Gay and trans activists still in running for Indonesian human rights commission

Anti-gay and trans sentiment casts doubt over Yulianus Rettoblaut and Dede Oetomo chances of Komnas HAM selection

Gay and trans activists still in running for Indonesian human rights commission
14 March 2012 Print This Article

Gay and transgender activists are still in the running for Komnas HAM, Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights, despite hostile reaction to them.

The committee overseeing the selection process announced today (14 March) that gay activist Dede Oetomo and trans Yulianus 'Mami Yuli' Rettoblaut are among the 120 people through to the next round.

'The selection team considers both of them to be qualified despite the negative feedback that has been received,' selection committee chief Jimly Asshiddiqie told The Jakarta Post.

Oetomo and Rettoblaut hope to become one of the 15 people chosen by the country's House of Representatives to serve on the human rights commission from 2012 to 2017.

However, Asshiddiqie says he doesn't think the pair will pass the final tests, which include a profile assessment, public recommendation, psychological, health and essay writing exams, because of overwhelming anti-gay and trans sentiment from the majority of members in the House.

'Our society hasn’t accepted the LGBT community yet, thus Komnas HAM would also be in jeopardy if it accommodated LGBT communities with a commissioner,' said Aboebakar Alhabsyi, a Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) lawmaker.

Oetomo reacted by saying, 'These lawmakers will taint their own faces if they play around with their authority.'

Rettoblaut is head of the Communication Forum of Indonesia Transgender and holds a law degree. When she submitted her application for the commission, she said: 'Human rights cases implicating transgendered people have never been resolved. I hope that I can fill the position to solve those problems.'

Oetomo is an academic with a PhD from Cornell University in New York. He founded Lambda Indonesia later renamed Gaya Nusantara, the first LGBT rights organization in the country in 1981 and has stood, unsuccessfully, as a candidate in local elections.



No thumbnail available

Nude men take the spotlight in Paris art exhibit

'It's male beauty in all its glory' said Musée d'Orsay curator of the exhibit that explores pain, temptation, desire and idealization through two centuries' worth of naked men
No thumbnail available

Leeds: From bar crawling to tiger hunting

Britain’s third largest city is home to some of sculptor Henry Moore’s finest work, a thriving gay scene, an historic market and the famed Leeds Tiger
No thumbnail available

Russian TV host blames falling meteorites on gays

Pundit Arkady Mamontov has warned Russia must protect 'traditional love' or face the consequences
No thumbnail available

Nude photos of rugby star go viral

George Burgess' rugby team will not sanction him for selfie nude pictures that ended up on the internet
No thumbnail available

Malta considers hate crime law after gay attacks

Maltese government may extend hate crime legislation to include sexual orientation
No thumbnail available

Indian artist’s exhibition shut down over gay themes

Artist Balbir Krishnan’s Bed of Roses exhibition of paintings has been ejected from the Hyderabad Mariott after conservatives complained about its homosexual themes
No thumbnail available

Man dies after collapsing at London gay sauna

His death is currently being listed as unexplained
No thumbnail available

Caitlyn Jenner's four eldest children refuse to appear on her summer reality show

They disagree with Jenner's decision to do show for E! which also airs Keeping Up With the Kardashians
No thumbnail available

Bisexual women are more likely to self-harm than lesbians

New study finds negative social stigmas for bisexuals are causing mental health problems
No thumbnail available

Croatian city of Split divided over gay pride after violent clashes

Split authorities force change to LGBT pride route after attacks last year. Gay organizers will appeal in court