Indonesia: Bound by culture and religion, paranoia reigns over LGBT rights

Against oppressive odds, LGBT communities struggle for acceptance and visibility in Indonesia, where morality comes at the expense of enlightenment. 

#TolakLGBT has been trending in Indonesia in recent weeks, and in Bahasa Indonesia, “tolak” means reject. Then this week Muslim activists held a rally against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights with the message: “LGBT is a disease, not a human right”. “We reject the LGBT because they asked for equality and legality from the government and it’s getting more and more disarming,” Muhammad Fuad, the leader of the Islamic People Forum (FUI) said.

On Tuesday police had shut down a rally held by the Yogyakarta-based Solidaritas Perjuangan Demokrasi in support of equal rights for Indonesia’s LGBT communities at one of the city’s most treasured monuments, Tugu Yogyakarta. But it wasn’t their campaign that filled the dead air in our news cycle that evening, it was the physical confrontation they got into with the local police who were trying to prevent a larger clash with FUI. This is just one of many anti-LGBT moments that have happened in Indonesia in the past month. But it all started with just one incendiary statement. Read more via the Guardian