Indonesian mayor claims there is a link between breastfeeding and homosexuality

Tangerang mayor’s comments about sexuality just the latest in a worrying trend in Indonesia 

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The Independent Online

An Indonesian mayor has suggested poor nutrition is responsible for homosexual or transgender children.

Speaking at a pregnancy seminar in Tangerang city health office, city mayor Arief R Wismansyah told the audience: “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.

“So, it’s no wonder that recently there are more LGBT.”

The story, reported on Indonesian website Okezone, said the mayor also told the seminar: “Allah created the creatures of his right pair, Adam and Eve, not Adam and Asep.”

Although homosexuality is legal in Indonesia, the country has seen a shift towards more conservative attitudes, and Mr Arief’s remarks are just the latest in a string of high profile comments on LGBT in the country.

Jakarta Post said the Indonesian Psychiatrists Association, the country’s leading body, had recently classified homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Suzy Yusna Dewi, a member, said: “We really do care about them. What we are worried about is, if left untreated, such sexual tendencies could become a commonly accepted condition in society.”

According to the association’s Mental Health and Mental Disorder Diagnostic Guidelines, homosexuals and bisexuals are classed “people with psychiatric problems” and transgender people have “mental disorders”.

She also suggested a person’s sexuality is similar to an addiction, saying: “Without constant intervention, a person can easily return to their previous sexual tendency once he or she experiences withdrawal.”

Ms Dewi said same-sex marriage is not accepted in Indonesian culture, adding: We should not bow to the influence of foreign values that may not fit in with our values.”

Meanwhile, according to Indonesian news website Republicka, Indonesia’s Information and Communication Ministry spokesman Ismail Cawidu announced the government would be banning LGBT-themed Emojis.

He reportedly said: “No social media may show items that smack of LGBT. Because we have our own rules, like religious values and norms, which they must respect.”

And Pink News reported the country’s plans to ban Tumblr because of its LGBT content under the 2008 pornography law.

The Communications and Information Ministry’s e-business director Azhar Hasyim reportedly wrote to Tumblr demanding the removal of explicit content.

He said: “If Tumblr then agrees to block pornography and LGBT content from being accessed in Indonesia, we will open [access to] the website again.”