The Jakarta Post
An activist for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, identifying himself as Dedy, has called on LGBT communities in Indonesia to speak up more to demand greater protection of their rights by the state.
"Indonesia's struggle to attain what [the US Supreme Court has] agreed upon is still far behind. This is a hopeful boost for the LGBT movement in Indonesia. LGBT people in the country should speak up more, revealing their identity," said Dedy on Monday.
He was referring to the US Supreme Court's recent decision to rule in favor of same-sex marriage.
Dedy went on to say that LGBT communities in Indonesia should draft a database of violence against LGBT people in the country and use it to push for the issuance of a government policy.
Forum LGBT Indonesia, a coalition of LGBT individuals, recorded 47 cases of abuse against gay individuals across the country throughout 2013. These included bullying, physical attacks, verbal abuse and murder, as well as exclusion in the workplace and criminalization.
The director of Suara Kita, an NGO focusing on LGBT rights, Hartoyo, said it was still too far for Indonesia to approve same-sex marriage, which he considered as the peak of the fight for LGBT rights.
"A more immediate issue our country is facing is violence based on sexual preference and gender identity. This is what we will fight against in the next 10 years," he said.
Instead of winning state approval for same-sex marriage, Hartoyo said LGBT communities in Indonesia would likely have a better chance of getting a policy that protected LGBT people from violence. Same-sex marriage in Indonesia would probably happen only in the next 50 to 100 years, he said.
Hartoyo said his organization was planning to provide shelters for LGBT people who suffered from violence or who were made homeless because of their sexuality.(fsu/ebf)(++++)
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