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Indonesia LGBT Laws

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

The Penal Code. Article 292 provides –

“Any person who commits an obscene act with a minor of the same sex whose minority he knows or reasonably should presume , shall be punished by a maximum imprisonment of five years” [R1.1].

Article 45 refers to a “minor” as being a person under 16 years [R1.1].

R1.1 UNHCR: Penal Code of Indonesia 19 MAY 99
Censorship, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 21 October 2018, it was reported that Indonesian police in West Java have arrested two men who allegedly operated a Facebook account to facilitate meet-ups for gay people and other sex-related services. The men were charged with breaking electronic information law by creating and transmitting pornographic content, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of six years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of one billion rupiah ($66,000) [R1.5].

On 19 January 2017, the Indonesian Police reportedly forced the shutdown of Porseni – an annual sports and cultural event for Waria (transgender) and bissu (a gender neutral identity) people in South Sulawesi following a protest from the Islam Congregation Forum claiming the event was not in line with its religious views [R1.4].

On 15 September 2016, it was reported that Aidil Chendramata, director of information security for the Ministry of Communications, said that a meeting of representatives from the Ministry of Human Development, the National Police, and the Ministry of Religious Affairs had agreed to block websites promoting LGBT [R1.3].

On 12 February 2016, it was reported that government has censored gay-themed emojis featuring same-gender couples, rainbow flags, and other gay-themed icons from the LINE messaging app and is sending a message to other social media platforms operating in the country [R1.2].

On 01 February 2012, the ILGHRC website was reportedly banned by Telkomsel and IM2, mobile phone operators, in Indonesia. According to a spokesperson for the internet service provider IM2, the order came from the Minister of Communication and Information who … banned [the website] due to it’s content which, they determined contains pornography” [R1.1].

R1.5 ThompsonReuters: Indonesian police arrest two men linked to LGBT Facebook page 21 OCT 18
R1.4 GayStarNews: Indonesian police ban LGBTI event after complaints 24 JAN 17
R1.3 Buzzfeed: Hundreds Of Millions Of People May Soon Be Blocked From Using Grindr 16 SEP 16
R1.2 TheAdvocate: Indonesia Bans Gay Emojis 12 FEB 16
R1.1 IGLHRC: IGLHRC Website Banned 07 FEB 12
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1. Provinces, Regions

On 21 March 2016, it was reported that Bireuën Regency sharia agency in Aceh had issued a letter to the owners of beauty parlors, asking them not to employ LGBT people or face revocation of their business permits [R1.1].

R1.1 JakartaPost: Aceh regency restricts LGBT employment 21 MAR 16
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual
1. Provinces, Regions

On 21 March 2016, the Bireuën Regency in Aceh reportedly had banned the employment of openly transgender people at beauty parlors, expressing concern about the influence of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community on the youth [R1.1]

R1.1 JakartaPost: Aceh regency restricts LGBT employment 21 MAR 16
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 02 February 2018, the Health Ministry reportedly said it is about to publish a medical guide where it has classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. According to the guide of the pseudo-psychiatric body – lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals (LGBT) community are at risk of mental disorders owing to their sexual orientation [R1.2].

On 12 February 2016, it was reported that the Indonesian Psychiatrists Association (IPA) classified homosexuality and gender dysphoria as mental disorders, saying they can be cured be ”proper treatment” [R1.1].

R1.2 IndiaToday: Indonesia classifies homosexuality as ‘mental disorder’ 03 FEB 18
R1.1 GayNZ: Indonesia psychiatrists classify gay as mental disorder 26 FEB 16
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT]
1. National

Same-sex relations are not prohibited however, the national Penal Code. Article 292 provides –

“Any adult who commits any obscene act with it minor of the same sex whose minority he knows or reasonably should presume, shall be punished by a maximum imprisonment of five years.” [R1.6].

Article 45 refers to a “minor” as being a person under 16 years [R1.6].


On 29 March 2018, the House of Representatives reportedly planned to amend the country’s criminal code (the Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana (KUHP)) that would make same-sex relations and sex outside wedlock unlawful and may also limit free speech and sex education [R1.5].

