Indonesia gives men 85 lashes for homosexual acts...and no wedding cake
Two men accused of having sex with each other were each sentenced on Wednesday to 85 lashes in public, the first case of people being punished for homosexuality in the Indonesian province of Aceh under a strict version of Shariah law. News reports said that vigilantes had caught the two men naked in bed, and that the two had pleaded not to be reported to the Shariah police.
Homosexuality has been illegal in the highly conservative province since 2014, but this is the first time citizens have been punished for it. The maximum sentence for the crime is 100 lashes, but the court sentenced the men to 85 each after they apologized for their actions.
Although the timing of the sentencing appears to be a coincidence, Wednesday is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
According to an annual report on state-sponsored homophobia, compiled by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, homosexuality is effectively a crime in 72 countries.
In three – Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen – it is codified as a crime punishable by death, though executions are rare. In five other countries – Afghanistan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – a death penalty for homosexuality is codified under Shariah law, but it has not been put into practice.