison for taking part in a gay sex party at a sauna, court documents show. The group were among at least men detained during a raid on a building that houses a sauna and a gym in the capital Jakarta in May. The sentencing is further evidence of growing hostility towards Indonesia's small lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT community. Homosexuality and gay sex are legal everywhere in Indonesia except in conservative Aceh province, but police have used the country's tough anti-pornography laws or drugs charges to criminalise LGBT people in the past 18 months. The men, who were tried in two separate closed court hearings, were sentenced the same day the Indonesian Constitutional Court rejected a bid to outlaw extramarital sex. The unsuccessful petition would have affected both unmarried heterosexuals and gay people, who cannot marry in Indonesia.
Indonesian court jails 10 men for 2 years over 'gay sex party'
The president said earlier on Friday that 14 articles needed further review by parliament and ordered the vote delayed. Critics warn the bill violates free speech rights and discriminates against religious minorities, women and LGBT people. Australians are a significant tourist market for Indonesia. Conservative groups have emerged as a growing force in secular Indonesia, promoting stricter interpretations of Islam that sometimes make their way into law making. Euis Sunarti, who advocates for conservative family values, even pressed for the new draft to go further and outlaw all expressions of homosexuality, not just sex.
Traditional mores disapprove of homosexuality and cross-dressing , which impacts public policy. Indonesian same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for any of the legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples. Most parts of Indonesia do not have a sodomy law and do not currently criminalise private, non-commercial gay acts among consenting adults, yet Indonesian law does not protect the LGBT community against discrimination and hate crimes. In Aceh , and for Muslims in the city of Palembang , homosexuality is illegal under Islamic Sharia law, and punishable by flogging.