Photo: Getty Images
  /  12.07.2022

Yesterday (Dec. 6), lawmakers in Indonesia voted unanimously to ban sex outside of marriage. The new law, which also applies to tourists, could land you in jail for up to a year.

Lawmaker Bambang Wuryanto said, “All have agreed to ratify the (draft changes) into law.” He continued, “The old code belongs to Dutch heritage… and is no longer relevant.” According to CNN,  Indonesia is the largest Muslim-majority nation in the world. Because of this, rules like these aren’t surprising. People who engage in homosexuality or adultery have even faced public beatings. Although locals may be familiar with the strict practices and harsh penalties, others are wondering what effect the decision may have on the travel industry since tourists will not be exempt.

Putu Winastra, chairman of the country’s largest tourism group, the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies, shared his expert opinion on the matter. “From our point of view as tourism industry players, this law will be very counterproductive for the tourism industry in Bali — particularly the chapters about sex and marriage,” he told CNN. Some feel that ruined vacations to Indonesia are the least of their worries. “I really wish foreigners would stop focusing only on the unmarried couples law and how it’s going to affect them as a tourist. Indonesians are losing their basic human rights, and you’re whining about not being able to enjoy Bali? Be serious,” one tweet read.

Another added, “So banning sex is the thing that’s finally getting people to say they won’t go to Bali, not the whole violent oppression, genocide and racism forced upon the West Papuan people by the Indonesian government thing? Right.” While the new regulation is undoubtedly making headlines, others aren’t concerned. “I live in Indonesia and I’ll continue cheating on my wife. You cannot stop me,” a person tweeted. Thankfully, there’s still a bit of time before things change. Sources say it will take a few years for the new law to be implemented.

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