Student Executive Council sacks official for supporting LGBT Pride Month

CNN Indonesia – July 19, 2022
LGBT community holds solidarity action at Hotel Indonesia traffic circle – May 15, 2016 (Kompas)

Jakarta – The Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) student community Student Executive Council (BEM KM) has dismissed a BEM official for uploading a photograph with a rainbow flag background coinciding with Pride Month.

The BEM IPB has deemed the upload as supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual Plus (LGBTQIA+), so the BEM official was regarded as violating IPB Rector Regulation Number 32/IT3/KM/2020 Article 14(a) on tarnishing the reputation of the IPB BEM KM.

"The person concerned has tarnished the reputation of BEM KM IPB by their position and behaviour which resulted in an uproar within the IPB student community by expressing an opinion on social media", read a BEM KM IPB press release on Tuesday July 19.

Pride Month is commemorated by LGBT groups every June. Based on literature written on the subject, the commemoration is inspired by an LGBT uprising following a police raid on a gay club in New York in 1969.

BEM KM IPB President Muhammad Yuza Augusti said that the dismissal of the BEM official named Arlen Elvide Ariyanto Sudi was necessary to safeguard the stability of life on campus and dynamise organised activities in the student organisational environment.

Sudi was dismissed from his position as BEM KM IPB campus policy minister.

"The BEM KM IPB's decision to dismiss [Sudi] also considered the actions committed by the person concerned which resulted in other violations against attitude and performance which are not in line with existing regulations", they explained.

When sought for confirmation by CNN Indonesia, Sudi said the photograph uploaded with the instastory was to commemorate the Stonewall Riots or the uprising by the LGBTQIA+ community against violence committed by police in California in 1969.

"Actually the essence of my posting was to reject discrimination and the persecution of (LGBTQIA+) people. Perhaps the [BEM] president felt they didn't agree with this and these people need to be discriminated against, yes well it's up to them. That was the essence of what I did", Sudi told CNN Indonesia.

Sudi revealed that he does not have a problem with being dismissed. According to Sudi, this is the prerogative of the BEM KM IPB president. Nevertheless, he denies the accusation made against him that he did not respond to a warning by making a video apology.

"On the one hand I accept the decision, [but] on the other hand I regret the decision. I only expressed a view and an opinion, how could it have become such a big deal", he asked. (cfd/kid)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "BEM KM IPB Pecat Pengurus Pakai Foto Pelangi, Dituduh Dukung LGBT".]