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‘’Thou shall not commit adultery’’ – No more sex before marriage
Commit adultery, go to jail for 1 year: Indonesian government passes criminal code banning sex before marriage
Indonesia’s parliament has approved a new criminal code that bans anyone in the country from having extramarital sex and restricts political freedoms, which also includes a ban on unmarried couples living together.
Indonesian government has passed a criminal code banning sex before marriage which includes a ban on unmarried couples living together, referred to as adultery, according to one of the latest Sex Education news blog.
According to the Sex Education news report, sex before marriage will carry a jail term of up to a year under the new laws, which take effect in three years. The new legislation contains scores of new clauses criminalising immorality and blasphemy and restricting political and religious expression.
Though the raft of changes come after a rise in religious conservatism in the Muslim-majority country, a handful of the Christianity Holy Book, the Bible, condemns sex before marriage.
The Bible’s book of Exodus Chapter 20 verse 14 states: ‘’Thou shall not commit adultery’’. Another Book, Deuteronomy 5:18 says: ‘’Neither shall thou commit adultery’’. Many more books in the Bible follow suit. So, Christians are conversant with the Biblical law condemning sex before marriage and should consider it a sin.
On Tuesday, parliament unanimously approved the new code of over 600 articles The ban on sex without marriage does not only apply to locals but also to foreigners, living in Indonesia, or visiting holiday destinations such as Bali. Under the laws, unmarried couples caught having sex can be jailed for up to a year.
Sex before marriage was already banned prior to the approval of this new criminal code, but the law was often not enforced.
The old law defined adultery as sex between a married man and someone who was not his wife, while the new law bans all sex before marriage, including between unmarried couples. The sentencing for those caught has also been increased from nine months to a year.
The group’s Jakarta-based researcher, Andreas Harsano, said there were millions of couples in Indonesia without marriage certificates “, especially among Indigenous peoples or Muslims in rural areas” who had married in specific religious ceremonies.
Since Indonesia’s democratic transition in 1998, strict religion-based laws on sex and relationships have been introduced in some parts of the country of 267 million people.
Several groups of mainly young people have protested against the legislation
Several groups of mainly young people protested against the sex before marriage legislation outside parliament in Jakarta this week. It is expected the new laws will be challenged in court.
A previous draft of the code was set to be passed in 2019 but sparked nationwide protests with tens of thousands taking part in demonstrations.
Many, including students, took to the streets and there were clashes with police in Jakarta.
Right groups and Critics see the law as a ‘disaster’ for human rights
Rights groups say the new provisions disproportionately affect women, LGBT people, and ethnic minorities and critics see the laws as a “disaster” for human rights, and a potential blow to tourism and investment.
It is actually a much more complicated story, and the “sex ban” is not the most disturbing change for many Indonesians, who see other areas of the code threatening human rights and freedom of speech.
Many businesses had also been opposed to the legislation, saying it discouraged visitors and investment. But lawmakers have celebrated overhauling laws dating back to Dutch colonial rule.
Human Rights Watch’s Asia Director Elaine Pearson told the BBC it was a “huge setback for a country that has tried to portray itself as a modern Muslim democracy”.
Human rights groups have identified 17 articles that they believe threaten the freedoms won since the return to democratic rule in the 1990s.
For Andreas Harsono, the Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, the inclusion of what is called “living law” is what worries him most. He describes it as one of the most dangerous parts of the new criminal code.
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