​Indonesia parliament approves ban on sex outside marriage

​Indonesia parliament approves ban on sex outside marriage
Activists on December 5, 2022 protest against the new criminal code outside the parliament building in Jakarta. Indonesia’s parliament approved on December 6 legislation that would outlaw pre-marital sex. PHOTO | AFP.

Foreigners travelling to Indonesia will still be allowed to have intercourse even if they are not officially married to their romping partners.

On Tuesday, 6 December 2022, Indonesia’s parliament approved legislation that would outlaw sex outside marriage.

The article criminalising sex outside​​ marriage has been criticised by Indonesian business organisations as detrimental to tourism, though Joko Widodo regime insists that the law will not apply to foreigners.

The new code, which still needs to be approved by President Joko Widodo, will come into force after three years.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country.

Rights groups had protested against the amendments, denouncing a crackdown on civil liberties and political freedoms, as well as a shift towards fundamentalism in Muslim-majority Indonesia, where secularism is enshrined in the constitution.

“We have tried our best to accommodate the important issues and different opinions which were debated,” Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly told parliament.

Some of the most controversial articles in the new code criminalise extra-marital sex, as well as the cohabitation of unmarried couples, AFP reported.

A revision of Indonesia’s criminal code, which stretches back to the Dutch colonial era, has been debated for decades.