An Indonesia minister has said that gay couples at the country's universities should be banned from engaging in public displays of affection, the Jakarta Post reported. Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir's remarks came after he criticized an LGBT group after its launch on the University of Indonesia campus.
"I would only ban LGBT people from entering campuses if they engage in disgraceful behavior like making love or showing affection," he tweeted Monday.
Earlier in the week, he said that the state should not recognize the homosexual community, even if its members do receive equal rights, according to Gay Times Magazine UK. "But that does not mean that the state legitimizes the LGBT status. Only their rights as citizens must be guaranteed by the state," he tweeted.
The university group at the center of the controversy, Support Group and Resource Center on Sexuality Studies, offers counseling to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Officials from the University of Indonesia told the Jakarta Post that they were unaware of the group, and claimed it was not affiliated with the university.
4. Namun ini tidak lantas diartikan negara melegitimasi status LGBT.
— Mohamad Nasir (@menristekdikti) January 24, 2016
"“There are standards of values and morals to uphold," Nasir said in reponse to the group's formation. "A university is a moral safeguard.”
In response to his comments, student Poedjiati Tan from Surabaya launched a petition on Change.org to call for Nasir to rescind his comments, as well as his proposed ban on LGBT people at universities.