POLL: Indonesia Sees Sharp Spike In Anti-Gay Hate

A recent poll in Indonesia shows a marked increase in homophobia. The Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) reported that almost 81% of those surveyed would object to having a gay or lesbian neighbor, about double the number who would object to someone of a different religion.

The study also indicated a sharp uptick in anti-gay sentiment since 2005, when 64.7% of respondents said they would object to having a neighbor. Homophobia was most pronounced in men (60%) ,  Indonesians who’d only obtained a high-school education (67%) and those who earned 2 million rupiahs (about $210) or less per month.

Hartoyo, founder of the LGBT empowerment group One Voice, cited radical Islamist groups and the media as the main culprits: “Some media outlets, mainly online news portals and TV channels that are easily accessible, tend to give imbalanced reports about us or portray us only as clowns.”

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One Comment

  • Demos

    There are far too many bigots in Indonesia. Our online forums are filled with hatred to LGBT people, with sentences like “gay people should burn in hell” or “gays are disgusting, I hope they should just disappear from the earth” being very common. LGBT people are also clowns in the media, gay characters are perceived negatively: loud, annoying, girlish, pervert, a major sexual-harasser. While we live rather peacefully within our own social circle, once we are “out” it’s all hell out there (gays pressured to marry women by their parents or gay therapies are fairly common here, and is perfectly legal). Not to mention that recently, an openly gay activist successfully became a Minister of Human Rights candidate (which is the first time in our history). It became a major news for a while, but when the news reached public, all it spawned was only hatred and rejection. In the end, He only got one vote out of over a hundred total. The other candidates? They got 10-25 votes each. Conclusion: Indonesia still has a long way to go in the fight against inequality.

    In my opinion, Indonesian people must learn to be able to separate laws from religion. People are vocal with their religious beliefs, but they tend to accept these beliefs only at face-value (a.k.a “My religion is always right, if you don’t comply you’ll go to hell” )… As it is now, there’s no choice but to use economical and cultural influence to forcefully change Indonesia. Being religious is actually okay, I don’t even mind with the public preachings, or the daily dose of religious soap operas in Indonesian local televisions (Some of them could easily reach the ~100 episode mark, with 2 to 3 hours duration each episode, eating up the prime time slot daily, Monday to Sunday). But when those so-called ‘religious’ people forces other people to comply with their beliefs, even resorting to violence in the process, those religious beliefs become more harmful than helpful.

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