Indonesia: ‘No Room’ for LGBT ‘Movement’ in Islamic Country

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Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has responded to criticisms in a new Human Rights Watch report by stating that the government will protect the rights of gay people, but there is “no room” for an LGBT “movement” in the country. The government will not protect, the statement implies, the right to freely identify as an LGBT person. “As a citizen, whoever the person is will have his rights protected, without looking at his sexual preference,” presidential spokesman Johan Budi told Reuters, “but if LGBT means a mass movement to influence other parties to become like them, then there’s no room here.” The Human Rights Watch report condemned the Indonesian government for persecuting LGBT individuals under the excuse of enforcing Sharia, or Islamic law. Public officials have become increasingly vocal in objecting to individuals who identify publicly as gay, and the public anti-gay movement appears to have deeply affected the attitude of the average Indonesian, as the survey taken this month found that LGBT people are now the most hated in the country, even more than “communists” and “Jews.” “It’s strange because usually it is the communists and the Jewish people who claim the top two spots as the most disliked groups