Lawmakers who want to ban gay sex in Indonesia say it is not discriminatory

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The bill which is set to criminalize homosexuality in Indonesia is now discussed by the local House of Representatives and if they pass it, it will be enacted by the end of this year. Arsul Sani, a member of the People’s Representative Council which is forming the new code, said that the controversial ban would go into effect, but to his mind the law should not be treated as discriminatory. Sani, who is also secretary-general of the United Development Party, said that the general formula of the law is to be improved not to seem offensive. Aceh is the only part of the Muslim-majority country where gay sex is already illegal, as the region has Sharia law, and the government allowed them to do so as they reached a compromise by means of signing the autonomy deal in 2005. The ban – which could make gay sex punishable by up to five years in prison – was set to come into effect in February, but was delayed. The Indonesian Supreme Court narrowly blocked a similar measure from passing last year, but it seems that was only a temporary reprieve. Sani said that his United Development Party and other Islamic parties would strongly oppose the removal of the gay sex ban from the proposed code, which could be in effect from August.

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