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Indonesian Government Bans LGBTQ+ Job Seekers

Indonesia's LGBTQ+ Pride in Jakarta

Indonesian ministries are sparking outrage for job advertisements that ban LGBTQ+ job-seekers. 

The Ministries of Defense and Trade, as well as the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) were listing job advertisements with the requirements that applicants “must not be mentally disabled and not show sexual orientation or behavioral deviations,” according to The Jakarta Post

When questioned about the ban, AGO spokesperson Mukri said the office wasn’t interested in “odd” applicants. “I mean, we just want the normal ones, we don’t want [to accept] the odd ones,” he said. According to The Jakarta Post the AGO has previously categorized LGBTQ+ people as mentally ill. 

The ban has been criticized by the Indonesian Ombudsman, a state institution in the country, with commissioner Ninik Rahayu saying an investigation found the AGO and the defense and trade ministries actions were discriminatory. Rahayu added that some ministries had already begun removing the measures: “I heard that the Trade Ministry has already changed it. The AGO, however, has maintained the requirement.”

Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, said that the restrictions amounted to a “hate-based policy.” 

"Indonesia should be trying to recruit the best and brightest to its civil service, not applying arbitrary and hateful restrictions," he said. "This is against both Indonesia's constitution and its obligations under international human rights law.”

Indonesia has seen a spike in discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in recent years. Last month Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, was forced to postpone a bill that bans same-sex activity following pressure from human rights groups and Australia. The bill would ban all sex outside of marriage — same-sex marriage is also banned within the country. The vote is now scheduled for next month when Indonesia’s new parliament convenes. 

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