Four ways you can possibly get around the law against mixed-religion marriages.
Some time ago Law Professor Wahyono Darmabrata of Universitas Indonesia (UI), Depok, suggested four ways those of mixed faiths could marry, they being:
The court order method is rare and was last done by one Andi Vonny Gani in 1989, however the revised law on Citizen Administration would make it more possible.
The second option, having two ceremonies, one according to the man's religion and the other according to the woman's, depends on a certain interpretation of a clause in the 1974 Marriage Act, however the problem of which marriage is then to be recognised by the state has Professor Wahyono stumped.
The third option is the most common, and was famously done by celebrity couple Deddy Corbuzier and Kalina in 2005. Deddy, who is Catholic, married Kalina, a Muslim, according to her faith, but did not convert to Islam. Their marriage was conducted by a celebrant from Yayasan Paramadina, which is led by Nurcholish Madjid.
Deddy Corbuzier and Kalina.
In the case of Islam this method requires finding a Muslim marriage celebrant who is willing to officiate. Orthodox interpretations of Islam forbid the practice of a Muslim woman marrying a non-Muslim man. (In the reverse case observers note that the Quran seems to permit a Muslim man to marry a Christian or Jewish woman, who maintains her faith thereafter, as was done by one of Muhammad bin Abdullah's wives, Mary the Copt.)
Those wishing to follow this method, in the case where the bride-to-be is Muslim and the groom is not, had best seek a celebrant from liberal Muslim organisations such as the Wahid Institute, the Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP), as well as Paramadina. Having the marriage recognised by the state afterwards is a separate issue.
Former minister of religion, Quraish Shihab, is of the opinion that the matter should be of no concern to the state, but rather be left up to each religion.
Sudhar Indopa, of the Jakarta branch of the Civil Registry office, says the state is not unwilling to accommodate such mixed marriages, but defers to authorities on religion on whether the practice is acceptable.
If religious authorities do not bless the marriage then the state cannot recognise it.
Farida Prihatini of the Islamic Law department at UI however says that the Clerics' Council, Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), has made mixed-religion marriages haram, or forbidden, and in principle other religions, besides Islam, do not allow them either.
It's unacceptable, there is no [valid] marriage, it's living in sin.
Father Andang Binawan says the Catholic church has no problem with mixed-religion marriages, provided the non-Catholic partner is willing to submit to the church's marriage laws, and commits to monogamy and life-long partnership, but need not convert to Catholicism, regardless of whether the non-Catholic partner is male or female.
The final option, probably the simplest for those with enough money, is running off to Singapore or Australia, and is popular with celebrities, such as the Muslim Yuni Shara, who married the Protestant Henry Siahaan in Perth. Indonesian civil registry offices are bound by law to accept foreign marriage certificates as valid, however Farida Prihatini views this as unacceptable. hukumonline