Lesbian Lovers Released, Then Separated

Banda Aceh, TAG - Authorities in Aceh released a married lesbian couple from detention after the lovers agreed not to see each other again.

Nuraini, 21, and her ‘husband’ Rinto, 25, were arrested by the Public Order Officers (Satpol PP) in Southwest Aceh district after it was revealed that Rinto was actually a woman named Rohani. She faked her identity to be able to marry Nuraini.

However, the authorities were clueless as to what charges they should lay against on the couple because lesbianism is not regulated under qanun (Islamic bylaws).

After three days in detention, the couple were released on Wednesday.
Speaking on the phone to the Jakarta Globe, Muddasir, the head of Satpol PP in the district, said that Nuraini and Rohani had been returned to their respective parents.

“They were returned to their parents after they promised not to see each other again. If they violate the agreement, they will be given sanctions according to the customary law [adat],” Muddasir said. However, the agreement did not mention the form of punishment.

“The punishment will be decided later by adat leaders,” he said.

According to Muddasir, some village officials were angry at Rohani but they finally agreed to let her return home.

“I told them not to beat her up because she had promised to repent for her sins,” he said.

Both women signed the agreement witnessed by local officials and religious leaders.

“[Officials and ‘adat’ leaders] had also agreed to keep the women from seeing each other again. They will monitor and guide them,” he said. “Of course they agreed because otherwise they should be beheaded because what they did was strongly forbidden in Islam.”

Previously, Rohani told local media that her marriage to Nuraini had been “annulled” by the Religious Affairs Office in Darul Makmur district.

They were married by an unofficial cleric provided by the district. “We were married so that we could still live under the same roof but then they found out my real identity,” she said.

Muddasir played down Rohani’s statement about the marriage, claiming it had never been legal.

“How could we divorce them if their marriage was illegal because there are no legal regulations that allow a woman to marry another woman.”[]
Lesbian Lovers Released, Then Separated Lesbian Lovers Released, Then Separated Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on August 25, 2011 Rating: 5

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