Rights for the LGBTQ community around the world are constantly in a state of flux, with advances being made one day and a setback encountered the next. Starting next week, another setback might happen for international LGBTQ rights as Indonesia is set to pass a new penal code that could result in same-sex relations being outlawed.
The new penal code criminalizes several things. Under the new penal code, consensual sex before marriage is outlawed; unmarried couples living together could face up to six months in jail. While not specifically mentioning same-sex conduct, members of the Indonesian LGBTQ community could be targeted with an article that punishes “obscene acts” with six months of prison time. Even before this controversial code, LGBTQ Indonesians have already been facing increased prosecution and discrimination.
Penalties are also included in the new penal code for insulting the president and the vice-president. Doctors will now also be the ones who the right to decide to perform an abortion, while women who get one face four years in prison. Prison time of five years awaits those who help women get an abortion.
Religious minorities are also targeted. The new code expands the currently existing blasphemy law, with a penalty of five years in prison for offenders.
The code’s looming passage has alarmed rights groups, with non-government organizations urging Indonesian president Joko Widodo to step in and delay it. The Human Rights Watch has even called the code “disastrous not only for women and religious and gender minorities, but for all Indonesians.”
Earlier this year, Kenya’s High Court decided to uphold archaic anti-LGBT laws. Brunei also passed a law that punished gay sex with death by stoning, although it later declared that this law would not be enforced.
Adam4Adam blog readers, especially those based in Indonesia, how do you guys feel about the passage of this new penal code? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.