The requirements set by some Indonesian institutions have prompted accusations of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) job seekers.
Millions of Indonesians are expected to apply for 190,000 public sector jobs in 74 state agencies and 467 local administration offices this month, but a Jakarta Post investigation found that at least two institutions, the Trade Ministry and the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), have put forward a ban on LGBT applicants.
Their job requirements can be seen in documents uploaded on the institutions’ respective official websites.
The Trade Ministry’s website said that applicants “must not possess sexual orientation deviations” or “behavioural deviations” – with the latter referring to transgenderism.
The AGO categorised homosexuality and transgenderism as mental illnesses: Applicants “must not be mentally disabled, including sexual orientation deviations and behavioural deviations”.
The AGO previously came under fire for outlining the same conditions in its 2017 recruitment, but later said it would retract the policy following a protest note from Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).
Komnas HAM said at the time that the policy was discriminatory and contradicted the 1945 Constitution, which guarantees every citizen the right to work in state institutions regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Teguh Wardoyo, the AGO official in charge of overseeing employee development, said the ban was made with the “simple consideration that the AGO wanted to obtain normal potential employees”.
“For now, there are still pros and cons of the issue among the public. [. . .] To add, our existing positive laws and religious norms have not allowed deviations of sexual orientation and transgenderism,” he told the Post on Friday.
Teguh refused to comment further when pressed on what the AGO meant by “normal” employees.
LGBT organization Arus Pelangi chairperson Ryan Korbarri said the ban on LGBT applicants was a form of state discrimination against the community.
“LGBT people are Indonesian citizens who have the same rights for the job so the requirement is the same as preventing them from accessing the job, even though they want to serve the country.
“It’s a common reality for the LGBT people. Even when they already have a job, when their employers find out about their being in the LGBT community, they are faced with the employers’ attempts to remove them from the job,” he said, adding that the attempts ranged from employers intentionally trying to find faults in them and imposing salary cuts to terminating contracts.
THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK