Gay Country Rank: -1/193
Despite Jakarta’s rapid growth and an increasingly global outlook, a recent clamp down by police on the LGBT community has resulted in the closure of many of the most tourist accessible venues.
On Sunday 21st May 2017, Police raided Atlantis Sauna, detaining 140 men for questioning. Of these, a number where arrested for alleged offenses relating to pornography.
Police allegedly took photos of some of those detained either naked or partially clothed and then distributed the images online and to the media.
LGBTI Rights Group, Arus Pelangi condemned the raid and dissemination of images saying that police action was illegal and inhumane. Read the statement here.
In October 2017, Police raided and closed T1 Sauna in Jakarta. Both locals and foreigners were detained by police.
Same-sex sexual activity is officially legal in Indonesia (the age of consent is 18), but there is no equality legislation for LGBT citizens, no legal protection for same-sex couples and no discrimination protection. This reflects widely held traditional local customs and is unlikely to change anytime soon. Despite this, the LGBT community in Indonesia has become increasingly visible and politically active.
The provinces of Aceh and South Sumatra were allowed by the Indonesian government to introduce Sharia Law in 2002, though only applicable to Muslim residents. This criminalises being gay in these provinces… so best avoid going there.
Even in Jakarta, the official classification for all LGBT communities is ‘mentally handicapped”. There have been some cases of discrimination and harassment, directed at transgender people in particular. There are no legal guidelines regarding HIV/AIDS and there is a possibility of being refused entry a visitor is considered to be HIV+ (i.e. travelling with meds).
On a more positive note, Lambda Indonesia is the oldest and most well-established gay and lesbian movement in SE Asia, and the many LGBT groups now active throughout the country are able to provide HIV/AIDS counselling at least.
Since early 2016, public discourse and debates on LGBT issues has intensified. A number of events organised by LGBT activists have been disrupted by police.
In 2017 a number of gay popular venues in Jakata have been raided and closed by police.
Gay Indonesians face growing challenges in their day-to-day lives. Gay travellers to Jakata should not encounter issues. However public displays of affection between same sex couples (such as kissing or holding hands in public) should be avoided.