Speaking at a pregnancy seminar last week, Arief R Wismansyah, mayor of Tangerang in Jakarta, blamed homosexuality on the increase of working parents in Indonesia. Wismansyah reportedly said, "To create Indonesian children that are healthy smart and competitive, the most important thing is, from the beginning, to provide them adequate nutrition, especially breastfeeding."
The 38-year-old mayor claimed that canned milk was being used more frequently because of busy working parents. "So, it's no wonder that recently there are more LGBT," he said, according to Indonesian news website Okezone. "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Asep," he also said.
Wismansyah also blamed the internet and social media for spreading LGBT thoughts and views. Parents should keep up with technology to keep control of what websites their children are looking at, he said.
Homophobia in Indonesia
There are many anti-LGBT movements taking place in Indonesia. Last week, Muslim activists held a rally against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights with the message: "LGBT is a disease, not a human right.
"We reject the LGBT because they asked for equality and legality from the government and it's getting more and more disarming," Muhammad Fuad, the leader of the Islamic People Forum (FUI) according to the Guardian. "If legalised, this disease will be more contagious and harmful to our children. Why would they even ask for legality?"
Last month Indonesia's technology, research and higher education minister Muhammad Nasir said: "LGBT groups [in Indonesian universities] cannot be allowed to grow or be given any space for all of their activities. Especially because of the fact that LGBT communities enter universities by way of resource and research centres."
The hashtag #TolakLGBT has been trending in Indonesia in recent weeks – 'tolak' means reject – and the Indonesian Psychiatrists Association has labelled homosexuality and bisexuality as a mental disorder.
According to a report by a local NGO called Arus Pelangi (Indonesian for Rainbow Currents), over 89.3% of LGBT people have been victims of "psychological, physical, sexual, economic and cultural abuse". Three years ago, the report by the Pew Research Centre showed that more than 93% of Indonesians believe homosexuality should be rejected.