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Indonesia rejects law that would criminalize sex outside of marriage

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
12/15/2017 (3 months ago)
Catholic Online (

Rejection is a setback for religious conservatives.

Indonesia's high court has ruled against a petition that would have outlawed all sex outside of marriage. 

Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected a change to the law that would criminalize all sex outside of marriage.

Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected a change to the law that would criminalize all sex outside of marriage.


By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (
12/15/2017 (3 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Indonesia, marriage, court, petition, sex, criminalize

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Indonesia's Constitutional Court has ruled against a petition that would have criminalized all sex outside of marriage. The decision is surprising in the world's largest Muslim country, which has recently become more conservative. 

The court's judges voted 5-4 to reject the petition brought by the Family Love Alliance, which is a conservative organization. Their petition involved expansion of a law that would have criminalized all sex outside of marriage. The change would have criminalized homosexuality by default. 

In the past year, dozens of raids on establishments that cater to gays have been raided by authorities. Men who have been arrested face an average of two years in prison. The change in the law would have imposed even harsher penalties. 

Conservatives criticize the present law because it dates back to the colonial period when the Dutch made the laws. They want harsher penalties to enforce a more Islamic code of conduct. 

However, moderates are opposing the change, saying it will diminish human rights and lead to harsher laws in other areas. 

Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim country and although it is considered secular, the influence of conservative Islam is growing. 

In rejecting the petition, the court explained that the request was outside their mandate and that changes in the law as proposed by the Family Love Alliance belonged before parliament. 

Although the petition was rejected, its narrow defeat in a nation that is becoming more conservative suggests a similar version of the changes will pass at a later time. 

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