Indonesia Bans Extramarital Sex

Indonesia’s parliament passed a new criminal code that bans extramarital sex and criminalises abortion except for rape survivors on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The code applies to both citizens and visitors, and those who have sex outside marriage face up to a year in prison. Indonesia’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and its tourism industry has warned that the code could dampen enthusiasm from international tourists.

However,  pre- and extra-marital sex can only be reported by close relatives: a parent, child or spouse.

There has been speculation that the code will be used particularly to prosecute LGBTQ people. Same-sex marriage is  banned in the predominantly Muslim country, which has become increasingly conservative in the past few years.

The new code also prohibits anyone from insulting Indonesia’s president (transgressors face up to three years in prison), spreading views that contradict state ideology, “black magic”, and staging protests without permission.

The code was passed unanimously and replaces a code adopted after Indonesia’s independence from the Netherlands in 1946. However, it is expected to only come into force in three years’ time once regulations have been drawn up to enforce its provisions.

The country tried to pass the code in 2019 but faced protests, particularly from students. About 100 people reportedly gathered outside the parliament in Jakarta to protest against the code.


Image Credits: Nick Agus Arya/ Unsplash.

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