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Jakarta Post

Gays, lesbians face discrimination in sharia Aceh

  • Hotli Simanjuntak

    The Jakarta Post

Banda Aceh   /   Wed, January 20 2010   /  09:19 am

Growing up, Faisal was not really aware that he had a different sexual orientation from his friends, but as an adult he is very conscious of his sexuality and the discrimination he suffers as a result.Faisal lives in Aceh, the only province in Indonesia that has Islamic sharia law.He was not fully aware that he was gay during junior high school and even dated several girls at school. “That was just to show people that I was a real man,” Faisal said.Upon completing senior high school, he gradually realized he was gay and began searching for a partner of the same sex.Local transsexual figure Edy Saputra said that in Islam, humans were created in couples. “There is not a detailed explanation on whether that couple is a man and a woman, two men, or two women,” argued Edy who is the director of Violet Grey, a gay and transgender group in Aceh.In September 2009, Aceh’s legislative co...