Regional gay conference banned due to suspicion of protest

A regional conference to discuss LGBT issues was canceled because police were concerned over potential Muslim protests.
Indonesia is the would-be site of a large ILGA conference, before police canceled the event (courtesy of geology.com)

The police force in Indonesia canceled the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association conference that was to occur this weekend.

“There are indications that the event could trigger a social crisis and cause public unrest,” national police spokesman Brig. Gen. Sulistyo Ishak said to 365gay.com. “This ban was issued for the sake of public order.”

The police feared the conference would insight violent protests from conservative Muslim groups.

Poedjiati Tan, head of the organizing committee, said more than 150 activists representing 100 organizations in 16 Asian countries planned to attend the conference.

According to 356gay.com, Tan said the committee is trying to appeal the decision with police and religious leaders, arguing that the conference was meant to raise awareness of social issues faced by gays.

“We want to convince Indonesian authorities and religious leaders that we only want to talk about social problems related to this minority group,” she said to 365gay.com. “We are seeking direction and a way out of our problems in health, education and issues of discrimination.”

To read more on this story, visit 356gay.com.

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