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Married Lesbians Outstrip Limits of Aceh’s Islamic Laws

Banda Aceh, TAG - Security authorities in the deeply religious Indonesian province of Aceh have been forced to admit that they are clueless about how to handle a case involving the marriage of two lesbians, saying same-sex marriages are not dealt with under local Islamic laws.

 The “confusion” began when authorities arrested Ranto, The 25-year-old woman, however, turned out to be Rohani, who was married to Nuraini, 21.

“We are really confused,” Muddasir, the head of Southwest Aceh’s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday, “Because there are no qanun [Islamic bylaws] to handle such cases.”

Islamic bylaws in Aceh prohibit gambling, alcohol, ‘khalwat’ or close proximity between members of the opposite sex but not, it seems, lesbianism.

In 2009, the Aceh provincial government passed a qanun jinayat, which included outlawing lesbianism, but it was never signed into law by Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf.

Ranto and Nuraini, plantation workers for state oil palm plantation company PTPN, reside in the Sarah Batee village in the neighboring district of Nagan Raya.

Muddasir said Ranto had admitted that she loved her partner.

The security official said Ranto had adopted male characteristics since she was a child.

“Since they became married, they admitted to making out but not having sex because both of them are women,” he said.

Satpol PP and the Southwest Aceh Police are still discussing what charges to lay against the couple, who are currently detained at Satpol PP’s offices for their own protection.

“They will still be charged, maybe with identity fraud, because what they did was embarrassing and forbidden by religion,” Muddasir said.

“I told them if Islamic law is applied in Aceh, they must be beheaded, burned and their ashes must be spread in the ocean.”[]
Married Lesbians Outstrip Limits of Aceh’s Islamic Laws Married Lesbians Outstrip Limits of Aceh’s Islamic Laws Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on August 24, 2011 Rating: 5

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