Indonesian Gay Man Seeking for Asylum

So the story began in 2002 when Anton Tanumihardja came to US on tourist visa….soon after his visa expired, he applied for asylum which was rejected. The immigration asked him to leave US on Monday, Feb 12, which is on Valentine’s Day. Anton believes that if he’s going back to Indonesia, he couldn’t “practice” his lifestyle as freely as he could in US. Therefore, Anton, his partner, Brian Andersen, and his attorney, Lavi Soloway, tried to fight for Anton’s asylum case, which sits between gay rights and immigration reform. Finally, 3 hours before his deportation flight, Federal immigration officials sent a stay of deportation letter that allowed Anton to stay in US until further notice.

The issue of homosexual is not a new thing for me. It has been in the history since Sodom and Gomorah (Genesis 19) and it continues until nowadays. If you asked me, “what’s your stand against homosexual?” My answer would be clear. I don’t agree with it and it’s wrong. I’m not saying this without a basis. Leviticus 18:22 clearly says that “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Moreover, the way God created humans in Genesis 2:21-25 explains clearly that the marriage is between male and female, not male and male, or female and female.

If you are thinking differently, I’m not here to judge you, since it’s not my position to do so. I’m just telling you this based on my conviction of what’s right in God’s eyes.

As far as Anton’s case, I would say that he has my sympathy, not because he is gay, but because I can understand his desire to stay here in US legally. I am now battling the same thing too. My working visa is almost expired and due to paperwork issue, it’s hard for me to be here in US legally without finding another company who would willing to sponsor me another working visa. I think US government should ease up the process of getting a legal working status for people who can contribute to US economy. People like Anton, who I’m sure working really hard at his Deli Store, should be given chance to stay and work in US. He’s not here to “steal” US Citizen’s chance to get a job. He’s here to make his end’s meet.

I’m sure you all have stories like this that you could share in the comments section below. Or, if you have your own opinion towards Anton’s case, please leave me a comment also. I would be happy to know what’s your thought regarding this issue.

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Author: Steven Sentosa

Steven Sentosa is a passionate blogger who likes to share his life and help others through his blog, He offers social media services and Internet marketing consultation per client's request. You can reach him via Twitter @StevenSentosa.

  • Kunderemp

    I beg to disagree. I had no sympathy at all. He is dishonest.nIf this year was 1998, I would had sympathy. If he was an Ahmadiy, or a follower of one of native religion which are not acknowledged by government (Kaharingan, Sunda, Kapribaden, Sumarah, Samin, Parmalim), then he would had my sympathy.nnOr even if he was simply wanted to be US citizen (as my former wife wanted to be), at least I would understand him. nnBut his case was simply an act of dishonesty. US Government should simply reject his case and deported him back to Indonesia.

    • You have a point there Kunderemp. I think he is just making an excuse here. I might not personally know gay people, but one of my friend told me that she knew a lot of gay people in Indonesia and they are doing fine. Obviously gay is not widely accepted in Indonesia, but if they “hang out” in their own circle, they will have no problem staying under the radar. Moreover, unless those gay couple wants to kiss publicly in the mall, I don’t see why they can’t go out to the public.nnMy sympathy is towards his desire to stay legal in US, not towards his excuse of being gay. I know many people are trying hard to stay and work legally in US, of which I admire, and they are just not given the chance to do so, because of the law and regulation. US government should discern clearly bogus case like Anton’s and other cases that are legit.

    • Misskania

      Agreed. His “Gay” reasoning was only a cry for a 15 minutes of fame. What Indonesian have against homosexual? There are no current happenings around Indonesia that was homosexual-related, or like, he would be beaten up until death by some creepy anti-gay organizations… Whatever this guy is, he and all his reasons are just plain crap. And if I’m not mistaken, some states in US do allow gay marriage, if his lover really loves him then why don’t they get married or something, or apply for domestic partnership visa, duh..

      • True…I think Indonesia is a pretty tolerant country. That’s how it should be by bearing a national slogan of “Bhineka Tunggal Ika.”nnThe reason they are not getting married is because it’s not solving Anton’s problem. It’s true that in normal marriage, between a man and a woman, one can sponsor their spouse to be a citizen of US. However, it doesn’t apply to gay marriage. That’s why they haven’t married yet since it will not “benefit” Anton, in this case.