Two gay men in Indonesia sentenced to 85 lashes for having sex

“The rock cried out, no hiding place.” One of the best episodes of Babylon 5 (and that is saying something).

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This especially includes our friendly friends the Saudis. FTFY


You are going to find examples of ignorance and intolerance, especially against LGBT individuals, all over the world. So any time you try to make an argument like “All believers of X religion think Y” or the reverse, there are going to be exceptions found.
But if we look at the countries that currently have the death penalty for practicing homosexuality, it might be possible to look for commonalities:
Yemen (the punishment is death by stoning)
Mauritania (Muslims only)
Saudi Arabia
Sudan (death for the third offense)
Nigeria ( Only in states that follow sharia)

There are 54 UN member countries that currently are signatories of a joint statement opposing LGBT rights as “normalization of deplorable acts”

Six of those 54 are Christian majority countries:
Nigeria ( with near parity between Christian and Islamic populations)
Saint Lucia
Solomon Islands

Togo is also a signatory, with Indigenous beliefs the primary religion. The other 47 countries have Islamic majorities.
It might be true that adherence to Islam is not the only variable that separates countries that nationally criminalize LGBT persons from those that endorse their rights, but it is not an irrelevant variable, either.

Edit- After posting, I started looking around to see how many Islamic majority countries actually protect the rights of LGBT persons. I found an article from 2014 listing five of them-
But of those five listed, Turkey and Indonesia have both moved towards intolerance since 2016. that leaves
Jordan, Mali, and Albania. Of those, Mali does not criminalize LGBT persons specifically, but has used morality laws to suppress LGBT organizations.

Not to mention that if the headline was “Two gay men in Montana sentenced to 85 lashes for having sex”, there would be 37,212 posts on this thread by now.


That’s a fair point. It’s also a fair point to note that “whipping you nearly to death” is a very different level of bigotry from “not giving you the first choice of wedding photographer”.

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Nope, not this one. I was thinking of season 4 episode 3, “The Summoning”.

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I didn’t say anything about a wedding photographer. Are you trying to say that anti-gay bigotry in the United States is innocuous?

The same Christian Right that believes anti-gay discrimination is an expression of religious freedom in the United States was also the motivating force behind anti-gay laws in Uganda that were “softened” to provide for life imprisonment rather than the death penalty.

The only reason the issue is about wedding photographers in the US is that we have better legal protections against the heinous stuff.

Christians aren’t inherently more restrained than muslims in their bigotry, they just live in places where the law contains them better.


That reminds me, I need to continue my marathon. Started up season 2 the other day. Its been so long since I’ve seen the show, I don’t remember most of it.

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bigotry is bigotry. It’s important to not downplay any of it. Sure, people who are murdered, experience violence, or lose liberty from bigotry are affected more than those who do not, but that doesn’t make the latter “ok”, in any sense of the word.


I believe the term you’re looking for is marginalization, and doing it doesn’t make problems of any magnitude “just go away.”


Then there’s the wrinkle that their definition of gay is not quite what you think it is.

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Unfortunately every religion has its share of assholes.

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Is it? Or maybe I am fully aware of the rampant gay sex many men engage in because of the separation of sexes and the penalties that come with that.

Or how loosey goosey they play it with what counts as gay?


HOMESTAR RUNNER: {slow; playfully} Say, Strong Bad, your costume’s making me feel a little bit, uh… Loosey Goosey.


Read up a little before you demonize an entire religion or an entire country.

@Mister44: Yeah - I didn’t do either of those things.

It is obvious that you did!
You clearly read up a little on the subject.

No seriously, I agree with you. The following is a strawman, but to say:
‘You shouldn’t call out all the National Socialists because between apostles Paul and John, bishops Ambrose and Luther, it was the Church’s preaching and its catechizing that had shaped the popular mind to eventually birth modern anti-Semitism.’
is just as sensible.

Also, I don’t think one can demonize religion, our scourge.

Speaking as someone who has had sexual partners hospitalised by homophobic violence, what I am trying to communicate is that the violent animus towards LGBT people is found in every culture, regardless of the flavour of the local religion.

Yes, different cultures vary in the degree of oppression directed at LGBT people. But the variables that influence that violence appear to be wealth [1], liberal democracy and secularism. Not what religious tradition is locally dominant.

In impoverished cultures, in illiberal cultures, in religious cultures: LGBT people are oppressed. But on the religious factor, it does not matter if the religion is Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, whatever. They’re all the same.

Indonesian legal oppression of LGBT people is more violent than in Australia or America because Indonesia is impoverished, illiberal and religious. Not because they’re Islamic.


[1] Distributed wealth. Extreme wealth inequality appears to negate the liberalising effect of prosperity.


I agree and acknowledge that homophobic violence is not limited to one religion or culture.

The article is about a specific culture with a specific religion and a specific set of laws - which I can neither support nor respect.

But to say “Islam does not seem to be the relevant variable here.” is patently untrue based on the documented facts that they are living under Islamic laws. It certainly is a relevant variable. I suppose you would have a better argument if that was the ONLY issue with Sharia law, but it isn’t.

Just like the Westboro Baptists “God Hates Fags” people are also hateful homophobes, but the fact they are using their Christian religion both as their reason and defense shows that their sect of Christianity is relevant to their views and actions.

Both examples don’t condemn the other sects of their respective religions. Nor does it negate the fact that hate exists out side their religions.

Except that Sharia law and legal violence towards LGBT isn’t unique to Indonesia, and their bases for both the law and punishment are based on the Quran.

I feel like your whole point is “You don’t need to be religious to be a hateful homophobe.” and I completely agree with that. In THIS instance of the article, the perpetrators do happen to be religious, hence my comment. I am confused by your comment that seems to want to deflect from the SPECIFIC issue here, though I would understand more if it was more of a broader, “It is a bigger issue than just this.” Which I would agree with, and maybe that was your intent, but not how it reads to me. YMMV.

Not quite.

Most Christians live in places where, over the last couple of centuries, the law has gradually been purged of much of its religious component.

Most Muslims live in places where this has not happened, or has happened in reverse .

People are allowed to be bigots IMO.

What person A thinks of a group to which person B belongs is beyond my control and none of my business.

My concern is what they are allowed to do to act out those bigoted impulses.

And a society in which the worst thing they legally can do is stand around with signs saying “God Hates Fags” or decline to photograph a wedding is objectively better than a society in which they can flog, behead, or throw off a ten story building.

You can count me firmly in the Chris Hitchens, Sam Harris, Bill Maher camp when it comes to Christianity vs. Islam.