In patriarchal culture, LGBT people are an “Other” that is exiled by the hetero-normative community. This exile causes stigma and discrimination. The prevalent view in the community, of LGBT people as unnatural and in contradiction to many religious values, contributes to the pervasiveness of homophobia and discrimination against LGBT people. In Indonesia, the situation is getting worse because of the absence of legal frameworks to protect LGBT people; this is a weakness in the Indonesian State’s approach to protecting LGBT people. The problem is made worse by the failure of the government to respond to the ongoing stigma and discrimination experienced by LGBT people.
Article 27 section (1) of the Indonesian Constitution states that every citizen has equal standing before the law. Therefore, legal protections apply to all citizens, including LGBT people. The principle of non-discrimination is also found in Article 28I section (2). The Constitution, laws and regulations of Indonesia make no express mention of discrimination based on identity or sexual orientation, however, the Indonesian State still has a responsibility to protect all citizens from discrimination that infringes on their human rights; this includes LGBT people. Indonesia has an ongoing responsibility to defend human rights and hold firm to the principles of equality and non-discrimination in accordance with the commitment it made when it ratified International Conventions such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Culture, the Convention on The Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and other international agreements that guarantee protection of basic human rights. Based on those conventions, Indonesia has three basic responsibilities: to protect, respect and fulfill the right of all communities in Indonesia, especially those who are vulnerable and marginal.
Unfortunately, equality and human rights protection for LGBT people in Indonesia is still far from meeting expectations. Stigma, homophobia and discrimination are still the main problems for LGBT people. Therefore, Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH Masyarakat) decided to undertake monitoring and documentation of stigma and discrimination against LGBT people in the Indonesian press over the course of 2016. It is hoped that the results of monitoring and documentation will be used as reference material and for advocacy in order that we can move beyond stigma and discrimination against LGBT people in Indonesia.
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