The petition was filed by the conservative Family Love Alliance

The Constitutional Court of Indonesia rejected a petition by Family Love Alliance, a conservative group, to make any extramarital sex illegal. The petitioners also tried to make gay sex illegal in a by and large secular Muslim nation. Five of the constitutional court's nine voted against the notion. The ultra-conservative petitioner believes immoral behavior is threatening to engulf the conservative Asian country. They say social media and the internet have facilitated this behavior.

Human rights activists heaved a sigh of relief as they were afraid the petition would be accepted. This, in turn, would lead to an increase in moral policing, further discriminating the gay community in the Muslim-majority Asian country. Although Indonesia is a secular nation following a moderate strand of Islam, the country has witnessed a rise of hardline conservatives in recent years. The conservatives have, until now, have remained on the fringe political arena of Indonesia.

According to Judge Saldi Irsa, the petitioners have, by all purposes, requested the court to craft a new criminal code as they were afraid that the Indonesian parliament will take too much time to make the changes wanted by the Family Love Alliance. He pointed out this logic is not permissible under any condition. The dissenting opinion was four judges reaching the consensus to outlaw sex outside marriage and same-sex relations due to grounds of morality.

The court gave the ruling that the legislature, not courts, have the proper authority to change the laws of the country. As per present Indonesian laws, sex is illegal only if it is involving a minor. The LGBT community of Indonesia has recently been targeted by conservatives in the world's biggest Muslim majority country. The Southeast Asian nation is known for its moderation and tolerance. Only religious hardliners have made anti-gay statements. Indonesian police have raided parties with gay themes. The latter was subsequently charged with hard anti-pornography laws. Only the semi-autonomous Aceh province is known for its conservatism. The province has banned homosexuality, observing Sharia law.

Saddened by the outcome of the case, Euis Sunarti of the Family Love Alliance said, “We are working on the ground level and know exactly the magnitude of this problem on the ground.”

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