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Indonesia criminal code prohibits sex outside marriage

When the code comes into effect in three years, those who engage in sex outside marriage will be subject to a punishment of up to one year in jail. 

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
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On Tuesday, Indonesia's parliament approved a new criminal code with strict rules regarding sex for both locals and foreigners.

Under the new code, extramarital sex will be banned, as will cohabitation between unmarried couples. 



According to Reuters, the updated rules received support from all of Indonesia's political parties, and built on the existing code, which only bans adultery and same-sex relations.

When the code comes into effect in three years, those who engage in sex outside marriage will be subject to a punishment of up to one year in jail. 

Indonesia's current criminal code has been decried by officials as a holdover of colonial times, when the Dutch imposed their values on the nation, and those "no longer relevant." Many see the overhaul as a move away from the past.

"The aim," explained Albert Aries of the nation's justice ministry, "is to protect the institution of marriage and Indonesian values, while at the same time being able to protect the privacy of the community and also negate the rights of the public or other third parties to report this matter or 'playing judge' on behalf of morality."

Sung Kim, the United States ambassador to Indonesia, warned that the new laws could have a detrimental impact on the country's economy.

"Criminalizing the personal decisions of individuals," he suggested, "would loom large within the decision matrix of many companies determining whether to invest in Indonesia."

Sex is not the only aspect of Indonesian life that will be impacted by the new code. As Reuters reports, it also places increased restrictions on free speech.

All 276 million people living in the world's third-largest democracy, as well as foreigners, will soon no longer be allowed to insult the president or state institutions, nor will they be permitted to spread views that go against official ideology, or stage protests without first notifying authorities.

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