A constitutional court justice issued an apology after making a statement against gay marriage during a fit and proper test at the House of Representatives.
“I apologize if my opinion offended the gay community. I will ask for God’s forgiveness,” judge Arief Hidayat said in a statement on Wednesday.
During a fit and proper test in front of the House Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, a commission member asked Arief about his opinion on gay marriage. He replied that he was against it because it was unconstitutional and against his religious values.
Hartoyo, a gay rights activist and the secretary general of Ourvoice, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, posted an open letter in reaction to Arief’s statement on the group’s website.
In the letter, Hartoyo wrote about his struggle as a gay Muslim living in Indonesia.
He detailed an incident in which he and his partner were assaulted in Banda Aceh in January 2007. After a group of men forcefully entered his home, they took the couple to the police station, where they were forced to strip down and were physically beaten.
Six police officers abused Hartoyo and his partner verbally with a number of homophobic slurs and then proceeded to take them outside to spray them with cold water.
Hartoyo added that his homosexuality was something he was born with and not a product of Western culture.
“I have never been to any Western countries and I have fallen in love with men even before I understood what Indonesia and Islam were. I have been a homosexual even before I knew that homosexuality is considered to be a sin by many religious teachings,” the letter read.
“Mr. Arief: if gay marriage is part of Western culture then how would you explain the fact that gay marriage is still disputed in Western countries — such as the United States — even today? Will those who are against gay marriage in those countries then argue that homosexuality is an eastern, southern or northern reality? History in fact proves that when western countries criminalized homosexuality, it was us who actually celebrated sexual diversity in our culture,” Hartoyo wrote.
His letter was featured internationally by several media outlets, including dot 429 Magazine, an online periodical based out of San Francisco.
Following the publication of the letter, David Mills, an openly gay judge from Massachusetts, wrote an e-mail to Arief encouraging him to answer Hartoyo’s letter.
“Mr. Arief replied to my e-mail shortly after judge Mills wrote to him,” Hartoyo said on Wednesday.
Arief said that even though he meant no harm to the country’s gay community, he stood by his stance that based on the Constitution, marriage was only legal between a man and a woman. He went on to say that gay marriage was in violation of the state’s official ideology Pancasila.
“However, as a citizen of the country, you and your community should be protected from violent acts,” he wrote.
(Machine Translation from Malay)
Designation., Mr Arief Hidayat -Constitutional Court Judge CandidatePeriod 2013-2018
Mr. Arief, before I say good for fathers elected as a judge of the constitution period 2013-2018. According to the information I read from various media, one of the reasons the DPR-RI choose fathers because fathers refuse a marriage that does not fit with the 1945 Constitution or the western culture.
Mr. Arief, introduce my name Hartoyo (37), who was born male and large-Sumut Binjai city in Muhammadiyah Muslim family. I was measuring a (gay), since I feel in love with another party (puberty) until now have never felt the love of a girl. My love is just to man as far as I experienced.
Mr. Arief, when asked why I was gay? I do not know, probably because of genetic or may be due to other things. Perhaps feeling my love for the same man in my feelings mencinta others. This grows and simply born.
Mr. Arief, I’ve never been to any western country and I already feel like a kind even before I really knew what Indonesia and what Islam. So, I was already “become” homosexual even before I knew that homosexuality is seen as a sinful thing in religion.
Mr. Arief, if the marriage is considered as a kind of western culture and violation of the constitution of Indonesia, but why in the west itself a question of marriage is still a debate until now? For example, in the United States. What is then the pusher sex marriages in the west would say that homosexuality products east-south or north? Thus when in the history of the countries in the west have a pair mengkriminalkan, thus archipelago keberagaman celebrate sexuality in culture.
Mr. Arief, I have experienced torture and blasphemy in 2007, precisely in Aceh by the police and the community just because I love a home memaduh my tenement. The drag performer, hitting, cursing, Put your arms and head piss me and my partner just because we kind of partner.Couples who do not they approve of. Fear of torture until now still continue to exist, fear through the same thing again even though I’ve lived in Jakarta.
Mr. Arief, certainly I really respect personal attitudes about homosexual father. But the father needed to know that there are millions of homosexuals in Indonesia that has write and to making this country from various professions both national and international. Perhaps even they are part of a team working father over the years. This is where how fathers should be between personal values and public spaces in it there is a variety of individual values should also be respected.
Mr. Arief, if my fellow gay friends love is forbidden because it was considered a violation of the constitution what my life and millions of gay friends in Indonesia, we have to go? Are we not entitled to ask the country to live a quiet and peaceful co-partner of some sort, such as that obtained by heterosexuals for? Did we not also children of Indonesia, paying taxes and follow the developing state.
Mr. Arief, what is a violation of the constitution when I ask for protecting me and my partner from all forms of discrimination and violence from the other side? Is not the 1945 Constitution Article 28I (2) states that, “Everyone has the right freely for discriminatory treatment on the basis of anything and is entitled to protection against the discriminatory behavior.”
Mr. Arief, my gay friends in Indonesia should always be alert for threats or attacks any time will always be there for us as a homosexual. What kind of middle-class economy down. Perhaps fathers together and heterosexual married wife never felt and experienced what I experienced and felt. That’s all leave the country because we as homosexuals.
Mr. Arief, if the west is considered bad, how to practice polygamy, child marriage, female circumcision and domestic violence is rooted in the community and east (Indonesia)? Sir, is in this world there is still a culture of “clean” and stand on its own without the mutual influence between the east-west-north-south?
Mr. Arief, without means merely informational menggurui that a couple has been in Indonesia long before Indonesia have. For example, practices that identify the question of sexuality as cultural keberagaman Bissu, Warok-Gemblak, Mairil in the world of boarding schools, Ludruk, dancers Lengger history, poetry Abu Nawas and more Indonesian culture that shows the availability of a practice partner. Is not there a long time ago, of course, culture is not western culture.
Last pack Arief, homosexuals are all around us, like it or not, this is the point that since antiquity the beginning until now. They may be just the closest of our lives, our children, our brothers, our sisters, our grandchildren or our close friends that sometimes we do not empathy question. They are not the ones from the west but they are part of us.
Once again, congratulations on the new job as a judge constitution father, may Allah Almighty always provide facilities in which parents and family live in life to always spread love and justice for every human being. Last I apologize if any of my words are less pleasing in this letter. Amien.Greetings