In the Indonesian province of Aceh, authorities have forced a lesbian couple to have their marriage annulled and sign a separation agreement — but their local police chief told them they really deserve beheading.
The women, whose names were not revealed, were married legally by an Islamic cleric a few months ago, with one of them passing as a man, the BBC reports. Neighbors suspected they were both women, however, and reported them to police in the province, which enforces some aspects of Muslim Sharia law.
The two are now living with their families and under surveillance. The local police chief told them that Islam called for them to be beheaded and burned, but the province has yet to put such penalties into law.
While Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, Aceh is the only province that is allowed to implement Sharia, the religion’s legal code. It has yet to adopt any provisions dealing with homosexuality, which is legal but frowned upon in the nation. Two years ago the provincial parliament passed legislation authorizing the death penalty for adultery and caning for homosexuality, but the governor refused to sign it.