Protect rights of LGBTIQ, civic groups tell govt
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
Hundreds of individuals and civic organizations are urging the government to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) people amid discriminating statements made by officials against them.
Some 490 individuals and 115 nongovernmental organizations across Indonesia signed a joint statement on Wednesday in support of the LGBTIQ in the country.
The Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), LGBTQ rights organization Arus Pelangi, Transgender and Men Who Have Sex with Men Network (GWL INA) and the Indonesian LGBTIQ Forum are among the groups that participated in the event held on Wednesday.
The protection of the basic rights of LGBITQ people was important, activist Dhyta Caturani said at the event, citing a 2013 study by Arus Pelangi that said 89.3 percent of LGBTIQ people had experienced psychological, physical, sexual, economic and cultural abuse.
All discriminatory statements showed that the state had violated the human rights of its own citizens, Dhyta said, and that the statements were contrary to one of the state's main duties of protecting all citizens against discrimination of any kind.
"The officials have given the right to intolerant people to incite violent against the LGBTIQ community," Dhyta told journalists on Wednesday, adding that the statement may lead to the criminalization of and violence against the LGBTIQ.
Similarly, National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) commissioner Magdalena Sitorus also said in 2014 the commission received 37 reports of physical and sexual abuse against LGBTIQ women.
"The government should be fair and not make statements that may ignite violence and discrimination," Magdalena said.
Research and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir said on Sunday that the LGBITQ community should be barred from university campuses as they "corrupt the morals of the nation". Nasir's statement was followed by a public outcry urging him to take it back for fear that it would trigger attacks against the LGBTIQ people.
Other officials then jumped on the bandwagon, such as Cultural and Education Minister Anies Baswedan, Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil, lawmaker from the United Development Party (PPP) Reni Marlinawati and People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Zulkifli Hasan, who all made similar statements. (rin)(+)
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