(5/10/2023) | Center for Legal Pluralism Studies (CLEP) Faculty of Law, Airlangga University (FH UNAIR) issued a press release regarding Supreme Court Circular Letter (SEMA) Number 2 of 2023 concerning Instructions for Judges in Adjudicating Cases on Applications for Registration of Marriages Between People of Different Religions and Beliefs. SEMA prohibits judges from granting requests to register marriages between people of different religions and beliefs.
In response to SEMA, CLEP FH UNAIR issued a press release containing the following points:
- Indonesian society is diverse and has religious diversity, so inter-religious marriage is a practice that is difficult to avoid.
- Constitutionally, the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia classifies marriage and forming a family as human rights.
- The right to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination or specific backgrounds, including religious experiences, are human rights guaranteed by the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia and the Human Rights Law.
- The right to marry is also a human right inherent in every person. Everyone has the right to enjoy it regardless of their religious background, including couples of different religions.
- There is no single statement in the Marriage Law stating that interfaith marriages are invalid or prohibited, so prohibiting interfaith marriages is a wrong assumption. Apart from that, there is no teaching in any religion that forbids interfaith marriages.
- Religious teachings that are recognized as valid in Indonesia regulate interfaith marriages.
- The Republic of Indonesia is a democratic country, not a theocracy, so the government cannot be biased towards one teaching and/or religious sect.
- The Population Administration Law allows for interfaith marriages through court orders.
- Many jurisprudence in the form of court decisions have legalized interfaith marriages.
Based on the nine points above, CLEP FH UNAIR calls on the Supreme Court to immediately revoke SEMA Number 2 of 2023 to create legal certainty and fulfill marriage rights as a human right, especially for couples of different religions.