Gay couples caught on video getting intimate in cafe handed over to police

Source – June 6, 2022
Screenshot from video on social media showing gay couples being intimate at Wow Cafe – May 31, 2022 (Instagram)

Agung Sandy Lesmana – A video of alleged immoral acts by same-sex couples or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people which occurred at a cafe in the Pancoran area of South Jakarta has gone viral on social media

In the video circulating on Instagram, a number of young men appear to be getting intimate in a corner of the cafe. The incident was later traced back to the Wow Cafe located on Jalan Warung Jati Timur Raya in Kalibata, Pancoran.

Based on the video also, the two male couples appear to be sitting close together and embracing.

The incident was confirmed by Pancoran sub-district head Rizki Adhari Yusal when contacted by phone on the afternoon of Monday June 6. Based on information which he has received, the incident took place on May 31.

"The info is that the incident occurred on May 31. Apparently at night", said Yusal.

Yusal added that the aftermath of the incident was that a number of parties immediately held a monitoring meeting which was attended by the South Jakarta Public Order Agency officials (Satpol PP), the Pancoran sectoral police (polsek), the Pancoran village chief and the Wow Cafe management.

"Because of the incident, earlier this afternoon we held a regional monitoring meeting at the location, the Wow Cafe", he said.

Yusal added that the men who are suspected of being recorded in the video have also been taken to the Pancoran sectoral police headquarters but he does not have any further details.

"The follow up actions for the perpetrators who were in the video is in the hands of polsek. The info is that the perpetrators will be charged with a crime. It's just that I don't know which article, whether it will be the morality [articles] or the ITE [the Information and Electronic Transaction Law], you should ask the head of polsek", explained Yusal.

With regard to the Wow Cafe, the South Jakarta Satpol PPP will close the premises temporarily until Tuesday June 7.

"Earlier the info from the city Satpol PP chief was that there would be a temporary operational closure. If I'm not mistaken it will be for today or tomorrow. The Satpol PP has the document. Because we only just had a meeting earlier", he explained.

Yusal added that the South Jakarta (Jaksel) Tourism and Creative Economy divisional office (sudin) would conduct guidance for the Wow Cafe in relation to socialisation for its patrons.

"For the cafe there will be guidance by the Jaksel Tourism and Creative Economy sudin. The management will also conduct socialisation to appeal to its patrons not to be immoral, [or use] narcotics also", said Yusal.

Local residents storm cafe

Late last year, the Wow Cafe went viral on social media after local residents stormed the cafe because it was allegedly being used for a LGBT community party. However the accusations that the video of several men dancing was a LGBT party were denied by cafe staff.

Wow Cafe security officer Ismail, who was on duty at the time, claimed that the men dancing at the cafe on Saturday evening, December 4, 2021, were cafe patrons and it was a spontaneous act recorded for TikTok.

"It was a spontaneous act, what was recorded was also only a few seconds. Because when it got boisterous, we immediately calmed things down", he told journalists at the location on Tuesday December 7, 2021.

Ismail also said that would be impossible for the cafe management to hold a gay party as depicted in the video on social media because, he claimed, the Wow Cafe does not sell alcoholic drinks.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Viral Pasangan LGBT Mesra-mesraan di Kafe Wow, Camat Pancoran: Para Pelaku di Video Sudah Ada di Polsek".]