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October 22, 2013

In honor of Bali’s biggest festival, the Galungan, Gay Star Travel recalls the highlights of two weeks spent in paradise

Last year, Gay Star Travel editor Jean Paul Zapata spent two weeks biking, swimming, relaxing and eating his way through Bali.

The first week, he went swimming in Sanur, wandered through Ubud's monkey forest and stood in awe of the mountain-top temple Tanah Lot.

April 12, 2013

After taking part in meetings for the last two years, LGBT rights groups have been excluded from this year's ASEAN Civil Society Conference and People's Forum in Brunei

LGBT rights activists are being excluded from a conference on human rights in Southeast Asia.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) SOGI Caucus attended the first two ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN People's Forums in 2011 and 2012, but it has been excluded from this year's meeting in Brunei.

'ASEAN SOGI Caucus' voice is being silent by a group that calls itself a civil society,' said Indonesia representative Vien Tanjung to Gay Star News. 

March 14, 2013

An Indonesian judge has made a public apology to the country’s LGBT community, but maintains his stance against the idea of same-sex marriages

Indonesian Constitutional Court judge Arief Hidayat has apologized to that country’s LGBT community after a gay activist wrote to him to tell him of his struggles as a gay Muslim living in Indonesia.

Hidayat had spoken out against the idea of same-sex marriage during a confirmation hearing in the Indonesian House of Representatives, which prompted LGBT rights activist Hartoyo, the secretary general of the group Ourvoice, to write an open letter to the judge.

February 14, 2013

Bisexual singer and gay icon has cancelled remainder of tour dates due to doctors ordering her to have hip surgery

Bisexual pop star and gay icon Lady Gaga has cancelled the rest of her remaining ‘Born This Way’ tour dates.

Disappointed fans are allowed to get their tickets refunded starting from today (14 February), the touring company has confirmed.

A statement posted to the ‘Bad Romance’ singer’s Little Monsters social network explained she requires surgery for a hip injury, and doctors have ordered her to rest.

‘Live Nation Global Touring has confirmed that the remainder of the Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball performances have been cancelled,’ the statement said.

January 17, 2013

A lesbian couple who pretended to be straight to marry, was chased from their home on Batam Island, Indonesia when confronted by neighbors

A lesbian couple who forged documents to fool officials into marrying them had to flea from their home in a village on Batam, Riau Islands in Indonesia when their neighbors discovered the truth.

'We reject homosexuals here,' a neighbor named Marlina told AFP yesterday.

'So last week we raided their house and saw Musdalifa was obviously a woman... We told Musdalifa to leave. They both fled and we haven't seen them since.'

Musdalifa was really a 23-year-old woman called Angga Soerjipto who married her 41-year-old girlfriend Ninies Ramiluningtyas.

January 17, 2013

A lesbian couple who pretended to be straight to marry, was chased from their home on Batam Island, Indonesia when confronted by neighbors

A lesbian couple who forged documents to fool officials into marrying them had to flea from their home in a village on Batam, Riau Islands in Indonesia when their neighbors discovered the truth.

'We reject homosexuals here,' a neighbor named Marlina told AFP yesterday.

'So last week we raided their house and saw Musdalifa was obviously a woman... We told Musdalifa to leave. They both fled and we haven't seen them since.'

Musdalifa was really a 23-year-old woman called Angga Soerjipto who married her 41-year-old girlfriend Ninies Ramiluningtyas.

January 9, 2013

New Islamic Sharia laws in Indonesian province of Aceh propose flogging gay people and making it illegal for women passengers to straddle motorbikes

Editorials in The Jakarta Post and The Bangkok Post have slammed authorities in the Indonesian province of Aceh for introducing new Islamic Sharia laws that include flogging gay people and banning women passengers from straddling motorbikes.

'When the New Year chimed in parts of Aceh, Indonesia, the calendar rolled over from 2012 to 1413,' said the editorial in The Bangkok Post.

January 9, 2013

New Islamic Sharia laws in Indonesian province of Aceh propose flogging gay people and making it illegal for women passengers to straddle motorbikes

Editorials in The Jakarta Post and The Bangkok Post have slammed authorities in the Indonesian province of Aceh for introducing new Islamic Sharia laws that include flogging gay people and banning women passengers from straddling motorbikes.

'When the New Year chimed in parts of Aceh, Indonesia, the calendar rolled over from 2012 to 1413,' said the editorial in The Bangkok Post.

December 7, 2012

Trans activists in Jakarta say the police did nothing to protect them from the Islamic extremists who broke-up their festival this week

Trans activists in Indonesia have spoken out about the lack of protection they get from police in the face of threats from Islamic extremists.

Earlier this week a transgender festival in Jakarta was stopped by FPI (Front Pembela Islam, the Islamic Defenders Front), one witness reported that the Islamic extremists wielded sticks to threaten the transgender women at the event.

October 23, 2012

After months of tests Dede Oetomo is not one of the 13 applicants chosen by MPs to serve on Indonesia's human rights commission

An Indonesian gay rights activist who has been waiting for months to hear if he will be accepted to serve on the national human rights commission has found out that he didn’t make the final cut.

The appointment of Dede Oetomo, an openly gay academic, to Komnas HAM, Indonesia’s human rights commission, would have made a positive statement in a country that has been accused of regressing in its acceptance of LGBT rights.

October 23, 2012

After months of tests Dede Oetomo is not one of the 13 applicants chosen by MPs to serve on Indonesia's human rights commission

An Indonesian gay rights activist who has been waiting for months to hear if he will be accepted to serve on the national human rights commission has found out that he didn’t make the final cut.

