12:09 GMT +316 July 2018
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    Judges read their verdict on the case of a petition seeking to make gay sex and sex outside marriage illegal during a hearing at the Constitutional Court in Jakarta, Indonesia

    Indonesian Court Defends People's Right for Gay, Extramarital Sex

    © AP Photo / Tatan Syuflana
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    Indonesia’s highest judicial body narrowly ruled against outlawing homosexual relations in the country, stating that it’s not the court’s role to criminalize private behavior.

    In a 5-to-4 ruling the nine-judge panel of the Indonesia’s Constitutional Court thwarted an attempt to outlaw gay and extramarital sex in the country; the decision is final.

    The campaign for criminalizing homosexuality and sex outside of wedlock was spearheaded by a conservative group called the Family Love Alliance whose members argued that the country is threatened by immoral behavior fostered by social media and the Internet.

    The court panel insisted that it is not their duty to regulate private behavior or to try and impose laws upon the country’s parliament. Four of the judges however approved of the idea to criminalize sex outside of marriage and gay sex on morality grounds.

    Naila Rizqi Zakiah, a lawyer at the Community Legal Aid Institute in Jakarta who opposed the Family Love Alliance initiative, welcomed the court’s decision.

    "It's such a big verdict. It means that the Constitutional Court is consistently strengthening its position as the guardian of the Constitution and also as protector of human rights."

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    ​A representative of the Family Love Alliance named Euis Sunarti told media that she was saddened by the judges’ ruling.

    "We are working on the ground level and know exactly the magnitude of this problem on the ground," she said.

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    gay sex, court case, extramarital affair, refusal, Constitutional Court of Indonesia, Indonesia
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