On 02 February 2018, the Health Ministry reportedly said it is about to publish a medical guide where it has classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. According to the guide of the pseudo-psychiatric body – lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals (LGBT) community are at risk of mental disorders owing to their sexual orientation [R1.4].

On 29 January 2018, it was reported that the parliamentary commission is drafting proposed revisions to the national criminal code that would criminalize extramarital sex, same-sex relations and co-habitation, sparking alarm among activists who say it would breach basic rights and could be misused to target the LGBT community. Adultery is already deemed a crime [R1.3].

On 04 March 2015, the Majlis Ulema Indonesia (MUI), the central body of Islamic clerics, issued a fatwa (religious edict) that calls for whipping and even the death penalty for men or women engaged in same-sex relations. The MUI fatwas put some people at greater risk because of their visible gender expression (such as butch lesbians, women who appear masculine, transgender men or women and effeminate men) [R1.2].

In October 2003, the justice ministry in Jakarta was seeking to make gay sex in Indonesia illegal as part of a wider reform of the criminal code to appease Islamic hardliners [R1.1].

2. Provinces, Regions

On 23 October 2015, the new Sharia law passed in 2014 making anal sex between men and ‘the rubbing of body parts between women for stimulation’ unlawful and punishable with up to 100 lashes of the cane came into effect in Aceh Province. Consensual sex between adult same-sex couples is not unlawful elsewhere in Indonesia [R2.6].

On 27 September 2014, the Aceh provincial parliament approved a law that regulates affairs such as extramarital and homosexual sex, rape, sexual harassment, alcohol, gambling and mixing between unmarried men and women. People caught having pre-marital, extra-marital or homosexual sex face up to 100 lashes of the cane, or a fine of one kilogram of gold, or 100 months in prison [R2.5].

In January 2013, Aceh introduced new Islamic Sharia laws that propose flogging gay people [R2.4].

In August 2010, it was reported that the Governor in Aceh refused to sign the bylaw that would punish homosexuals with 100 cane lashes and officials in Jakarta have asked for it to be withdrawn [R2.3].


In September 2009, the legislative council of the province of Aceh passed a law mandating that individuals found guilty of homosexual conduct receive lashings and fines, or prison time [R2.2].

In 2002, the national parliament gave the Aceh province the right to adopt Islamic Sharia laws [R2.1].

3. Cities & Towns

On 30 November 2018, the City of Pariaman reportedly approved a new law fining LGBTQ behavior that could ”disturb public order”. Now any behavior that shows gay or transgender behavior will be fined 1 million rupiah (about US$70, based on current exchange rates) [R3.1].

The city of Palembang in South Sumatra has introduced jail time and hefty fines for same-sex relations [R2.1].

4. Courts & Tribunals

On 28 May 2019, it was reported that a lawsuit filed by 30-year-old Indonesian police officer Brigadier TT, who claims he was discharged for being gay, has been rejected by the Court on the ground that the complaint should have been made immediately after he was dismissed from the force. Brigadier TT was allegedly arrested on suspicion of extortion and inappropriately questioned on his ”deviant” sexuality [R4.5].

On 15 December 2017, it was reported that at least ten gay men were sentenced to up to three years jail following a sex club raid in May. The men were charged under anti-pornography laws [R4.4].

On 14 December 2017, it was reported that the Constitutional Court ruled 5-4 against petitioners of the Family Love Alliance seeking to make gay sex and sex outside marriage illegal, saying it’s not the Constitutional Court’s role to criminalize private behaviour or to usurp parliament by imposing laws on it [R4.3].

On 17 May 2017, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, an Islamic court in the province of Aceh reportedly sentenced two men under sharia law to be publicly lashed 85 times each for homosexuality, in spite of international appeals to spare the couple. The men were reportedly filmed by vigilantes [R4.2].

On 02 August 2016, the Constitutional Court heard an application by the Islamic activist group the Family Love Alliance that seeks to alter the criminal code to ban homosexual sex. The next court hearing is scheduled for 23 August [R4.1].

