Out Leadership issues letter asking Indonesian Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani to support an inclusive economy

The full text of the letter, transmitted on 27 October, is reprinted below. 

Dear Dr. Mulyani:

We write to encourage your engagement in making Indonesia’s economy as inclusive and productive as possible by combatting discriminatory rhetoric and directives from government officials and offices.

Out Leadership is a global consultancy firm with more than 70 member companies. We are deeply engaged with C-suite and other senior business executives who are committed to the business case for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) inclusion. At Out Leadership, we know that LGBT+ inclusion positively impacts business results, and that including LGBT+ people is powerfully beneficial for private sector investment.

In 2016, the climate for LGBT+ people in Indonesia abruptly turned publicly hostile, with leading national figures calling for governmental action against LGBT+ organizations – a shift that can cause significant alarm for multinational corporations with investments and operations in the country. The ongoing case at the Constitutional Court in which petitioners are attempting to change the national criminal code to criminalize adult consensual same-sex behavior is another cause for concern.

Discrimination against LGBT+ people is something the global business community takes extremely seriously. It negatively affects companies’ ability to recruit and retain top talent, and it can prevent companies from locating their best talent within countries with hostile environments for LGBT+ people. Companies have significant bottom-line-driven incentives to build inclusive organizations, which is why 89 percent of the Fortune 500 prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

As multinational corporations and investors continue to commit to adopting policies and building workplace cultures defined by inclusion of LGBT+ people, an Indonesia where discrimination is touted by public officials or embedded in the law will be increasingly out of step with the global economy.

As you know, Indonesia struggles to attract foreign investors, but remains a promising economic power in for the region and the globe. Inclusive laws will encourage investors; anti-LGBT+ policies will impair Indonesia’s ability to engage multinational corporations significantly.

We were encouraged by President Jokowi’s recent statement that the Indonesia’s criminal code does not need to be changed, and that police should protect LGBT+ people. We hope that as a matter of principle and good investment, your ministry will take a similar position. Please contact us if you would like to discuss these matters further or seek additional information. We will keep this correspondence private until November 11, 2016.