Supreme Court rules gay soldiers subject to jail sentences, dismissal

CNN Indonesia – December 30, 2020
Soldier (left) being tried for alleged homosexually salutes judges in military court – Undated (Forum Keadilan)

Jakarta – Indonesian military (TNI) service personnel who commit immoral acts with the same sex or homosexuals shall be subject to a maximum sentence of 28 months in prison and dismissal from the service.

This was embodied in Supreme Court Circular Number 10/2020 on the Enforcement of Formulations Arising from the 2020 Constitutional Court Chambers Plenary Meeting as a Guideline for the Implementation of Duties for Courts.

In the circular it states that TNI members who are proven to be homosexual will be subject to Article 103 Paragraph 1 of the Military Criminal Code (KUHPM).

"... the prohibition on TNI soldiers committing immoral acts with the same sex (homosexual/lesbian) shall apply the stipulations of Article 103 Paragraph 1 of the KUHPM as an act which violates an official order", reads a copy of the circular seen on Wednesday December 30.

Meanwhile Article 103 Paragraph 1 itself stipulates that TNI members who refuse or intentionally fail to obey an official order or willingly exceed an order, are subject to a maximum sentence of two years and six months in prison.

Aside from the legal sanctions against soldiers who have same-sex relations, the circular also regulates the time calculations on desertion for soldiers who repeatedly fail to be present at their unit though to stipulations on violence by superiors.

The issue of homosexually among soldiers surfaced in October after it was revealed that a number of soldiers had been punished for same-sex relations.

The most recent case involved Navy Chief Sergeant RR who was sentenced to eight months in prison and discharged from the TNI after being proven to like the same sex.

Prior to this Army Master Private P was also sentenced to one year in prison and dismissed after being proven to have committed similar acts.

The Supreme Court also revealed that there have been 20 cases of legal violations by soldiers related to homosexually, 16 of which were ruled on by the Supreme Court. (psp)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "MA: Prajurit TNI Homoseksual Terancam 28 Bulan Penjara".]