Gay, transgender activists still in contention for Komnas HAM role

Indonesian gay activist Dede Oetomo and transgender Yulianus “Mami Yuli” Rettoblaut are both still in the running for National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) leader position. Both names are among the 120 selected applicants that the selection committee announced in a press conference on Wednesday.

“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 .

Jimly acknowledged that he was afraid that both Dede and Yuli, no matter how capable they were, would not be able to endure the upcoming sessions in the House of Representatives simply because the House would represent the feeling of the majority, which still considers lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as alien.

“There will be too many political considerations, which will be in the majority’s favor. I don’t think that both Dede and Yuli will make it through the tests,” Jimly said.

Aboebakar Alhabsyi, a Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) lawmaker, acknowledged that the feeling of the majority within society would play a pivotal role in the selection process.

“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,” Aboebakar said.

Commenting on this, Dede Oetomo, a Cornel University graduate and also leading sociologist, said that the House should be objective in the selection process.

“These lawmakers will taint their own faces if they play around with their authority,” he said.(asa/dic)

Source – The Jakarta Post