The appointment of Dede Oetomo, an openly gay academic, to Komnas HAM, Indonesia’s human rights commission, would have made a positive statement in a country that has been accused of regressing in its acceptance of LGBT rights.

October 15, 2012

President Yudhoyono issued a decree last month allowing cheap local production of drugs that treat HIV

The Indonesian government has acted to tackle the nation’s HIV crisis by overriding international pharmaceutical companys’ patents on HIV drugs.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono quietly issued an order to start producing drugs patented by global pharmaceutical companies like Glaxo Smith Kline on home soil, Reuters reports.

September 14, 2012

Islamic students group objects to veteran gay rights activist Dede Oetamo being considered for a role on the Indonesian human rights commission

A group of students protested in Banda Aceh, northwestern Indonesia, on Wednesday against the possibility gay rights activist Dede Oetamo could be appointed onto the country’s human rights commission (Komnas HAM).

Dozens of members of the Indonesian Muslim Students Front (KAMMI) protested.

August 18, 2012

Bisexual pop sensation has revealed her 'special gift' for fans after she had to cancel a concert after security fears

Bisexual pop star Lady Gaga has revealed her new track with rapper Kendrick Lamar is about her cancelled tour date in Indonesia.

The ‘Bad Romance’ singer will feature on Lamar’s new song ‘Partynauseous’, and has said the collaboration is about the anti-gay, violent protests in Jakarta.

Gaga tweeted: ‘I wrote ‘PARTYNAUSEOUS’ about Jakarta, and my relationship with that country.

‘Wishing I could ‘get high with the enemy’ and make peace.

June 26, 2012

Yulianus Rettoblaut, chair of the Indonesian Transgender Forum, says funds are needed for waria nursing home

Indonesian transgender activist Yulianus Rettoblaut is planning a home for elderly waria (transgenders) in Depok, West Java, Indonesia.

‘We have to do [the project] bit by bit because currently no one is eager to support us financially,’ Yulianus said in an interview with The Jakarta Post. ‘I hope that eventually people can see how important this is for our aging friends.’

June 9, 2012

Municipality seeks to ban homosexuality along with prostitution and the consumption of alcohol

The Indonesian city of Tasikmalaya in West Java is seeking to implement controversial Sharia based laws which would make it compulsory for all Muslim women in the city to wear headscarfs and criminalise homosexuality.

Homosexuality is not an offence under Indonesia’s national laws. However many local government areas within the country have sought to ban it by including it in local public morality laws.

June 9, 2012

Municipality seeks to ban homosexuality along with prostitution and the consumption of alcohol

The Indonesian city of Tasikmalaya in West Java is seeking to implement controversial Sharia based laws which would make it compulsory for all Muslim women in the city to wear headscarfs and criminalise homosexuality.

Homosexuality is not an offence under Indonesia’s national laws. However many local government areas within the country have sought to ban it by including it in local public morality laws.

June 5, 2012

Dede Oetomo is one of 30 candidates through to final stage of selection for Komnas HAM, Indonesia’s national human rights commission

Long-serving Indonesian gay rights activist is through to the final leg of selection for the national human rights commission, Komnas HAM.

If Dede Oetomo is one of 15 of the 30 current candidates chosen by parliament to serve on the commission, he will tackle the many human rights abuses against LGBT people in Indonesia.

June 5, 2012

Lady Gaga fans place flowers outside stadium where their Mother Monster would have performed

Dozens of Lady Gaga fans gathered outside Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta on Sunday despite the fact she was forced to cancel her 3 June concert due to security concerns.

Last week Lady Gaga cancelled what would have been her first concert in Indonesia, after threats from Islamic groups.

June 5, 2012

Lady Gaga fans place flowers outside stadium where their Mother Monster would have performed

Dozens of Lady Gaga fans gathered outside Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta on Sunday despite the fact she was forced to cancel her 3 June concert due to security concerns.

Last week Lady Gaga cancelled what would have been her first concert in Indonesia, after threats from Islamic groups.

May 27, 2012

Bisexual pop sensation Lady Gaga has decided to cancel her Indonesian show after threats of 'chaos'

The bisexual pop sensation and LGBTI rights activist, Lady Gaga, has decided to cancel the Indonesian leg of her most recent tour after receiving threats of 'chaos' if she were to enter the world's most populous Muslim country.

In a statement issued to the press, Minola Sebayang, lawyer for the singer's promoters, Big Daddy, said: 'Lady Gaga's management has considered the situation minute to minute, and with threats if the concert goes ahead, Lady Gaga's side is calling off the concert.

May 23, 2012

International pop star who has met protests from Christians and Muslims during Asian tour speaks out during Manilla concert

Lady Gaga’s Asian tour has been met with religious protests in Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia. At last night’s concert in Manilla she finally aired her views.

‘So many people have been protesting and it really doesn't bother me truly because I know that there has to be change,’ she said at the concert while playing a keyboard on a motorbike, MTV Newsroom reports.

May 11, 2012

Project of Love aims to build a supportive online community

A dedicated website for gay people in Indonesia funded by the Australian government was launched this week.

Project of Love, proyekcinta.com, was launched at a party in Bali on Wednesday night. It covers health - including information about HIV prevention and an online ‘Ask the Doctor’ facility - blogs about gay life as well as entertainment reviews and events.

May 11, 2012

Project of Love aims to build a supportive online community

A dedicated website for gay people in Indonesia funded by the Australian government was launched this week.

Project of Love, proyekcinta.com, was launched at a party in Bali on Wednesday night. It covers health - including information about HIV prevention and an online ‘Ask the Doctor’ facility - blogs about gay life as well as entertainment reviews and events.