Aceh, Indonesia – a place where we really don't feel like going if we are LGBT. It's sad that we can say that about a location, but Aceh is proving to be somewhere we are definitely not welcome.
On Thursday, two university students accused of same-sex relations were arrested after a raid.
Islamic Sharia law has a home in Aceh, other parts of Indonesia know the laws but do not enforce them as much as Aceh. Apparently upholding Sharia law means other citizens (not just law enforcement) can break into homes, confiscate condoms, telephones, and hand them over to the authorities. Makes yoy definitely not trust your neighbors.
The young men, 21 and 24, are being detained by the authorities.
In the past year and a half, over 500 people have been punished under Sharia law for crimes such as such as gambling, alcohol consumption, and adultery. One of the more publicized punishments took place in May of last year, Gay Couple Publicly Caned 83 Times For Gay Sex In Indonesia.
Will these two men face the same punishment for sodomy? One of the detained has apparently admitted to the "crime" which in the law books is punishable with up to 100 lashes.
If we are visiting Indonesia and Aceh, would we be punished under Sharia law? Is it just Muslim citizens? We're thinking no since one of the accused is of Christian Batak ethnicity, the other is Muslim.
For more on this topic, head over to www.hrw.org/news/2018/04/03/indonesia-four-arrested-same-sex-conduct