Updated: 3 days ago
Also known as the "Anti Sex Law" allow us to explain this in a very simplified version. The Indonesian government tried to push this through law through in 2019. We remember many mass student protests, and the law didn't get through. The law isn't through yet. The president hasn't signed off on the law yet. For the law not to get through in 2019, and the many protests that occurred, you can bet your bottom dollar that a lot of people, are not happy with this law. We would go so far as to say a majority of people don't agree. How does a law get passed if a majority don't agree? This is not a democratic society here in Indonesia. They may vote for the leaders, however there is a rule for the freedom of speech in Indonesia that can be summed by a dictator not of Indonesia "You have the right to freedom of speech, but I can not guarantee freedom after speech" - Idi Amin - Former President and Commander and Chief of Armed forces in Uganda. It's the same in Indonesia. You are by law not allowed to say anything against the government, the President, Vice President, the list goes on. The point is, just because the majority of people oppose a law coming in, doesn't mean the law wont get in. In this case, there will be many court challenges before this rule gets through. It has "Human Rights Violation" written all over it, however, Indonesian doesn't have a great track record for upholding human rights. It's gotten better since 1998 when essentially civil rights protests / riots overthrew the government. However, Indonesia is not exactly a beacon for human rights. Death by firing squad for drug trafficking is still on the cards. The Indonesians are primarily made up of Muslims. Muslims fundamentally don't believe in sex before marriage. In December 2022 in what is seen as a blow for human rights, the Indonesian government passed a law that will come in to affect on or before December 2025. Basically the law they want to get through states that sex outside of marriage is a criminal act and you can be sent to jail for a year if convicted. (Adultery is six months) You can't even live together if you're not married. Scary right? We know, so let's look at the entire picture rather than the media head lines. Remember this is also a government that has banned promoting contraception. There is literally no education on the subject. A friend of ours went into a Circle-K convenience store and purchased condoms and lubrication. (You can sell contraception, you just can't promote it) and said to the store clerk, "Well this isn't gonna last me long is it?" pointing to a 200 mil bottle of lubrication he was going to buy. He thought the young guy behind the counter would laugh. Instead he said "What is it sir?" This bottle was on the counter to buy. The male store clerk...No idea. Abortion is not just frowned upon, it's a criminal act here in Indonesia. No abortion, and essentially no contraception. There is also no gambling, adultery, homosexuality and alcohol. In Bali there is what's called "Cock fighting" the Indonesians gamble on this. It's when two rooster fight in a barbaric fight to the death. Homosexuality can easily be seen in Bali, and Alcohol is freely available. Bali is 87% Hindu. Still Indonesian, however a blind eye is cast upon Bali because of the money that comes in through Bali with tourists. So the anti sex law in Indonesia (including Bali) will take effect ONLY when when an immediate family member (spouse, parents, or children) who may negatively be impacted by adultery or sex outside of marriage can report the 'crime'
So, hooking up with an Indonesian local could get you in hot water if a parent says something to the government. However, you coming over to Bali with your partner that you are not married to and getting some accommodation together, won't be a problem. This law will be open to corruption for sure. You can see how a local girl might have a brother or sister burst in and proclaim that unless they are paid immediately they will go to the police because they object to your having sex with their brother or sister, whatever the case may be. This rule will only come in to affect if the president signs off on it. He hasn't signed off on the bill as yet. I personally have faith in President Joko Widodo to drop this law. However, he is only in power until April 2024. Anything could happen after that. For now, travel to Bali is "business as usual" and it looks as though in the future, it won't change much. However, we can see that some people will double check to see if they want to come to a country like this with these laws. Not great for Bali tours.