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

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.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Vice President Biden appears to support gay marriage

Vice President Joe Biden says he supports gay marriage and Obama reelection campaign tries to walk the statement back
No thumbnail available
Bobby Jindal warns Westboro Baptist Church to stay away from funerals of victims murdered in movie theater

Bobby Jindal warns Westboro Baptist Church to stay away from funerals of victims murdered in movie theater

'Any action by any individual or group to in any way disrupt, interfere, or cause additional suffering during this time of mourning is unconscionable and morally reprehensible'
Columbus to score $5 million in tourism from Gay Softball World Series
No thumbnail available

US politicians protest against sexual abuse of gay detainees

Congressmen Mike Quigley and Jared Polis call for thorough investigation of sexual abuse allegations in immigration detention centers.
No thumbnail available

Nine of the best gay friendly hotels

From Amsterdam to Australia and South Beach to San José, we check out some of the world’s most exciting gay hotels
No thumbnail available

Creator of HBO's Looking hopeful the gay dramedy will get a second season

Mike Lannan tells Gay Star News: 'We're thinking about (stories) in preparation of getting picked up but we can't really work on it until we get that signal'
No thumbnail available

‘Conversion’ therapies and their deadly outcomes

And why celibacy is not the answer either
No thumbnail available

Lance Bass: ‘Statistically speaking, a president has to have been gay’

Former *NSYNC star jokes that he bets Franklin D Roosevelt was gay and in a loveless relationship
No thumbnail available

Martina Navratilova tells GSN who will win Wimbledon

Lesbian tennis hero Navratilova also talks about coming out, homophobia in sport, Margaret Court and global LGBT rights