Indonesia high court upholds limits on polygamy

Indonesia high court upholds limits on polygamy

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Indonesia [official website] Wednesday upheld marriage laws limiting polygamy [press release, in Indonesian], despite teachings in the predominantly Islamic country's largest religion allowing men to take up to four wives. Under Indonesian law [Emory Law backgrounder], a man can only take a second wife if his first wife gives permission, or if his first wife is disabled or unable to have children. The Indonesian businessman who brought the case argued to the court that these limitations effectively prevented polygamy and that the law violated his religious freedoms.

The court ruled that the marriage laws were enacted to protect the basic rights of wives of polygamous men, and that they did not violate the constitution or the tenets of Islam. Under Islamic teachings, a man can take up to four wives as long as the women are "treated fairly." Reuters has more. AP has additional coverage.