LGBT+ Business Climate Score

Out Leadership’s snapshot of the current state of affairs for LGBT+ people, through the lens of international business. The Business Climate Score score is out of ten possible points, and is based on ten independently verifiable indicators of the legal, cultural and business context for LGBT+ people.

2.5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
1.
Are consensual homosexual acts between adults legal?
0.5
No, but it is effectively criminalized in many places
2.
Are marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples available?
0
No
3.
Is being LGBT+ punishable by death?
1
No
4.
Are sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment prohibited?
0
No
5.
Can transgender people legally change their gender markers?
0.5
Yes, but they must obtain a court order
6.
Is sex reassignment surgery at birth for intersex children prohibited?
0
No
7.
Are sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the provision of goods and services prohibited?
0
No
8.
Is there a U.S. State Department warning against travel for LGBT+ individuals?
0
Yes
9.
Do companies sponsor Pride?
0
No
10.
Are there laws prohibiting freedom for assembly or speech for LGBT+ people (i.e. “anti-propoganda laws”, media gags, etc)?
0.5
No, but advocacy is informally discouraged
Talking Points
  • The government's consideration of a ban on consensual same-sex relations, combined with the recent surge in anti-LGBT+ actions by Indonesian government officials, is causing significant alarm for multinational corporations with investments and operations in the country.
  • Indonesia’s lack of protections for LGBT+ people makes it difficult for me to move talent into Indonesia’s emerging economy.
  • Indonesia’s investors are strongly questioning the economic implications of anti-LGBT+ laws and policies.
  • The severity of laws in some parts of Indonesia, such as the possibility of whipping as a punishment for gay people in Aceh Province, where the Sharia law in effect criminalizes same-sex relations, is increasingly damaging Indonesia’s reputation in the international business community.
  • By maintaining laws that are hostile to LGBT+ visitors and tourists, Indonesia is missing out on a significant tourist market and opportunity to expand its economy. In the U.S. alone, LGBT+ tourists spend $65 billion per year on hotels, flights, and other tourism-related Laws such as those in Aceh can stain the entire country’s reputation – even far away in Bali.
  • If the government repeals anti-LGBT+ laws, tens of thousands of LGBT people will be able to participate more fully and openly in the economy – something Indonesia can be proud of in terms of human rights and economic growth.
Talking Points
Impact of LGBT Discrimination on Business and Talent
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    NO RISK
  • 2
    LOW RISK
  • 3
    MODERATE RISK
  • 4
    NOTABLE RISK
  • 5
    HIGH RISK
BRAND RISK
  • 4
    NOTABLE RISK
There is brand risk in supporting the LGBT+ community in Indonesia due to the possibility of provoking negative reactions from religious and government officials. In the current climate, it is possible pro-LGBT+ expression may bring official censure or censorship.
CLIENT RISK
  • 4
    NOTABLE RISK
Due to the LGBT+ and global political communities’ increased scrutiny of LGBT+ rights in Indonesia, LGBT+ clients may choose to move their patronage away from companies that conduct business in Indonesia.
TALENT RISK
  • 4
    NOTABLE RISK
It is difficult to relocate LGBT+ talent to Indonesia, due to a reasonable fear of harassment and discrimination and an inability to secure spousal visas.
MARKETING RISK
  • 5
    HIGH RISK
Given widespread anti-LGBT+ sentiment, corporations who broadcast LGBT+ inclusive marketing will likely provoke an uproar.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBT+ People:

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

  • — Indonesia has several LGBT+ community organizations around the country. They act as support and outreach networks and struggle to maintain funding flows. They are well-connected with other human rights organizations in the country.
  • — According to a 2014 USAID/UNDP report, about 120 LGBT+ grassroots organizations are currently in operation in Indonesia, working primarily in health issues, publishing and organizing social and educational activities.
  • — Nonetheless, even prominent activists face harsh realities. Hartoyo, a LGBT+ leader who now lives in Jakarta, fled his home in Aceh Province after a mob tortured him upon discovering he lived with his boyfriend.

Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

  • — A 2013 Pew Research Center report about global attitudes toward gays and lesbians found that 93% of Indonesians did not believe that homosexuality should be “accepted by society,” making the country one of the least tolerant nations surveyed.
  • — Attitudes toward LGBT+ people in Indonesia have only deteriorated since that survey. A 2016 report from Human Rights Watch noted that “beginning in January 2016…., a series of anti-LGBT public comments by government officials grew into a cascade of threats and vitriol against LGBT Indonesians by state commissions, militant Islamists, and mainstream religious organizations.”
  • — In 2018, Human Rights Watch analyzed recent polling in Indonesia on LGBT+ issues: “A 2016 opinion poll showed that 26 percent of Indonesians disliked LGBT people — making them the most disliked group in the country, overtaking the historical placeholders: communists and Jewish people. A 2017 study found that more Indonesians feared LGBT people than could define the acronym or the population it referred to.”   As a result, by 2018 Indonesia’s federal government was debating making same-sex relations illegal.
  • — Many anti-LGBT+ public sentiments rest on the idea that sexual orientation and gender identity are products of the West and run counter to the country’s Islamic values, an argument local LGBT+ leaders consistently attempt to dismantle.
Local Leaders Advocating for LGBT+ Equality

Out Leadership encourages you and your firm to engage in safe and cautious discussion with local leaders around LGBT+ equality and to leverage your firm’s influence to support their work. We have consulted with the following leaders on this brief:

Hartoyo
Chairperson, Suara Kita