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Jakarta Post

Intimacy in penal code: A controversial controversy

  • Fajri Matahati Muhammadin

Yogyakarta   /   Fri, February 23 2018   /  01:53 am

The spotlight of international human rights discourse is currently on Indonesia’s amendement of the Criminal Code, which indicates a strong direction toward criminalizing homosexual conduct and fornication.

The issue has always been a debate between religious morality and human rights. Most recently, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein spoke against criminalization of homosexuality as a form of discrimination. Using strong language, he said: “We urge Indonesians to move forward — not backward — on human rights.”

But on what basis did Al Hussein claim that criminalization of homosexuality is going “backward”? Despite starting to gain more support, the rights of sexual minorities have not achieved universal or even majority recognition. How, then, does one claim the practice of a few to be “the universal standard” w...