Once-tolerant Indonesia moves to outlaw gay sex

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Vincent Bevins writes in the Washington Post:

 Prodded by religious conservatives, Indonesia is moving toward outlawing gay sex — and even sex outside marriage — in a jarring change for a country long seen as a bastion of tolerance in the Islamic world.

The proposed sexual crackdown in the Southeast Asian archipelago of more than 260 million people — the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation and third-largest democracy — is drawing criticism at home and abroad from human rights organizations and LGBT activists. They warn that penal-code revisions now under consideration in parliament would discriminate against large numbers of people, promote extremist views and reverse democratic gains.

Ichsan Soelistio, a member of a special commission in the Indonesian House of Representatives working to update the country’s criminal code, said the body has reached consensus to include laws outlawing extramarital sex as well as gay sex, and is likely to do so soon but with some limitations.

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