Both Malaysia and Indonesia have seen a rise in religious conservatism in recent years. Just recently we were all shocked when we reported that a Gay Couple Arrested For Having Sex Face Up To 100 Lashings. It seems that we as LGBTers have a great deal of work to do in South East Asia.
Every time we report on these horrific actions in foreign lands, many of us ask WHAT CAN WE DO? WE'RE OVER HERE! This is a great question, let's remember to ask that again in a little bit.
Recent news out of South East Asia finds Muslim organizations in Malaysia and Indonesia calling for a boycott of local Starbucks over the corporation's support for LGBT rights. The leaders of Muhammadiyah, the second-largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, have asked the citizens to boycott the coffee giant. The ban is meant to be an ongoing one but other news sites say that the focus of the ban was to be set for July 4th.
One leader, Yunahar Ilyas, called on "Muslims to not drink in Starbucks so that the income is not used to strengthen LGBT campaigns." Anwar Abbas, Muhammadiyah's head of economic affairs, said, "the ideology, business and view that they support are against our ideology."
Muslim groups have also urged the government to revoke Starbucks' business license because of the company's stance on gay rights. Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia has called for the government to re-evaluate what companies receive trading licenses saying that their nation should not invite organizations in that support same-sex marriages and LGBT rights.
Starbucks has been a proponent of LGBT rights for years. Here's just a handful of stories we've shared about Starbucks in recent years.
I personally dislike Starbucks. Why? Because I don't drink coffee and I don't care for their non-coffee alternatives. It's not a store for me. But I applaud what they do for our community.
I recently choose to read a piece on Mashable.com titled "Dear Corporate America, Leave Our LGBTQ Pride Celebrations Alone." It opens up with:
Listen up, "prideful" corporations. Pack up your branded rainbow swag and leave my community alone.
The LGBTQ community has put up with your "rainbow-washing" during Pride Month for far too long. And in the Trump era, when LGBTQ rights are under alarming attack, we need you to step off our movement.
We need to reclaim Pride and its resistance roots — for ourselves and for each other. And Corporate America's role in that should be to lift us up, and then move out of the way.
I see the person's point. The writer, Kate Dupere, goes on to say that she feels when June ends, support from these so-called LGBTQ-affirming companies almost entirely disappears. No more queer commercials. No declarations of "valued queer customers." No rainbow-clad products left and right. LGBTQ people slide off the corporate radar — until next year, when profit-hungry big businesses can prey on Pride again. But we as a community can't let that happen anymore.
I wonder if Kate feels the same way about the cities that "rainbow-fy" the streets and poles subways with ROYGBIV for all to see. Then it all comes down and they move on to other seasonal celebrations. Is Kate pissed off when companies come out with fall and winter motifs and not rainbow 24/7/365?
Many of us ask WHAT CAN WE DO? WE'RE OVER HERE!
Maybe we need to celebrate the companies that are over here int he US and over in other nations showing their Pride for our community. Yes, they are parading wth us in the streets of America, but they are also standing behind our rights in their businesses worlds away from us. They may not be selling rainbow goodies over there, but because of how they have chosen to align with our gay community and support LGBT rights, they do deserve our respect.
I do see and sometimes agree that corporations do play a large part in Pride parade and celebrations, some would say too much and this needs to be looked at. But the fuck off and never come back mentality that many have is narrow minded and needs to be more worldly.