Indonesia: religious leaders spark war on sex outside marriage

Indonesia: religious leaders spark war on sex outside marriage September 19, 2019

It seems that it’s not only in Trump’s America that religious zealots have gained the power to force lawmakers to adopt regressive social policies.

We’ve just learned that, after extensive consultations with leaders of ‘all religions’, Indonesia’s government is set to pass a new penal code that criminalises consensual sex outside marriage.

And if this isn’t bad enough the Muslim-majority country plans to introduce stiff penalties for insulting its President, Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

The new criminal code, according to Reuters, is due to be adopted in the next week after parliament and the government agreed a final draft yesterday (Wednesday).

Lawmakers said that the new penal code, which would replace a Dutch colonial-era set of laws, was a long overdue expression of Indonesian independence and religiosity.

Image via YouTube

Said Nasir Djamil, above, a politician from the Prosperous Justice Party.

The state must protect citizens from behavior that is contrary to the supreme precepts of God.

He said leaders of all religions had been consulted on the changes given that Indonesia’s founding ideology was based on belief in God.

Under the proposed laws, unmarried couples who “live together as a husband and wife” could be jailed for six months or face a maximum fine of 10 million rupiah ($710), which is three months’ salary for many Indonesians.

The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, an NGO, said millions of Indonesians could be ensnared by the new laws. It noted a study indicating that 40 per cent of Indonesian adolescents engaged in pre-marital sexual activity.

Image via YouTube

Tim Lindsey, above, Director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, said:

Across the board, this is a ratcheting up of conservatism. It’s extremely regressive.

A maximum one-year prison term also can be applied to a person who has sex with someone who is not their spouse and a close family member lodges a complaint.

The law also impacts homosexuals as gay marriage is not recognised in Indonesia.

The code also establishes prison terms for those found to commit “obscene acts”, defined as violating norms of decency and politeness through “lust or sexuality”, whether by heterosexuals or gay people.

The new laws will also apply to foreigners. However, asked whether tourists in Indonesia could face jail for extramarital sex, another lawmaker, Teuku Taufiqulhadi, said:

No problem, as long as people don’t know.

There would also be a maximum four-year prison term for women who have an abortion, applicable if there was no medical emergency or rape involved. The code further introduces fines for some people who promote contraception, and a six-month prison term for unauthorised discussion of “tools of abortion”.

Meanwhile, parliament has reintroduced the offence of “attacking the honour or dignity” of Indonesia’s President and Vice President. A similar law was struck down by the Constitutional Court in 2006, and the new version is likely to be challenged by rights activists as well.

Insulting the government and state institutions also carries a prison term.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jim Baerg

    “Insulting the government and state institutions also carries a prison term.”
    The sort of law that should have the death penalty for anyone who tries to pass or enforce it.

  • johnsoncatman

    HEY President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla: F U C K Y O U !!!!!!! Is that insulting enough?

  • Cozmo the Magician

    be careful.. Donny is probably jelly and might have you extradited.

  • Jim Jones

    > Across the board, this is a ratcheting up of conservatism.

    This isn’t conservatism. It’s reactionary as​sholism.

  • johnsoncatman

    Not likely. I am a white male. Though I have to admit, I am not a christian. Keep that on the down-low.

  • johnsoncatman

    Oh, so they are republicans?

  • digital bookworm

    …and every theocratic fundagelical in the US is jealous!

  • Jim Jones


  • barriejohn

    The question of visitors crossed my mind immediately. Will they all be required to bring proof of marriage with them – and will those marriages need not only to be legal, but to have been carried out in the “right” Christian churches (i.e. valid “in the eyes of God”)? The bonkers religious mind at work once again.

  • Same difference.

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    It must be nice to live in such a Utopian society that they have time to legislate and enforce laws concerning what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. this is just arseholery for it’s own sake using the excuse of religion.

  • Jim Jones

    Not really. I’m a conservative. I believe in the maximum freedom, the minimum of government control, and the most cost-effective delivery of government services. In the US, the right does none of these.

  • Broga

    “Indonesia’s government is set to pass a new penal code that criminalises consensual sex outside marriage.”

    To paraphrase Mr McEnroe, “they cannot be serious.” They are posturing and deep in fantasy land. It just isn’t going to happen.

  • Karl Dubhe

    Strange, that their All Powerful God needs them to help him enforce his rules. One would think a God could have done that himself, it’s almost as if the creature is a thing of fiction.

