Ade Armando and Rocky Gerung Speak on Interfaith Marriage

The material judicial review hearing of Law No. 16 of 2019 on Marriage to hear the Petitioner’ experts, Monday (7/28/2021). Photo by Humas MK/Ifa.

Thursday, July 28, 2022 | 15:34 WIB

JAKARTA, Public Relations—There is no single interpretation of Article 2 paragraphs (1) and (2) as well as Article 8 letter f of the Marriage Law on interfaith marriage. The Supreme Court even stated that the Marriage Law does not contain provisions banning bride and groom of different religions from marrying. This is in line with Article 27 of the 1945 Constitution, which includes the human right to marry fellow citizens even though they have different beliefs.

The statement was made by Ade Armando as an expert presented by the Petitioner of the material judicial review of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage as amended by Law No. 16 of 2019 on the Amendment to Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

Ade, a semiotics (a study of signs, messages, texts) expert based his view on Islamic texts. He asserted that not a single text in the Qur’an forbids any form of interfaith marriage. The Qur’an only clearly prohibits marriages between Muslims, polytheists, and infidels, he argued. There is nothing in it that states that interfaith marriage between Muslims and Christians is haram.

“So, what exist are different interpretations. This difference led to different understanding of provisions on interfaith marriage,” he said at the hearing for case No. 24/PUU-XX/2022, which was presided over by Chief Justice Anwar Usman and the other eight constitutional justices virtually from the plenary courtroom.

Facultative Right

At the hearing, Rocky Gerung, another expert for the Petitioner, shared his view on interfaith marriage in philosophy. The Marriage Law, he argued, is problematic as it does not regulate something natural. Marriage is a civil act, which the law categorizes as a right, not an obligation. The law clearly stipulates that everyone has the right to form a family and produce offspring. A right is something that can someone can either use or not. It is facultative, not imperative.

“Because marriage is a right and not an obligation, if one uses their right [to marry], the state must make an administrative record that they have used their right,” he explained.

The right to believe in a religion, he asserted, is not an obligation either, so the state cannot force anyone to follow a religion. The state has no reason to make these two rights imperative, which would lead to logical fallacy and paradox, he argued.

Marriage is a personal decision that must be accommodated by the state. Therefore, for the sake of clarity about rights and obligations, the state can only record it as a civil act.

“The problem now is that under the pretext of religion, the state regulates [what happens in the bedroom]. It should happen. The state also cannot use religion to infringe on matters of the bedroom. Sins and whatnot is one’s business with the afterlife. It’s not the state’s business to ensure those private things,” Rocky said.

Also read:

Failed to Have Interfaith Marriage, Citizen Challenges Marriage Law

Petitioner of Provision on Interfaith Marriage Reduces Object

House’s and Govt’s Stance on Interfaith Marriage

Interfaith Marriage in International and Islamic Laws

Indonesian Ulema Council Requests Court to Reject Interfaith Marriage

DDII: Petitioner’s Arguments on Interfaith Marriage Legally Groundless 

The case No. 24/PUU-XIX/2022 was filed by E. Ramos Petege, a Catholic who had intended to marry a Muslim woman. The union fell through because interfaith marriage was not accommodated by the Marriage Law. Consequently, the Petitioner’s constitutional rights were harmed.

He also felt harmed from losing freedom of religion and faith because if he wishes to have an interfaith marriage, either the bride or the groom will be coerced to convert. In addition, he also lost his freedom to have offspring by forming a family based on free will. The Petitioner challenges Article 2 paragraphs (1) and (2) as well as Article 8 letter f of the Marriage Law, which he believes contradict Article 28D paragraph (1) and Article 29 paragraphs (1) and (2) of the 1945 Constitution.

Article 2 paragraph (1) of the Marriage Law reads, “A marriage shall be legitimate, if it has been performed according to the laws of the respective religions and beliefs of the parties concerned.” Article 2 paragraph (2) reads, “Each marriage shall be registered according to the regulations of the legislation.” Meanwhile, Article 8 letter f reads, “[A marriage shall be prohibited between to people that] have a relationship that, by religion or other statutory regulations, are forbidden to marry.”   

Writer        : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 7/29/2022 14:10 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Thursday, July 28, 2022 | 15:34 WIB 394