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Bali governor explains extramarital sex ban

Indonesia’s new law on intercourse outside of marriage will not affect tourists, Wayan Koster says

Tourists planning to spend their holidays in Indonesia will not have to worry about being affected by a new law banning sexual relations outside of marriage, Bali Governor Wayan Koster clarified in a statement on Sunday. 

Indonesia’s parliament last week passed a number of amendments to the country’s criminal code, including one that introduces punishments of up to one year in prison for extramarital sex and up to six months behind bars for cohabitating with a member of the opposite sex without a marriage certificate.  

The law is expected to take effect in three years. However, Koster explained that it will not apply to foreigners, as only those against whom a parent, spouse, or child files a complaint will be subject to prosecution.  

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He further noted that Bali’s government would ensure that “there will be no checking on marital status upon check-in at any tourism accommodation, such as hotels, villas, apartments, guest houses, lodges and spas.” He added that neither public officials nor community groups will be carrying out inspections of marital status. 

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FILE PHOTO. Couple on flying bed over the tropical forest. Bali, Indonesia.
World’s third largest democracy outlaws premarital sex

Wayan’s comments come after Indonesia’s tourism industry board raised concerns that the new laws were “totally counter-productive” and could scare away tourists at a time when the archipelago’s economy and tourism were only starting to recover from the pandemic. 

Indonesia’s tourism association had previously expected the number of foreign arrivals to reach pre-pandemic levels of six million annual travelers by 2025. 

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The lawmakers behind the bill, which passed the parliament with unanimous support, have hailed the overhaul to the criminal code as a much-needed departure from the vestige of Dutch colonial rule and a way to “protect the institution of marriage” and uphold “Indonesian values” in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

December 12, 2022 at 04:28PM
RT

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