Young couple kissing in the water
Indonesian officials are hoping the threat of jail time will help promote more conservative attitudes around sexual activity.

Headed to Bali in search of romance? Not so fast. The Indonesian government is close to passing a law that would make it illegal to have sex outside of marriage throughout the country. The new legislation would effectively ban extramarital sex in the tourist haven of Bali, making it a criminal offense.

Straight couples caught engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage would face up to a year in jail under the draconian new policy. Even dedicated couples who get caught in the act could end up behind bars if they can’t produce a marriage license. Same-sex relationships would be outlawed entirely, and it’s unclear how harsh that penalty might be.  

Not On Allah’s Watch

According to reports, the law stems from growing tensions in Indonesia between foreign tourists and a majority-Muslim population uncomfortable with Westerners bringing loose attitudes toward sex, drugs, and partying to the island.

This propensity for drunken revelry – particularly from younger tourists who’ve flocked to Bali in droves to enjoy the party scene (and all that goes with it) – has Muslim government officials fed up. With the new legislation, officials are hoping the threat of jail time will help promote more conservative attitudes around sexual activity.

“The state must protect citizens from behavior that is contrary to the supreme precepts of God,” said Nasir Djamil, a politician from the Prosperous Justice Party.

Faith vs. Economics

As one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, the law would hit Bali particularly hard. Much of the island’s economy is now based around tourism, and millions of travelers visit each year to enjoy the pristine beaches, tropical climate, and cheap prices. But that could all be upended overnight if the government decides to crack down on “immoral” activity in the bedroom.

If Indonesian President Joko Widodo ends up signing the legislation, it would likely cause a major disruption to Bali’s tourism industry.

The Australian government issued a travel warning after learning about the law, and numerous travel agencies have already reported unmarried people canceling planned trips to the island due to fear of getting arrested.

Despite a strong religious influence in the country, Indonesians aren’t blind to the potential consequences of enforcing a faith-based moral code. Hotel operators, tour guides, and restaurant owners have all voiced their concerns, leading President Widodo to delay a vote on the bill – at least for now.

41 comments

  1. Dr. Tinsley Keefe says:

    “The state must protect citizens from behavior that is contrary to the supreme precepts of God,” said Nasir Djamil, a politician from the Prosperous Justice Party.”

    Ugh “God” is a fig newton of our illumination…not real…whatever u call “god.” Allah, God, whatever….bunch of uneducated, self-righteous idiots..

    1. Darryl Mizer says:

      I don’t think Jesus mentioned premarital sex but he was clear about adultry.

    2. Guru Lama Dustin says:

      Most Balinese are Hindu not Moslems

      1. DLW says:

        It still doesn’t matter since the majority of the country is Muslim, despite Bali itself being some religious minority.

  2. Ralph Miller says:

    Good! A country that’s not willing to cater immortality.Good for them

    1. hsw says:

      First, “immorality” is a religious construct. Second, do you really want the government legislating what you can do in your bedroom? And last, what gives you the right to dictate morals for anyone other than yourself?

      1. Ralph Miller says:

        I don’t live in that country.I live in America.I don’t stick my nose in other countries politics.If your that concern,move there and run for office instead of crying over something you have no control over

    2. Alicia says:

      How is it “immoral” to have sex if you’re in a committed, long-term relationship, however, lack that little piece of paper? Why should it even matter what a couple is doing in the privacy of their own room? Will there be cameras set up to ensure that no sex is happening? This “law” is bullshit.

      I could understand not wanting ANY couple, married or not, to have sex in public, however, this legislation is going way too far.

      1. Ralph Miller says:

        I don’t live in that country.you have to ask them that question

    3. Allen Alexander says:

      Your assignment Mr. Miller, should you chose to accept it, is to tell your president. Tell him, he ands his porn stars and playboy bunnies are not welcome in Bali. That includes any other females he is “interviewing” for wife number 4.

      1. Dr pepper says:

        I doubt our president is going to move there anytime soon

    4. Willi Vision says:

      Hopefully, this will cause a boycott of Bali by tourists and no more bombings that have killed dozens.

    5. CCW says:

      LMAO but it is okay for them to marry their daughters or 9 year old girls UHMMM yes lets point out immorality please 😀

      1. Dr pepper says:

        Yes! And people in korea eat cats & dogs.So what…thats their custom..In other words ” Not my business”

  3. flugo says:

    Wow! A country that has the balls to do what is right and moral ! I challenge so-called enlightened, advanced, ‘Christian’ countries to have the guts to follow suit!

    1. MO says:

      huh?

      ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
      All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

      You’ll get the reference/meaning. Eventually. Maybe.

