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Komnas HAM calls for protection of LGBT rights

Graphic: Rainbow flag

LGBT people should receive equal treatment before the law, says Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights.

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has urged the government to make good on its recent statement supporting the protection of the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) community, the Jakarta Post reported.

"We have to build an inclusive nation that respects the plurality of its citizens, including minority groups," Komnas HAM commissioner Natalius Pigai said during a discussion in Jakarta.

Previously, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan asserted that the state must guarantee the rights of the LGBT community just as it would those of any Indonesian citizen.

He also said that LGBT people deserved to receive equal treatment before the law, as well as equal employment opportunities.

Natalius said the government needed to show its commitment to the group by introducing regulations that offered protection from intimidation and bullying.

He cited a recent study by rights group Arus Pelangi that concluded 89.3 percent of LGBT people in Indonesia had been subjected to violence.

"The state cannot avoid the responsibility to protect the LGBT community because they are vulnerable to persecution," Natalius said.

Support also came from a group of lawmakers calling themselves the Pancasila Caucus.The group called on the government to protect LGBT people against all forms of discrimination and violence.

LGBT rights activists concurred with the call for non-discriminatory policies, urging the public to gain a better understanding of the LGBT community's place in society.

Homosexuality is not illegal under Indonesian law, but the LGBT community continues to face marginalization in a Muslim-majority nation of 250 million people.

The recent strong reaction to the discovery of an LGBT study group at a university campus prompted various public officials and religious leaders to make hostile statements about the LGBT community and its goals, the Jakarta Post reported.

Source: Jakarta Post

Date: 22 February 2016

Image credits

  1. Rainbow flag - Essygie, Flickr; http://bit.ly/1PFeb68