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Jakarta Post

'We just want the normal ones': AGO justifies refusal to recruit LGBT people as civil servants

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, November 23, 2019   /   06:41 pm
'We just want the normal ones': AGO justifies refusal to recruit LGBT people as civil servants Attorney General's Office in Jakarta. (Kompas.com/Dian Maharani)

Amid widespread criticism for rejecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as civil servant candidates, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has defended its recruitment requirements, saying the institution “only wants the normal ones”.

Adding to the long list of prejudices against the minority group in the country, the AGO has put forward a ban on LGBT jobseekers, mentioning among job requirements that applicants “must not be mentally disabled and not show sexual orientation or behavioral deviations.”

Asked about the reason behind the ban, AGO spokesperson Mukri said the office ─ which had practically gone as far as categorizing homosexuality and transgenderism as mental illnesses ─ were not interested in “odd” applicants.

“I mean, we just want the normal ones,” Mukri said as quoted by kompas.com, “We don’t want [to accept] the odd ones […]”

Mukri, however, stopped short of commenting when asked whether he knew that such requirements were considered to be a form of discrimination.

The ban has sparked criticism, even leading the Indonesian Ombudsman to make a statement calling such requirements ─ which had also been also put forward by the Trade Ministry ─ discriminatory.

Indonesian Ombudsman commissioner Ninik Rahayu, however, said the Trade Ministry had removed such requirements. "I heard that the Trade Ministry has already changed it. The AGO, however, has maintained the requirement," she said. 

House of Representatives member Arsul Sani of the Islamic-based United Development Party (PPP) has also called the ban discriminatory.

"They shouldn't be discriminated against just because of their sexual orientation,” Arsul said on Friday. 

He said there was nothing wrong with LGBT people applying for civil servant positions as long as they did not violate any laws.

Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid has called the ban “an appalling move” and said state institutions should not be applying such “arbitrary and hateful restrictions.”

“The discriminatory criteria should be withdrawn immediately. It’s against Indonesia’s constitution, and against Indonesia’s obligations under international human rights law.”

Lawmakers have planned to ask for clarification regarding the LGBT ban from Attorney General ST Burhanuddin during the next working meeting with the House, Arsul added. (dpk)