R1.6 UNODC: Penal Code of Indonesia PDF 1.43MB 28 AUG 07 (Accessed 07 FEB 18)
R1.5 SouthChinaMorningPost: Indonesia to criminalise homosexual and extramarital sex under proposed law changes 29 MAR 18
R1.4 IndiaToday: Indonesia classifies homosexuality as ‘mental disorder’ 03 FEB 18
R1.3 Reuters: Draft proposals in Indonesian parliament aim to ban extramarital sex 29 JAN 18
R1.2 IGLHRC: Indonesia: Fatwa Prescribes Death Penalty for Same-sex Relations 25 MAR 15
R1.1 MCV: Indonesia Push to Criminalise Gay Sex 17 OCT 03
2. Provinces, Regions
R2.6 GayStarNews: From today, gays caught having sex in Indonesia’s Aceh province will be punished by 100 lashes 23 OCT 16
R2.5 SBS: 100 lashes for extramarital and gay sex in Aceh 27 SEP 14
R2.4 GayStarNews: Newspapers blast ‘Dark Ages’ laws in Indonesian province of Aceh 09 JAN 13
R2.3. fridæ: Acehnese gays face a climate of fear and abuse 20 AUG 10
R2.2 The Advocate: Indonesia: Prison Time for Gays 18 SEP 09
R2.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08 at page 18
3. Cities, Towns
R3.1 TheAdvocate: LGBTQ ‘Immoral Acts’ To Be Fined in Indonesian City 30 NOV 18
4. Courts, Tribunals
R4.5 PinkNews: Gay policeman denied the right to challenge dismissal by Indonesian court 28 MAY 19
R4.4 GayStarNews: Indonesia sentences gay men raided in sex club to up to 3 years in jail 15 DEC 17
R4.3 The Independent: Indonesia’s Constitutional Court rejects petition to criminalise gay sex in victory for besieged LGBT minority 14 DEC 17
R4.2 TheIndependent: Indonesian Sharia court sentences gay couple to 85 lashes 17 MAY 17
R4.1 TheJakartaPost: Gay sex may be outlawed 03 AUG 16

See also:
AsianCorrespondent: All you need to know about the history of homosexuality in Indonesia 13 SEP 18
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1. Provinces, Regions

On 12 October 2015, male same-sex couple Ratu Airin Karla and Dumani were reported to have openly celebrated their “marriage” at a ceremony in the village of Cluntang, province of Boyolali (Central Java), held according to local rules, with both spouses dressed in traditional Javanese wedding costume, a large number of guests and a banquet. The union was not recognized by the government, because it lacks the necessary blessing of religious authority and was not between a man and a women [R1.2].

In September 2014, another union between people of the same sex (a man of Bali and an American tourist) was celebrated in Ubud [R1.2].

In August 2011, authorities in Aceh released married lesbian couple Nuraini, 21, and her ‘husband’ Rinto, 25, from detention after the lovers agreed not to see each other again. The couple were married by an unofficial cleric provided by the district [R1.1].

R1.2 AsiaNews: Central Java, surprise gay marriage not legal 12 OCT 15
R1.1 Jakarta Globe: Lesbian Lovers Released in Aceh, Separated 25 AUG 11
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

Indonesia prohibits LGBT people from serving in the military.

On 09 January 2018, the Air Force reportedly started a debate about whether LGBTI people should be allowed to serve in the armed forces, saying that all soldiers who committed immoral acts would be prevented from serving in the armed forces and LGBT people were not welcome because being LGBTI is a ‘mental disorder’ [R1.2].

On 27 October 2016, it was reported that Navy chief of staff Admiral Ade Supandi said the Indonesian Navy ensures that none of its personnel are homosexual by implementing a strict and thorough recruitment process that includes mental and psychological testing [R1.1].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 18 November 2013, the High Military Court II in Jakarta reportedly upheld a lower court’s decision dismissing Second Sergeant S.N.F. from his squad and punishing him with a five-month prison sentence for his alleged homosexuality [R2.1].

R1.2 GayStarNews: Indonesia’s Air Force: ‘LGBTI people can’t serve because of mental disorder’ 11 JAN 18
R1.1 TheJakartaPost: Navy sets strict recruitment process to exclude homosexuals 27 OCT 16
R2.1 Jakarta Globe: Soldier’s Dismissal Linked to Sexual Orientation 18 NOV 13
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