New Laws: Sex Outside Marriage Criminal Offense In Indonesia

| Updated: December 7, 2022 12:17 pm

Jakarta in Indonasia witnessed protesting youths against the new  legislation which has sought to criminialise sex outside marriage a criminal offence. The law, applicable to locals and foreigners living in or visiting Indonesia alik stipulates jail upto one year to unmarried couples caught having sex.

Making adultery a criminal offence, Indonesia bans live-in relationships also. People could be jailed for up to six months. Sex before marriage is already banned in Indonesia.

The new law is an upgrade or downgrade, depending on the prism one is looking from, from the old law which defined adultery as sex between a married man and someone not his wife. The new definition covers all sex outside of marriage, including between unmarried couples.

Supporters of the new legislation say changes were made to accommodate concerns of critics – for prosecutions to start a complaint must be filed by the children, parents or spouse of the accused couple.

The lawmakers in Indonesia unanimously approved the new code of over 600 articles overhauling laws dating back to Dutch colonial rule.

Concerns are raised that the new provisions will disproportionately affect women, LGBT people and ethnic minorities. It is now illegal to insult the president or criticise state ideology.

New clauses also criminalise immorality and blasphemy and restricts political and religious expression. It is being pointed out that such morality codes  governing sex and relationships, often targets  women  more than men.

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