Amid Its Continuing Anti-Gay Crackdown, Indonesia Has Asked Google to Block 70 LGBT Apps

Amid Its Continuing Anti-Gay Crackdown, Indonesia Has Asked Google to Block 70 LGBT Apps

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The Asian nation of Indonesia seems determined to turn its island paradise into an anti-gay hell hole. After publicly humiliating 141 men arrested in a gay sauna, the capitol city started an anti-LGBTQ police force, the government proposed a law to ban all LGBTQ TV content, the Air Force called LGBTQ identity “a mental disorder,” the country tried to shut down an international gay sporting event and one region in particular continues to cane homosexuals. So we’re really not surprised that Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics recently asked the Google Play Store to block Indonesians from downloading nearly 70 LGBT social networking apps — we’re disappointed about the Indonesian LGBT app ban, but hardly surprised.

According to the website, Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara asked Google to ban Blued, a popular gay dating and social networking app, along with 69 other LGBT apps. It’s unclear what other apps were requested for blocking, but either way Google hasn’t officially responded to the request. At the time of publication, Blued is still available for download.

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It’s also unclear whether Indonesia has made a similar request to Apple.


Anti-LGBT sentiment predates the Indonesian LGBT app ban

While Indonesia is home to the Q! Film Festival — the largest queer film festival in Asia and the only of its kind in a predominantly Muslim country — an estimated 93% of Indonesians oppose homosexuality.

Indonesian Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara

The Indonesian Psychiatrists Association classifies LGBTQ identity as a mental disorder; the country’s ministers consider LGBTQ people a security risk and the country’s conservative legislators have started passing laws forbidding businesses from hiring LGBTQ people and forcing LGBTQ people into so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy.

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Despite this, in December 2017, the country’s high court refused to criminalize gay sex. Homosexuality is technically legal in the country, but life for LGBTQ people there is anything but friendly. Economists estimate that Indonesia’s anti-LGBTQ policies have cost the country anywhere from $900 million to $12 billion in lost revenue a year.


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