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“Bali as usual”: Bali’s Governor says a new Indonesian law banning sex outside marriage will not be enforced for tourists.

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"Bali as usual": Bali's Governor says a new Indonesian law banning sex outside marriage will not be enforced for tourists.

The Governor of Bali, an Indonesian province, has promised tourists will not have their marital status checked when a new law criminalising sex outside marriage takes effect.

Governor Wayan Koster said “Bali is Bali as usual, which is comfortable and safe to be visited”.

An Indonesian Government Minister also promised visitors to the rest of Indonesia would “not be charged”.

Context

A law that punishes sex outside of marriage by up to one year in prison was passed earlier this month in Indonesia’s Parliament.

The new criminal code will also ban unmarried couples from living together.

The new law is set to take effect in 2025. To be enforced, breaches can only be reported to authorities by a limited number of people, including close relatives.

It is one of a number of changes to the country’s criminal code. Other changes include criminal penalties for distributing information about abortions, attempting to persuade someone to leave a religion, and insulting the Indonesian Government.

The changes have drawn concern from the United Nations, who said criminalising sex between consenting adults “violates the right to bodily autonomy and integrity”.

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