Indonesian “Sex Party” Raid Sparks Outcry From Human Rights Groups

matt baume

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Handy reminder: although things look like they’ll get pretty bad for LGBTs under President Trump (ugh we can barely bring ourselves to type that), they are still not as bad as some other countries. For now.

This weekend, a religious cabal complained to police that some gay men were having sex in an apartment, and the police stormed in and arrested thirteen people.

It may be tempting to point out that the raid was sparked by a complaint from a group called “Islamic Defenders Front” as proof that Islam is a threat to LGBT people. There’s been a surge in anti-Muslim xenophobia around the US election, after all.

But hold on a moment: don’t forget that until a few years ago, gay men could be arrested for doing exactly the same thing in the United States, and the criminalization of homosexuality was staunchly defended by Christian groups. And what’s more, Mike Pence was among those who said that America shouldn’t pressure countries to stop arresting and executing gays. Plus, one of Trump’s possible picks for the Supreme Court said recently that states should still be allowed to arrest queer people.

So, that’s one more handy reminder for you: despite an Islamic group targeting LGBT people in this one case, queers are under attack from Christians, too.

In any event, the Indonesian raid has cause quite a stir, in part because it seems to have been illegal. There’s no law against gay sex in private in Indonesia (as there was until recently in the US, thanks to you know who). This has led to renewed condemnation of Indonesia’s police force, which sometimes works closely with vigilante groups. How much do you want to be that there are people in Trump’s circle who are looking at that and thinking, “hey, maybe we oughta do the same thing”?

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