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Indonesia’s Islamic authority calls for death penalty for gay sex

Indonesia’s Islamic authority calls for death penalty for gay sex

Indonesia’s Islamic authority has proposed the introduction of the death penalty for gay sex.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) on 3 March issued a fatwa calling for a range of punishments, from caning to the death penalty, for homosexual acts.

Hasanuddin AF, chairman of the MUI’s fatwa commission, said the edict was issued because sexual deviance was on the rise and had even infiltrated schools.

‘Sodomy, homosexuals, gays and lesbians in Islamic law are forbidden and [sodomy] is a vile act that is punishable by the death penalty,’ he said.

Hasanruddin said sexual perversion would hurt national morale, and called on the government to set up rehabilitation centers to ‘cure’ LGBTI people and eradicate homosexuality in the country.

The MUI issued a fatwa in January condemning homosexuality as a ‘curable’ disorder and sodomy as a punishable offence. It also forbade the legalization of gay sex.

Secretary of the fatwa commission, Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh, said sodomy was worse than adultery and extramarital sex and was punished with harsher sentences under Islamic law.

The Indonesian penal code does not ban gay sex, though two local governments have passed bylaws that criminalize homosexual acts.

In September, the staunchly Islamic Aceh province, passed sharia-based criminal code that punishes gay sex with up to 100 lashes of the cane and 100 months in jail.

The city of Palembang in South Sumatra clumps all gay-related activity with prostitution, which carries a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment and a Rp5 million ($380) fine.

These bylaws are generally seen as extremist sideshows, but the MUI carries more clout with both conservative and moderate Indonesians, even if its edicts are not legally binding.