SEX CLAMPDOWN PROPOSED IN INDONESIA
Indonesia's Justice Ministry has drafted laws to ban premarital sex, extramarital sex, living together without being married, reneging on a promise to marry, visiting a prostitute, performing as a stripper, witchcraft, and promotion of communism, local media reported Sept. 30.
Although the proposed legislation reportedly would allow gay sex between adults, it was unclear why gay sex would not be considered to be premarital or extramarital sex.
The proposed new crimes would draw penalties of two to 20 years in prison.
The Indonesian Bar Association and the Indonesian Lawyers Association oppose the proposals. IBA Chairman Gayus Lumbuun told a local newspaper, 'Not all ethical and moral offenses are crimes.'
Some Muslim groups and political parties have been pushing for the incorporation of Islamic law into legal codes. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation.
The 600 pages of proposals face at least a year of discussion in parliament before they could become law, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
LAWMAKERS PROTEST TORONTO INCIDENT
Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives with responsibility for overseeing immigration policy wrote the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Oct. 1 urging repeal of the policy under which a married Canadian gay couple was refused entry to the United States when they insisted on filling out a single Customs form designed for families.
Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell were turned back by U.S. Customs Sept. 18 at the Toronto airport, where the Department of Homeland Security clears U.S.-bound passengers in order to avoid operating customs and immigration facilities in smaller U.S. cities where the only international flights arrive from Canada. The couple got married this summer in Ontario after full same-sex marriage was legalized by court order.
U.S. officials said the two men were legally single and needed to fill out separate forms.
In the letter to Commissioner Robert Bonner, Democratic U.S. Reps. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Jerrold Nadler of New York and Loretta Sanchez of California said: 'We do not understand why it should be American policy to insist that people seeking to enter our country as tourists from another country repudiate their own country's rules and engage in what are to them wholly inaccurate self-descriptions, and in a way that they understandably found to be degrading. Forcing people to deny their own important values, when this has no legal bearing in the U.S., serves no public purpose, and whatever its motivation, becomes a form of meanness—inflicting emotional pain on people for no reason other than to express our official disapproval of them.'
Jackson-Lee is the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims. Sanchez is the senior Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Border Security. Nadler is the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution.
Frank, who is gay, is the senior Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.