Indonesia’s Air Force started a debate about whether LGBTI people should be allowed to serve in the armed forces.
On Tuesday (9 January) the official Twitter account of the air force kicked off a heated debate when it tweeted that all soldiers who committed immoral acts would be prevented from serving in the armed forces.
This lead to many Twitter users asking what constituted an immoral act? A woman falling pregnant outside of marriage was one act that would mean instant dismissal from the Air Force.
But one Twitter user opened a can of worms when she asked, ‘what about LGBT?’
The Air Force’s Twitter account responded saying that LGBTI people were not welcome in the armed forces.
It said because being LGBTI is a ‘mental disorder, LGBTI people would not pass the mental testing stage in the recruitment process.
‘Ooohhh, they could not at the moment ,’ the Air Force’s Twitter responded.
‘There is mental health test in the selection process. LGBT is included as a mental disorder. If there are still many candidate soldiers who are mentally healthy, then why should unhealthy ones be accepted?’
There were mixed reactions on Twitter reacted to the Air Force’s response, with a number of people in favor of the ban.
In response to criticism, it argued with one Twitter user that soldiers had to be ‘healthy to be enlisted, referring to the idea that being LGBTI is a mental disorder.
‘It could be (their excluded) because one of the conditions to become a soldier of the INDONESIAN ARMY is that you have to be born “HEALTHY” and be healthy internally,’ the Air Force wrote.
One twitter user argued that LGBTI people should be treated the same as other Indonesians.
‘It’s up to you if you are against (the LGBT community), but don’t eliminate their right to be equal among others,’ the Twitter user said.
‘This is a sensitive issue, but the TNI (Indonesian National Army Air Force ) must be firm,’ the Air Force replied on Twitter.
‘TNI soldiers must be physically and mentally healthy… same-sex intercourse is a sin, right? I am really sorry, but even animals never miss their target (in mating).’
Homosexuality is not illegal in the mainly Muslim Indonesia, but persecution of the LGBTI community has been on the rise in the past two years.