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Indonesia's sexual minorities confront a spasm of intolerance from the authorities

Members of a lesbian dance group prepare for a performance in Jakarta for the 2015 International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. (Photo by M. Wijaya)

JAKARTA   Indonesia's long-held stance of relative tolerance toward LGBT issues has shifted abruptly since the beginning of 2016.

     The furor began in early January when Republika Online, a mainstream, Muslim-oriented newspaper website, published reports about an impending "LGBT attack." The ostensible basis of the reports was an agreement between Melela.org, a website on which LGBT Indonesians share their personal stories, and the Support Group and Resource Center on Sexuality Studies at the University of Indonesia, to provide joint counseling services.    

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