• No room in Indonesia for the proliferation of the LGBT movement, like this Balinese gay community. (AAP)Source: AAP
The United States criticised Indonesia on Thursday for saying there is "no room" for the gay community in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.
Source:
AFP
12 Aug 2016 - 3:56 PM  UPDATED 12 Aug 2016 - 3:56 PM

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters: "We encourage Indonesia, which rightly prides itself on diversity and tolerance, to respect and uphold international rights and standards by ensuring equal rights and protections for all of its citizens." 

Earlier on Thursday, Indonesian presidential spokesman Johan Budi told AFP that "rights of citizens like going to school and getting an ID card are protected, but there is no room in Indonesia for the proliferation of the LGBT movement."

He was responding to criticism that officials recently unleashed a wave of angry rhetoric against Indonesia's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

"Rights of citizens like going to school and getting an ID card are protected, but there is no room in Indonesia for the proliferation of the LGBT movement."

Washington is "closely monitoring reports of possible measures in Indonesia that would restrict the freedom of expression for LGBTI individuals," Trudeau said.

"In principle and in practice the United States government will always strive to protect and advance the universal right of all people, including LGBTI individuals, to express themselves both online and offline," she added.

Indonesia's LGBT citizens have long been targeted by vigilante Islamist groups.

But the community experienced an "immediate deterioration" in their rights following a sustained assault by ministers, religious hardliners and influential Islamic organisations - including a call to ban them from university campuses - over a two-month period earlier this year, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Thursday.

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