'Mairil' homosexuality in boarding schools
Almost all religions forbid homosexuality as can be seen in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible or the people of the Prophet Luth in the Koran.
According to a recent study, however, homosexuality can be found even in religious institutions, including in pesantren (Islamic boarding schools).
Islamic expert Achmad Zainul "Inung" Hamdi said a certain type of homosexual activity, known as mairil or sempetan occurred between male students (santri) at the boarding schools.
"It happens between senior students and junior students. The Kyai (leaders of the schools) know about the practice, but they ignore it," Inung, who is a lecturer at the State Islamic Institute, in Malang East Java
Raising the awareness of gays and transvestites(sic)
More than 100 gay men and transvestites across the country attended "The National Meeting: Sexuality and Men's Sexual Health" at Novus Hotel, Puncak, West Java, between Sept. 7 and Sept 10.
Sponsors of the meeting included the Ford Foundation, Dutch non-governmental organization HIVOS, and UN bodies UNAIDS and UNFPA.
Various topics were discussed, such as the relation between homosexuality and culture, politics and religion as well as sexual health, especially for men who have sex with men (MSM). A. Junaidi from The Jakarta Post, and journalists from Indopos daily and Gatra magazine talked with the meeting's steering committee chairman, Dede Oetomo, about the gathering.
Younger gays, transvestites (sic) have courage to come out
If there was one person known to talk in seminars or discussions about the gay and transvestite communities in Indonesia as recently as five years ago, only one name would probably have come up: Dede Oetomo, chairman of GAYA Nusantara and a sociolinguist from the Surabaya-based Airlangga University.
But now, the gay and transvestite movement, which was founded in the 1980s by Dede, who is now 51 years old, has new faces. Young members are more daring about coming out and demanding recognition from the state and society.
Mamoto Gultom and his partner Hendy Sahertian of the Pelangi Kasih Nusantara Foundation (YPKN) in Jakarta, Widodo of the Pelangi foundation in Yogyakarta, Lenny Sugiharto of the Srikandi Sejati foundation or Irma of the Surabaya Transvestites Association (Perwakos) are outspoken members of the younger generation of activists, advocating the rights of gays and transvestites
"State recognition for gay relations is important. It could probably reduce frequent partner changes among gays and, then, decrease the risk of HIV/AIDS," Mamoto said on the sidelines of The National Meeting: Sexuality and Men's Sexual Health, in Puncak, West Java, last week.
Voter action and resource guide
Every four years, politicians intone that the presidential election is the most important in American history. This year they might just be right, especially when it comes to the LGBT community.
From same-sex marriage to adoption, from federal court judges to anti-discrimination law, the future of gay rights hangs in the balance.
PlanetOut and Gay.com do not endorse candidates or take partisan stands. But we do encourage everyone to make their choice at the polls. To do so, however, you must first register to vote. And thousands of gays and lesbians have not done so.
Ryan White AIDS Funding Freeze
(Washington) The Senate Appropriations Committee has frozen funding to the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act and other AIDS care programs.
The only program to see an increase in federal money was the Aids Drug Assistance Program which will get an additional $35 million - falling far short of the $217 million AIDS care activists had sought.
"This funding short changes the fight against HIV/AIDS," said Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques.
The only substantial increase was $1.1 billion for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will benefit HIV/AIDS research.
Senator Widen Cosponsors Gay Immigration Bill
Immigration Equality and other national gay organizations are applauding Senator Widen (D-OR) for cosponsoring the Permanent Partners Immigration Act (PPIA) in the Senate. Senator Widen joins 11 other Senators and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill's lead sponsor.
Immigration Equality joins the Human Rights Campaign, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the National Immigration Forum, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund and many other groups in calling for passage of the PPIA. "Our immigration laws treat gays and lesbians in committed relationships as second-class citizens, and we applaud Senator Widen for his commitment to equality under the U.S. immigration system," says Adam Francoeur, Program Coordinator for Immigration Equality.
Gay Marriage Supporters Make Final Appeal Before Saturday Vote
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(New Orleans, Louisiana) Louisiana voters will decide Saturday whether to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. It is considered one of the most sweeping of the amendment proposed in about a dozen states this year.
Friday, both sides in the issue were mustering support and wooing voters, although most polls show the proposal is likely to be approved by a wide margin.
The amendment, passed by state lawmakers earlier this year, would ban same-sex marriages in the state and prevent state officials and courts from recognizing out-of-state marriages and civil unions. It also prevents granting any legal status to domestic partnerships.
On September 2 the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to consider three appeals brought by an LGBT group seeking to block the amendment from going to voters.