    But that just can’t be right. 🙂

  • barriejohn

    I’m British, and I remember Reagan and Thatcher banging on about “the freedom of the individual”, whereas what they really meant was the freedom of people to do what THEY wanted. For a so-called libertarian, Thatcher practised an awful lot of social engineering. What I never understood was how Dame Shirley Porter could be convicted of gerrymandering and forced to repay millions (which she inadvertently forgot that she had transferred to her mother, until a deal was on the table!), whereas Margaret Hilda was regarded as a genius for practically the same sort of skulduggery (sale of council housing):

    PS I can heartily recommend to British TV viewers the excellent series War Factories on the Yesterday Channel. It throws amazing light upon both politics and industry in the UK and America during and after WWII. Just when you think they’ve said all that there is to say about the war, someone comes up with a brilliant series like this!

  • Brian Shanahan

    “and the most cost-effective delivery of government services.”

    So social democracy is conservatism now? When did I enter bizzaro world?

  • persephone

    It’s happening. Indonesia is going right wing Muslim, ratcheting up to Saudi levels. They’ve also had their own terrorist attacks by extremist citizens.

    Indonesia relies a great deal on tourism and offshore investing, neither of which will continue to happen with these laws on the books.

  • Broga

    Sorry, I expressed myself badly. What I really meant was that whatever laws they pass humans will still find ways to have sex. The Roman Catholic Church clings to the requirement that priests must be celibate. I accept some may indeed be celibate but I need not describe here the failure of that requirement to be enforced on so many.

    It also seems that those most draconian in ensuring these inhuman laws are implemented are the same people who so readily ignore them. Posturing as “holy” may be the best way to hide their own sexual activities.

  • LOL keep dreaming.

  • wannabe

    Would you also expect Him to enforce the laws against theft and murder?

  • Karl Dubhe

    If he really existed, why not?

    But, of course, he’s a fictional character. And always was one, even when there thousands of Gods.

  • Jim Jones


  • Jim Jones


    The strange alchemy of time has somehow converted the Democrats into the truly conservative party of this country — the party dedicated to conserving all that is best, and building solidly and safely on these foundations. The Republicans, by contrast, are behaving like the radical party — the party of the reckless and the embittered, bent on dismantling institutions which have been built solidly into our social fabric. . . . Our social-security system and our Democratic Party’s sponsorship of the social reforms and advances of the past two decades — conservatism at its best. Certainly there could be nothing more conservative than to change when change is due, to reduce tensions and wants by wise changes, rather than to stand pat stubbornly, until, like King Canute, we are engulfed by relentless forces that will always go too far.

    — Adlai Stevenson. Statement during his 1952 presidential campaign, quoted in Unadjusted Man in the Age of Overadjustment: Where History and Literature Intersect (1956) by Peter Viereck; 2004 edition, p. 253; also quoted in his “The New Conservatism: One of Its Founders Asks What Went Wrong”, The New Republic (24 September 1962)

  • Jim Jones

    > what they really meant was the freedom of people to do what THEY wanted.

    What they really wanted was to destroy all social services to the greatest extent possible, so the wealth of the oligarchs was the only thing they really were conserving.

    In this, they were highly effective. Now, all increases in wealth, profit or production go to the top few alone.

    My experience driving around Scotland was educational. The government destroyed the railway system but did nothing to replace it with roads. Did they think we’d all have flying cars by now?

    It really is time for a revolution.

    PS: Yes, I agree on the series although I have yet to see it. I’m really struck by the output of US factories such as Willow Run during WWII.

  • barriejohn

    It seemed more like political liberalism to me, too!

  • barriejohn

    Yes – and they devote one episode to Willow Run, of which I had never heard before. Amazing! You’re right about the railways. The BBC produced a marvellous historical series called Full Steam Ahead which Yesterday broadcasts from time to time, and which was really enlightening regarding the development and social impact of the British railway system – another modern marvel. You can view episodes on YouTube.

  • Jim Jones

    I bought Full Steam. I have all those that team did – like the Farm series. Wartime Farm is a real favorite.

  • barriejohn

    They were all excellent programmes. Ruth Goodman is a gifted communicator. In some ways she reminds me of James Burke, who had a gift for seeing and explaining the interconnections between scientific and social advances and historical events.

  • Your definition of “conservative” is way off.

  • Jim Jones

    No. It isn’t. The right wing stole the term and misused it. They also made ‘socialist’ a dirty word by conflating it with communism, something very different.

    I reject this abuse of English.

  • I reject your redefinition.

  • Jim Jones

    I reject your rejection! ;P

  • You bought the lie of conservatism.

  • Jim Jones

    What the hell are you talking about?

  • Your comment describing what conservatism “really” is. It’s bullshirt. That’s the lie they use to sucker people in.

  • Jim Jones

    Then explain the difference between conservative and reactionary.