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It looks like Indonesia will not criminalize gay sex after all

Gay Star News - May 31, 2018

Shannon Power After months of debate, it seems as though Indonesia will not go ahead with plans to criminalize homosexuality.

The idea to criminalize homosexuality was first floated at a Criminal Code (KUHP) bill working committee meeting. It quickly gained momentum in an increasingly conservative Indonesia.

Indonesia's government tasked the working committee with proposing amendments to the KUHP in a draft Bill. Politicians from across party lines formed the committee and are aiming to get the draft Bill in by 17 August.

They came up with a range of proposed amendments including banning pre-marital and homosexual sex. Other amendments included making it illegal to defame the president and reintroducing the death penalty.

The proposal to ban gay sex was controversial and gained headlines around the world. It caused much debate within the country, with some on the KUHP working committee indicating as recently as Tuesday (29 May) the ban would remain on the draft Bill.

Making 'indecent' sex illegal

But after a meeting with the government on 30 May the working committee decided to remove the term 'same-sex'. The proposed amendment will simply include a law banning 'indecent' sex.

Politicians argued they removed the term 'same-sex' to not appear 'discriminatory'. Chairperson of the KUHP working committee, Enny Nurbaningsih, said it removed the term because criminal law should not discriminate against certain groups.

'We also want did not want the proposed to give a discriminatory impression,' she said. 'We maintain that the proposed law exists for the greater interest.'

It is not clear what will define 'indecent' sex, but LGBTI, women's and other advocacy groups are still fighting for the law to be removed all together.

The House of Representatives will debate and vote on the draft KUHP Bill once the working committee submits it, which it hope to do by 17 August.

Source: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/it-looks-like-indonesia-will-not-criminalize-gay-sex-after-all/.

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