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Indonesian ride-sharing app VP penalized for pro-LGBTI Facebook post

Indonesian ride-sharing app VP penalized for pro-LGBTI Facebook post

a screenshot of a notification of a person deleting the go-jek app

The vice president of a popular Indonesia-based ride-sharing app has been received a ‘sanction and a strict warning’ after posting a pro-LGBTI message on Facebook.

Brata Santoso, vice president of operations and business development for ride-sharing startup Go-Jek, wrote a Facebook post which celebrated the company for its inclusive policies on National Coming Out Day (11 October).

Michael Say, vice president of Go-Jek’s corporate communications, said Santoso had violated one of the company’s policies relating to social media posts, Tempo.co reports.

‘He should not use the company’s name for personal interest,’ said Say.

‘We have given sanction and a strict warning to the employee who posts [the issue], and he is obliged to partake in social activities as to be more thoughtful,’ Say added.

Santoso’s Facebook post was widely shared on social media. Though the original post has since been deleted, screenshots are still circulating online.

In his Facebook post, Santoso wrote: ‘Go-Jek is taking diversity and inclusion matter to the next level by the adoption of non-discrimination policy towards the underrepresented group i.e. LGBT, despite being an Indonesian company.’

The pro-LGBTI post angered many social media users, and the hashtag #UnistallGojek soon began circulating online.

However, other social media users were quick to point out that expressing anger online at a company with pro-LGBTI leanings was contradictory, as the major companies which monopolize the tech market, such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, are themselves publically supportive of LGBTI rights.

Increase in LGBTI persecution

Although homosexuality is legal in Indonesia, the country’s LGBTI community has seen an uptick in LGBTI discrimination and persecution in recent years.

This is largely due to the increased prominence gained by conservative Islamic groups since around 2016.

The stigma against the LGBTI community is also heightened during the lead up to Indonesia’s presidential elections, which are due to take place in April next year.

In August, incumbent president Joko Widodo – once seen as a progressive reformer – picked Professor KH Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate.

Ma’ruf, an influential Islamic scholar, is known for his hardline anti-LGBTI stance and has issued fatwas against the LGBTI community in the past, and has called for the criminalization of homosexuality.

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