Indonesia is about to pass a law that would criminalize sex outside of marriage

LGBT activists rally against a planned revision to Indonesia's criminal code that would criminalize unmarried and gay sex in Jakarta, Indonesia on Feb. 12, 2018. While the protest took place last year, the demonstration was against the same criminal code bill.

(CNN)Indonesia is set to pass a highly controversial new penal code that would criminalize consensual sex outside of marriage and effectively outlaw same-sex relations, in a move human rights groups have criticized as a violation of basic freedoms.

The draft code, which will also introduce penalties for insulting the president, is set to be adopted as soon as next week, after the government agreed to the bill Wednesday.
Human Rights Watch called the draft criminal code "disastrous not only for women and religious and gender minorities, but for all Indonesians," and is calling on lawmakers to drop the controversial articles before passing the law.
A group of NGOs are now urging Indonesian President Joko Widodo to step in and delay the 628-article bill, before it is expected to be legalized on September 24.
    Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-majority country, but prides itself on being a tolerant nation with a diverse mix of ethnicities and religions. But there has been a rising intolerance in the country against religious and sexual minorities from increasingly assertive religious conservatives.
    The ruling comes months after a closely fought election that saw progressives pitted against Islamic hardliners and worries over increased involvement by Islamic groups in politics were brought to the fore.
    The new criminal code has been in the making for decades. Indonesia's Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly, who reintroduced the bill in 2015, told CNN that the law replaces the 100-year-old Dutch colonial-era penal code and would make Indonesia's criminal law more in line with how Indonesians live today.
    "We would like to change to our new penal code to focus more on Indonesian perspectives in the law. The reason is because there are some laws in the penal code that are not suitable for Indonesia any more," Yasonna Laoly said.
    Fear and horror among Indonesia's LGBT community as gay sex ban looms