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Activists Voice Concerns Over Proposed Legislation on Extramarital Relations

A proposed rule is being drafted in parliament banning all consensual sex outside of marriage. Human rights activists are declaring it a breach of basic human rights, which will slow Indonesia’s development as a nation.

“The draft law will create new discriminatory offences that do not exist in the current criminal code. It will slow down Indonesia’s efforts to develop their economy, society, knowledge, education, et cetera; if law enforcement agencies are busy policing morality,” said Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch, as quoted by Reuters.

The draft being deliberated in parliament includes measures to criminalize acts that were previously not regulated by law including extramarital sex, same-sex relations, and cohabitation.

The rule on cohabitation, for example, would affect every couple without a legal marriage certificate for any reason. This may even end up criminalizing people who have lost their marriage documents or are not able to obtain one because they follow an unrecognized religion.

The rule on adultery, meanwhile, includes sexual relations between someone who is married and an individual who is not their spouse. However, the rule states that the crime will be charged only based on complaints lodged.

While activists have been vocal about their concerns regarding the proposed law, conservative groups have voiced their support for the draft.

“The truth is the majority of religions in Indonesia hold the same values, so…(the revisions) are representative of the majority and of all cultures in Indonesia,” said Euis Sunarti, a member of the Family Love Alliance, one of the conservative groups believed to be behind the move to push the legislation through parliament.


Photo accredited to public domain.

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