anti-LGBTQ discrimination Indonesia

Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination Costs Indonesia up to $12 Billion a Year

A new study found that anti-LGBTQ discrimination costs Indonesia’s economy between $900 million and $12 billion every year.

Researchers from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law released a study on the economic effects of anti-LGBTQ discrimination in Indonesia. The study looked at queerphobia in social attitudes, the media, education, employment, violence and health, and drew conclusions on how discrimination in these areas hurt the nation’s economy.

Some of the study’s findings include:

  • National laws don’t protect LGBTQ people, but there are local laws that effectively criminalize queerness.
  • “Young LGBT Indonesians who seek to continue their education face barriers in accessing the educational system,” including lack of family support and the inability to get documents that accurately reflect their gender identities.
  • “Evidence shows that Indonesian LGBT people face discrimination in required job qualifications and hiring, and they experience workplace harassment and other forms of discrimination.” Many LGBTQ people stay in the closet at work out of fear.
  • “Indonesian LGBT people face physical, psychological, sexual, economic and cultural violence” at high rates.
  • Discrimination leads to health problems, too. “Stigma related to being LGBT reduces access to condoms, testing, and treatment of HIV,” leading to poorer mental and physical health.

Discrimination lowers worker productivity due to stress and illness. It also prevents bright people from reaching their full potential, thereby depriving them the chance to contribute to society to the extent of their true abilities.

The researchers estimated that anti-LGBTQ discrimination costs Indonesia between 0.1% and 1.4% of its GDP, which works out to $900 million to $12 billion in US dollars.

Of course, Indonesia isn’t the only place shooting its own economy in the foot through discrimination against LGBTQ people. The World Bank estimates that queerphobia costs India around $32 billion a year. And North Carolina’s anti-trans bathroom bill could cost it as much as $3.67 billion.