Liberals Silent as Indonesia Cracks Down on LGBT Community

Alissa Lopez | August 12, 2016
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Indonesia, a majority Muslim country, has taken a very clear stand against LGBT rights. Where is the liberal outrage? 

The spokesperson for President Joko Widodo, Johan Budi, released a statement saying, "Rights of citizens like going to school and getting an I.D. card are protected, but there is no room in Indonesia for the proliferation of the LGBT movement.” 

Budi later clarified in a text message to Reuters, writing, "As a citizen, whoever the person is will have his rights protected, without looking at his sexual preference.”

"But if LGBT means a mass movement to influence other parties to become like them, then there's no room here," he continued.

This statement does not come as a shock.

The LGBT community in Indonesia has been coming under attack for months now. Clerical bodies have advocated for criminalizing gay sex, while the country's vice president has spoken out and called the lifestyle “wrong.”

But there’s more. 

Back in January, Research, Technology, and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir heard about a counseling service an organization was planning to offer to LGBT college students. He publicly stated the service would “will cause damage to the morality of the nation.”

Nasir said he believes in banning gay students “if they show inappropriate behavior such as having sex, or public displays of affection on campus.”

Additionally, in February, ministers and religious leaders openly denounced homosexuality and the government began censoring media and other products that referenced it. The Defense Minister went so far as to label LGBT members a “threat” to the community, adding that fighting them was “a kind of modern warfare.”

ABC Australia reported:

When a minister criticised counselling services for gay students at a university last month, it triggered a heated media debate and was the start of what activists say has been a sustained assault on gay rights.

The Government has shut down a slew of websites, ordered TV programs depicting gay lives off the air and demanded all instant messaging apps remove same-sex emoticons — like men holding hands and the symbolic rainbow flag — or face a ban.

I ask, where are the activists? Surely there are Indonesian activists. Where are the social justice warriors fighting for equality for every minority group in the world? Or is that not how advocacy works? 

There’s no trending hashtag on Twitter. Major liberal news outlets such as MSNBC and Huffington Post have not covered this foreign controversy. Are leftists choosing to be silent now because this criticism does not directly affect them? Or is it because staging an outcry over this anti-LGBT movement taking place in predominantly Muslim country would somehow completely contradict their rhetoric on Islam?

Agree with the lifestyle or not, that’s not the point. The LGBT community in Indonesia is on the defense and the social justice warriors that are constantly fighting for “equality” and “LGBT rights” are now painfully silent. Violence against the gay community is said to have intensified, gays are denounced by their own government, and the liberals are nowhere in sight.