Words: Steve Brown
Around four villas in Bali are being investigated for ‘marketing themselves specifically for the gay community’.
According to Coconuts Bali, the villa in the beach resort Seminyak Angelo Bali Gay Guesthouse was brought to the attention of authorities as it allegedly was catering solely to the gay community.
On their Facebook page, photographs reportedly featured gay male couples with TripAdvisor describing it as a ‘small, luxurious, all-men, clothing-optional gay guesthouse’.
The villa stopped operating on January 9 with no explanation.
I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara, head of Bali’s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), said: “We received a report, including the one on social media about this villa, accommodation or a guesthouse marketing themselves specifically for the gay community… Here in Bali we don’t recognise that culture.”
The head of the Badung regency’s cultural agency, I Made Badra, also claimed that the villa was ‘tainting Bali’s tourism’ reputation.
From this, three other villas in the resort and also Kerobokan have reportedly been reported as catering to the LGBTQ community.
AA Oka Ambara Dewi, a Badung regency Satpol PP officer, said: “We will do it according to our standards of procedure so we will check their permit documents and whether or not they match what they are allotted for, if there is proof that it [caters to the gay community] then we will temporarily seal the property.”
Currently in the Indonesian island, gay sex is legal but the LGBTQ community do not have any discrimination protections and same-sex relationships are not recognised.
Back in 2018, an province in Indonesia announced it wanted to introduce the death penalty for the gay community.
Then in 2019, new laws were proposed which would ban sex between unmarried couples and said unmarried couples would not be able to live together legally.
This means that as same-sex relationships are not recognised, it would be illegal for LGBTQ couples to live together and gay sex would be criminalised.