LGBT people viewed negatively, but accepted as Indonesian citizens

The majority of Indonesian people still perceive the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community negatively, but many of them believe its members deserve to live in Indonesia, says a study released on Thursday.

The survey, commissioned by Jakarta-based pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC), reveals 87.6 per cent of over 1,200 respondents surveyed consider the LGBT community a threat, while 81.5 per cent of them believe it is prohibited by religions.

However, 57.7 per cent of the respondents, which comprise men and women of various religious backgrounds and ages living in various areas across Indonesia, said members of the LGBT community had the right to live as citizens.

"This is good news for those who believe in democracy and human rights. Although the majority say LGBT is prohibited, they believe this group of people can live in Indonesia. This finding shows there is tolerance here," SMRC media director Ade Armando said on Thursday.

Nearly 50 per cent of those who believe the LGBT group is a threat say they would still accept family members whose primary sexual orientation was toward people of the same gender. The survey found 45.9 per cent of respondents would still consider LGBT relatives as part of their family, while the remaining 53.3 per cent said they would not.

However, Ade admitted, there was still discrimination in public positions because over 80 per cent of respondents said they could not accept LGBT mayors, governors or presidents.