Indonesia's President Jokowi Defends LGBT Rights
We were all shocked when we reported just yesterday that Romanian Leader Urges Tolerance For Same-Sex Couples. Now it seems that the Indonesian President Joko Widodo drank the same rainbow kool-aid and we love it!
Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Wednesday broke his long silence on the country’s escalating climate of hateful anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rhetoric by defending the rights of the country’s besieged LGBT community. Jokowi declared that “the police must act” against any moves by bigoted groups or individuals to harm LGBT people or deny them their rights, and that “there should be no discrimination against anyone.”
Jokowi’s statement in defense of the rights of LGBT people is long overdue. It follows months of increasingly hateful rhetoric from government officials and religious organizations. Anti-LGBT statements by politicians and officials in 2016 ranging from the absurd to the apocalyptic have been accompanied by many threats and violent attacks on LGBT activists and others – including on a Muslim house of worship – primarily by militant Islamists. In some cases, the threats and violence occurred in the presence, and with the tacit consent, of government officials or security forces. Government commissions and ministries proposed discriminatory and regressive anti-LGBT laws, and officials testified in a court case attempting to criminalize consensual adult same-sex behavior. - Human Rights Watch
Just one week ago we shared Indonesia's search for a new Creative Youth Ambassador within the blog 'LGBT Need Not Apply' Job Advert Has Us Seeing Red and just two months ago, Indonesia’s High Court Considers Petition To Criminalize Gay Sex. The atmosphere in Indonesia is not good for its LGBT citizens. It sounds like Widodo is looking to protect all of it's citizens.
Jokowi qualified his statement in support of LGBT rights by stating that “in Indonesia, beliefs [generally] do not allow [LGBT], Islam does not allow it.” He needs the political courage to demonstrate that such “beliefs” can’t and won’t trump his obligation to defend the rights of all Indonesians. That will require going beyond rhetorical support for LGBT rights by moving decisively to roll back discriminatory language and initiatives by government agencies, including the Youth and Sports Ministry. Only by using the power of his office can Jokowi ensure that Indonesia’s LGBT community is no longer threatened, discriminated against, or physically attacked by government officials or anyone else. - Human Rights Watch
As we said at the beginning, Romania just yesterday and now Indonesia. Let's hope this chatter becomes policy.
h/t: Human Rights Watch