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Gay American Couple To Be Deported for calling Bali ‘queer-friendly’

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A gay American couple is to be deported from Bali after viral tweets that called the Indonesian resort island “queer-friendly”.

Kristen Gray tweeted over the weekend that she was enjoying “an elevated lifestyle at a much lower cost of living” after moving to the island from Los Angeles with her girlfriend.

Praising the benefits of Bali, she said it was “queer friendly” and home to a “black in Bali community”.

She also promoted an e-book she was selling that told people how to bypass strict regulations barring foreigners from visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justice official, Jamaruli Manihuruk stated that Gray and her partner would be sent back to the United States as she was “suspected of having intentionally disseminated unsettling information” about Bali.

Gray, however, insisted she had not committed a crime.

“I am not guilty… I am being deported because of (being gay),” she said.

While same-sex relationships are not illegal in most of Indonesia, the country’s LGBT community has faced growing pressure in recent years and their rights are limited.

Far from being supportive, the country’s LGBT community accused her of being ignorant of their plight.

For most Indonesians in Bali, “this is not a ‘queer friendly’ place,” one activist said.

“Please know that the majority of us Indonesians are still deeply embedded in the closest because of the astounding homophobia we face on a daily basis.”

AFP

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