Community Under Threat from Leaders’ Homophobic Rhetoric
International human rights group Alturi opened a global campaign May 3 to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community in Indonesia. Increasing homophobic and transphobic rhetoric by political and religious leaders has caused growing hostility toward members of the LGBTI community in Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population.
The campaign will benefit the Indonesian human rights network Arus Pelangi, a national federation supporting LGBTI human rights in Indonesia. The organization has responded to the current backlash by launching an emergency assistance program to help the most vulnerable members of the community. The program includes a temporary safe house for human rights defenders under threat, relocation assistance, a national hotline and other emergency support services. But current funds for emergency services run out at the end of May. Funds raised through this campaign will help ensure that the work continues.
The global campaign is led by Alturi, a new non-profit organization based in Los Angeles dedicated to raising attention and support for global LGBTI advocates, and is joined by Human Rights Watch and OutRight Action International.
“Arus Pelangi has provided a critically important voice for the LGBTI community in Indonesia for more than 10 years,” said Steve Roth, co-founder and director of Alturi. “And when this current backlash against LGBTI people began they quickly sprang into action. But this emergency support puts a strain on their resources, so we’re asking Americans and other members of the international community to make a small contribution to help them continue this important work.”
Alturi, Human Rights Watch and OutRight Action International invite members of the international community to contribute to help ensure that Arus Pelangi can provide emergency services to LGBTI Indonesians most in need as result of the hostile, anti-LGBTI rhetoric from government officials. Funds raised will also support Arus Pelangi’s broader work to ensure the well being of LGBTI Indonesians, including their “You Are Not Alone” awareness campaign and other critical advocacy work.
“When urgent needs like these arise, we have to act quickly to help and protect the most vulnerable members our community,” said Yuli Rusinawati, founder and chairperson of Arus Pelangi. “At the same time, we have to keep advocating strongly for equality and respect for the broader LGBTI community in Indonesia. We greatly appreciate the support from the international community, which will enable us to keep pushing forward with our work on multiple fronts.”
Established in 2006, Arus Pelangi is a non-profit, member-based federation that works to advance the human rights of LGBTI people in Indonesia through education, public awareness, advocacy, and community organizing.
“OutRight partners with Arus Pelangi to change hearts and minds in Indonesia to support long-term change – but right now they need emergency support to keep their community safe and stand tall in the face of mounting opposition,” said Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International.
The campaign can be found at: alturi.org/indonesia campaign.