    2. don ricardo says:

      Thank goodness for “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, or this could happen in the good ol’ US of A if Christian shariah law were to become our reality.

    3. The Doctor says:

      I hope my fellow ULC ministers recall this post by this poster when they see the other topics he approves of and sides with. Because seriously thinking true fascism is the right and moral path tells anyone all they should need to know about so called christians in the U.S. and what they would do here if given half a chance.

    4. hsw says:

      You are the arbiter of what is “right” for everyone? Good luck with that.

      Good luck to Bali’s tourism industry as well. Crossing it off the bucket list.

  4. Joe says:

    A reminder of how important our rights and freedom are in this country.

  5. Rev. Brien says:

    Just a question here, why do I give one damn what some postage stamp country does? I will never go there, I have no business there, and to be honest I can think of allot better places to spend vacation money on. Remember this, anyone can talk a righteous game, but it ALWAYS comes down to money. Let that be the new fake religious hangout.

    1. Wendy says:

      Bali is not a country; it is an island in the Indonesian Archipelago. Predominantly Hindu, not Muslim.

      1. Rev. Brien says:

        Thank you. Still don’t care. The people of Bali will have to sort it out. But that “island ” still gets none of my money.

      2. Kelly W says:

        Bali is part of Indonesia, but the island is mostly Hindu.

  6. ET says:

    Single folks with standards different from Bali can respect that country’s law and vacation elsewhere.

    1. Hsw says:

      And what of the people who live there?

  7. ET says:

    I figure it’s their country, their laws to deal with and none of our business to butt in. We have enough troubles of our own.

    1. MO says:

      Agreed! Though today’s “liberals” would disagree, when they aren’t busy hypocritically trying to impose their Facist views on everyone else. So glad I long ago rejected the lemmings both on the left and the right [I’m a 60’s “stay the he!! out of my bedroom” [and everywhere else] liberal], deciding rather to think for myself. Their mantra predates the internet by nearly 400 years, encapsulated in the following (though their focus is clearly much closer to home (after all, who wants their head chopped off?)):

      No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man
      is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine;
      if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe
      is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as
      well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine
      owne were; any mans death diminishes me,
      because I am involved in Mankinde;
      And therefore never send to know for whom
      the bell tolls; It tolls for thee

      – MEDITATION XVII, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, John Donne (1572-1631)

      [Sorry, I’m a sucker for Olde English]

      1. Darryl Mizer says:

        Mo: Liberals, really? I’m not sure you really understand the term. We’ve never been close to Fascism in this country in the past. However we’re really going toward fascism now and not by liberals. “Fascism is a form of government which is a type of one-party dictatorship. Fascists are against democracy. … Fascism puts nation and often race above the individual. It stands for a centralized government headed by a dictator. Historically, fascist governments tend to be militaristic, and racist.” Right-on!!

  8. Harry Chamberlain says:

    I figure there will an uptick of places where you can get temporarily married with license and all. Only difference this marriage certificate will have an expiration date on it.

    1. hsw says:

      Great solution! Good for the duration of your stay on Bali.

  9. Secretary3rd says:

    This President might find that the sword is mightier then the word when his head is found on a pike. Many a business live by tourist trade and since very few Muslims from the rest of the world seek Bali for vacation in the first place, those that have money do. Guess who is going to win this religious battle.

  10. Kevin Moriarity says:

    Go to Ios, in Greece. Way better party. Or Lebanon. 2 best places to party on the Mediterranean

  11. A druid says:

    This is the result of sharia law which eschews our american constitutional freedoms.
    Americans sometimes misunderstand that when in a foreign country we are subject to that country’s system of laws and customs.
    One should not enter a foreign land without first consulting our state department’s public information office.
    Avoiding muslim lands with sharia law would seem to be a reasonable precaution.
    Spend your vacation in a friendlier place which is willing to tolerate and even encourage the american sensibility.
    Remember: Americans are not loved everwhere, but we are often tolerated for our fiscal wherewithal.

  12. Minister Tim says:

    It’s there country let them be free create whatever laws they please why should Americans have liberty over land that’s Not theirs. There are plenty of other countries to visit that will allow the devil to work freely

  13. Onyedekachukwu Xanthus ( Samuel Ubani) says:

    We all Live in one planet, One Universe and One Body weather in different season, and geography, the main point is that Sex is for everyone, we have to archeologically date with other people to build a universal love and bond of family in our genealogy or twig. so this will influence , In other note, Africa, Nigeria, Lagos, West and Central Africa, Accepts and include all,

  14. Angel says:

    Their country, their rules

  15. Darryl Mizer says:

    Silly. Bali must have time to waste.

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