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Jakarta Post

Homosexuals battle medieval bylaw

  • Hotli Simanjuntak

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 21 2010   /  08:59 am

”God created humans in pairs, but nowhere does it say the pair has to be male and female, both male or both female,” says Edy “Echa” Saputra.Echa is a transgender who heads the Violet Grey organization, established in 2007 by gay and transgender activists in Aceh.The group fights for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community in the notoriously conservative province, Echa says.Its main purpose, he goes on, is to provide an understanding to the wider Aceh society that the GLBT community is part of the social fabric and its members have the same rights as everyone else.“We’re making efforts to raise awareness through the HIV/AIDS issue, because if we get straight to the main issue, people might turn on us,” he says.Violet Grey has around 300 members, including gays, bisexuals and transgenders, but no lesbians.“It’s harder to detect whether someo...