Indonesia Police want a ban on Gay Dating App “Grindr”

After a backlash in February this year, the LGBT community of Indonesia is now at the cross hairs of the Indonesian Police. The Indonesian police, this week demanded for a...
GRindr ban in Indonesia
FILE - In this March 17, 2016 file photo, a man walks past an anti-LGBT banner erected by an ultra-conservative Islamic group in Jakarta. Indonesia's Constitutional Court is considering whether to make gay sex a crime after accepting a judicial review petition from Islamic activists. A group calling itself the Family Love Alliance says an existing law that criminalizes sex between adults and minors of the same gender, and which mandates prison sentences of up to 15 years, should be amended to also apply to sexual acts between adults of the same gender. Rita Hendrawaty, chairwoman of the group, said Wednesday, Aug. 3, it was not trying to criminalize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Letters on the banner read: "Indonesia is on LGBT emergency" and "Gay people are contagious, save the young generation from LGBT people." (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana, File)

After a backlash in February this year, the LGBT community of Indonesia is now at the cross hairs of the Indonesian Police. The Indonesian police, this week demanded for a ban on “Grindr”, a popular gay dating app.

Authorities last week busted an online pedophile ring they said allegedly linked adult men to mostly teenage boys, and arrested three suspects. Police said they discovered Grindr on one of the suspects’ iPads, and believe he had used it to pimp boys.

Users of Grindr, generally gay men, are able to locate and view photos and brief profiles of other users in their immediate vicinity and arrange to meet them.

Agung Setya, the police’s director of economic and special crimes, said police had now found 18 other apps similar to Grindr in use in Indonesia, and are asking the communications ministry to ban them.

He said police “hope that, with the authority the communications ministry has, it will make the right decision and impose a ban”.

There was no immediate comment from the ministry or from Grindr.

At the height of the backlash against the gay community in February, the government had also demanded that all instant messaging apps remove same-sex emoticons or face a ban.

Indonesia’s Constitutional Court is also considering a petition from Islamic activists to make gay sex a crime.

Being gay is not illegal in Indonesia and, prior to the backlash, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community had been able to quietly get on with their lives.

This story was originally published in Al-Arabiya.

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