Lawmakers want to criminalize premarital sex in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Following moves by conservatives to ban same sex intercourse, legislators are now looking to ban sex before marriage.
On Wednesday, December 14, members of the House of Representatives mulled articles referring to morality in the Criminal Code bill including the legal definition of adultery. The definition is currently limited to married couples and sex with a third party, but most political parties in the House want to expand the definition to include sex between unmarried couples.
Political parties who make up over 50% of the House said they were in favor of criminalizing sex before marriage, an act which could cost offenders up to 5 years in prison – the current punishment for adultery.
Lawmaker Arsul Sani, from an Islamic party, said that the law will prevent those who can’t accept premarital sex because of their religious morals, from “taking violent action” against their peers who have sex before marriage, or from “burning those unmarried couples.”
“I'm sure that all people know that having sex outside a legal marriage is immoral and the law should reflect morality,” he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, other political parties that represent about 49% of the House felt the government should not meddle in social norms.
“We agree sex outside marriage is immoral, but we shouldn’t make it a crime,” said democrat lawmaker Benny K. Harman.
Others said adding the provision would be “too excessive” and would threaten people’s privacy, nor was it the government's business to delve so deeply into the personal lives of citizens.
The government however, which first proposed the possibility of making sex before marriage illegal, said if approved, authorities would not actively pursue finding offenders. It said it will only investigate incidents when they get reports from people who are morally bothered by this behavior, and thus report friends or family who engage in premarital sex.
This move is the most recent in a string of incidents that have seen lawmakers leaning towards conservate policies, such as a crackdown on LGBTs. (READ: Indonesia's gay community under attack)
What do you think of this plan? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com