Local governments accused of using anti-LGBT bylaws to foster identity politics

Detik Jabar – January 30, 2023
Garut regent Rudy Gunawan speaking to reporters – Undated (Detik Jabar)

Hakim Ghani, Garut – A coalition of civil society organisations is protesting a number of proposed Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) draft regional regulations (Raperda) that they say is a form of identity politics ahead of the 2024 elections.

One of the regions that has proposed an anti-LGBT regional regulation (Perda) is Garut regency in West Java. Garut Regent Rudy Gunawan has spoken out in response to the protests saying that the Raperda was a proposal by and a matter for the people of Garut.

"This is a Perda, not a law. We are a provincial region. So, this is a proposal by the Garut people. The Perda is a proposal by the Garut people", Gunawan told journalists on Sunday January 30.

Gunawan said that a ban on LGBT in Garut is already included in Regional Regulation Number 13/2015 on Immorality in which the Garut regency government regulated a ban on all forms of immorality being committed in Garut.

Recently however, there have been groups that have proposed that the anti-LGBT stipulations be separated and a new special regulation be drafted. Currently, said Gunawan,, the matter is being deliberated by the Garut Regional House of Representatives (DPRD).

"We welcome it if the Garut DPRD exercise its initiative rights. We will provide support for this", said Gunawan.

Gunawan added that the proposal for an anti-LGBT regulation originated from the Garut community which was conveyed through the Garut DPRD. He believes that the Garut community strongly supports such a regulation. "Yes, it was a proposal to make a Perda. It has support", concluded Gunawan.

Protests against the proposed anti-LGBT regulations have been raised by some 24 social organisations that are part of the Civil Society Coalition for Gender and Sexual Diversity Rights (We Are Courageous or Kami Berani). According to the Coalition, the anti-LGBT regulation is a form of identity politics in the lead up to the 2024 legislative and presidential elections.

"The We Are Courageous Coalition, which is made up of 24 civil society organisations, regret the widespread push for discriminative policies in the form of anti-LGBT regional regulations in different parts of Indonesia", said the Coalition as quoted by Detik News. (yum/yum)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Usulan Perda Anti-LGBT Diprotes, Bupati: Ini Urusan Orang Garut!".]

Source: https://www.detik.com/jabar/berita/d-6541625/usulan-perda-anti-lgbt-diprotes-bupati-ini-urusan-orang-garut