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Indonesia Has Passed A New Law Banning Sex Outside Of Marriage And Unauthorized Protests

Indonesia's parliament has passed a new law that bans sex outside of marriage, unauthorized public demonstrations and threatens other human rights.

Indonesia’s parliament has passed a new law that bans sex outside of marriage, unauthorized public demonstrations and threatens other human rights.

The new legislation is part of a new criminal code passed unanimously on Thursday Dec. 1.

Under the law, both Indonesians and foreigners can be punish by up to a year in prison for sex outside of marriage and up to six months for cohabitation.

indonesia couple sunset sex outside marriage ban protest
A couple is pictured during the last sunset of the year at Lhoknga beach in Aceh province on Dec. 31, 2020. (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP via Getty Images)

However, only spouses, parents and children can report the incident to the police, according to the Guardian.

The law also criminalizes promoting contraception and maintains that abortion is a crime.

indonesia kiss sex outside marriage ban protest
A young Balinese woman and man kiss during the Kissing Festival held in Sesetan Village March 20, 2007 in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo by: Dimas Ardian / Getty Images)

Human rights organizations say at least 17 articles in the new criminal code threaten people’s rights.

This includes an article that prohibits people from insulting the president and vice president, with sentences of up to four and a half years in prison, according to the BBC.

indonesia marriage sex outside ban
Couples throw flowers as they attend a mass wedding to commemorate the 75th Indonesian National Independence Day at Cemara Sewu beach on Aug. 12, 2020 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Unauthorized public protests are also considered illegal for “disturbing public order”, according to Amnesty International.

With Indonesia’s economy heavily reliant on tourism, there are concerns about how the laws will affect the industry.

Human rights organizations are even more concerned for LGBTQ couples since same-sex marriages are not recognized in Indonesia.

“Consensual sexual relationships should not be treated as a criminal offence or a violation of ‘morality’,” Amnesty International said. “What we’re witnessing is a significant blow to Indonesia’s hard-won progress in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms over more than two decades.”

The criminal code will come into effect in three years and can be challenged in court.

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