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Proposed Indonesian Law Could Encourage 'Exorcising' Gays

Proposed Indonesian Family Resilience Bill would outlaw homosexuality and use violent exorcism to "cure" the victim

Indonesian lawmakers are considering a broad bill that would criminalize homosexuality and require LGBTQ+ persons to seek treatment at special rehabilitation centers, according to multiple reports. Many experts and human rights groups are warning the Family Resilience Bill will result in the use of violent exorcisms to “cure” the victim.

“[It’s] the most likely option to be taken by officials in Indonesia when doing ‘rehabilitation,’” Usman Hamid executive director for Indonesia at Amnesty International told Gay Star News.

Exorcism is recognized as a form of gay conversion therapy, much like similar practices that are being outlawed across the United States as well as in other countries like Germany. The practice is known as ruqyah, and uses prayer, violence, and even rape to drive out the “demons” allegedly responsible for the victim’s “deviant” sexual orientation. The methods have been described as ineffective, harmful and deadly by every leading medical association in the United States, as well as other global health organizations.

Conversations about conversion therapy have dramatically increased over the past few years due in part to 2018's landmark visibility by way of films like Boy Erased and The Miseducation of Cameron PostCelebrities like Indya Moore, Miley Cyrus, and Jeff Goldblum about their personal experiences with the debunked practice either personally or throgh friends and family. Also, a former leaders have apologized for their roles in the gay conversion therapy movement. McKrae Game expressed regret for founding Hope for Wholeness which claims its mission is to help those who “struggle with homosexuality find [the] freedom to live in sexual and relational wholeness.”

The Family Resilience Bill is a broad package that seeks to enforce upon Indonesian society a return to a past based on patriarchal gender-based roles at home and work, and the criminalization of any non-heterosexual sexual activities or relationships.

Under the proposed law, the husband is the household breadwinner and is responsible for protecting his family from “mistreatment, exploitation and sexual deviation” according to draft copies of the bill seen by multiple publications. Women are responsible for obeying their husband, raising children, and maintaining the household based upon the wishes of her husband and religious dictates.

“It’s a very patriarchal bill and it will set back progress in gender equality and women’s rights protection,” Hamid told Reuters.

RELATED | Ex-Gay Leader Apologizes, Blasts Conversion Therapy: 'I Was Wrong'

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