The new laws in Brunei are questionable

Jason Adams, Courier Staff

Recently, there has been a lot of controversy in the news about the small country of Brunei.

I have never heard of this country before so I looked it up, and it is a small Asian country located on an island near Malaysia and Indonesia with a population just shy of half a million. The reason this country is making headlines is because of a new law being put in place that makes homosexuality and adultery offenses punishable by death, more specifically stoning. The Sultan stated that the policy has been slowly integrated since 2014 and the official announcement was just a posting on the Brunei’s Attorney General’s website a few months ago. After reading this, I checked my calendar and yes, we are still in 2019.

While most people, including myself, don’t agree with adultery in its traditional definition, it’s still not an offense that justifies stoning. It might feel like it in the moment, but there are much worse things someone can do. So that law doesn’t really seem to make sense. Now that I’ve covered that, let me move on to the bigger issue. Seriously, we’re in 2019 and we still have people that believe that individuals should be ridiculed, punished or even killed for who they happen to love or be attracted to. It didn’t make sense before and it still doesn’t make sense now. Homosexuality isn’t a choice, it’s just how they feel. If someone’s not sure there’s nothing wrong with exploring it. If someone is confident there’s nothing wrong with that either. Who someone chooses to love isn’t anyone’s business but their own; it doesn’t affect anyone else. Luckily, most of the world is making better strides towards acceptance and understanding, but some countries are still a little bit behind. This is a time where laws like that should be getting revoked, not enforced. There is no logical or legal reason that that law makes any sense. I understand it’s a religious state but seriously? Based on its location, it’s not like citizens who feel this way are able to just leave, maybe some can but it’s a decent trip to a region or country that would accept them. Their options are live in secret or die, how does that make any sense?

The backlash as expected is pretty huge. Members of multiple governments across the world have responded to the new law with severe criticism. calling it “barbaric and inhumane.” One Australian Senator even pointed iy out that it violates the UN Declaration of Human Rights. It does though, this isn’t something that the government should be able to restrict, let alone punish by death. That’s taking police and police resources away from actual crimes and real dangers, not some made up or moral danger that happens in two consenting adults’ bedroom. It’s weird to think that there are still countries that stone and kill people for the most harmless of acts. It’s 2019 already, things are changing, cultures are changing and this should change too.