If you thought Ben Carson’s comment about prison making inmates gay was absurd, wait till you read this Indonesian mayor’s conspiracy theory regarding homosexuality.
Arief R Wismansyah recently came under fire for suggesting instant noodles and formula milk are “making babies gay” during a pregnancy seminar in the city.
"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," he said, according to an Indonesian local news website Okezone.
The mayor of Tangerang further blamed parents, especially mothers, for being too busy to properly feed their children and relying more on instant milk and noodles.
"It's no wonder there are more LGBT," he said, reportedly adding, "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Asep."
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Wismansyah’s comments are no doubt bizarre. But considering the fact that he is a government official in Indonesia, the remarks are not really shocking.
Although homosexuality is not illegal in the Southeast Asian country — which is also the world’s largest Muslim nation — over the past few months, the LGBTQ community in Indonesia has come under sudden attack from the authorities.
It started in February when the Indonesian government ordered all instant messaging providers to remove all same-sex emoji and stickers from their apps, reportedly to "protect" the nation’s children.
A few days later, the country’s leading psychiatric body, Indonesian Psychiatrists Association, classified transgenderism as a mental disorder, adding gays and bisexuals were at risk of developing one unless they “maintain their mental health by guarding their behavior, habit, healthy lifestyle and increasing their ability to adapt to their social environment.”
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu claimed homosexuality was “a threat” to the society and said the LGBTQ movement is a form of “modern warfare.”
“It’s dangerous as we can’t see who our foes are, but out of the blue everyone is brainwashed,” he said, according to Taipei Times.
Therefore, Wismansyah’s remarks might be disregarded as ignorant, homophobic vitriol but it’s a broader representation of his country’s changing attitude toward the gay community — and it’s scary.
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