Bali tourists could be jailed for having sex outside marriage

News 20/09/2019

Say goodbye to your big Bali New Years - you could end up in jail for banging anyone you're not married to. 

Bali has been a huge holiday destination for Aussies and Kiwis for years (Bali bender anyone?), and thankfully it's kind of been safe from the rest of Indonesia's harsh laws because of the huge amount of tourists.

That might be about to change though, with lawmakers considering introducing a new rule banning any sex outside marriage, and it would apply to everyone. Yes, you read that right. 

Even if a couple live together, or having been together for 20 years, anyone unmarried who's having sex will be jailed under the new law.

Article 419 says: "Couples who live together without being legally married could be sentenced to six months in prison."

You could also cop a six month jail sentence for 'obscene acts in public', which will no doubt mean about 90% of us young hooligans going over to party.

Rightfully so, the proposed rules have sparked concern from human rights groups, who say that the new laws contravene international law.

"It is very serious. It's a disaster and the two articles covering living together and extramarital sex were pushed by the Muslim brotherhood on ideological grounds. This will impact tourism, ex-patriots and foreign investment," Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono said.

Campaigners are calling on Indonesian leader Joko Widodo not to adopt the proposals or face hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists in jail unnecessarily.

Director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society Tim Lindsey added: "The extra marital sex provision is new to Indonesia, it will create huge problems for foreigners if it's enforced, though Indonesia is awash with laws that are never enforced. Will tourists have to take marriage certificates to Indonesia?"

"This also exposes foreigners to extortion. It would be easy for a police officer in Bali to say you aren't married, you have to pay me. That's a quite likely scenario. It's a very real risk and they will have to warn the more than one million Aussies who travel there each year. They don't get that it will have an effect on tourism."

Obviously some tourists do take it way too far with their inappropriate behaviour, and we can undertstand the authorities trying to control the hordes every year - but these new laws just seem completely over the top, and will only end up costing the island a lot of unneccessary time and cash. 

Just in case though, probably best not to book any trips to Bali with the intention of getting lucky anytime soon.