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Malaysian court
annuls marriage of two women

Malaysian court
annuls marriage of two women

A Malaysian court has annulled the marriage of a Muslim couple after ruling that both were women even though they lived together as husband and wife, a lawyer said Tuesday.

An Islamic sharia court in southern Melaka state ruled that Mohamad Sofian Mohamad and Zaiton Aziz, both in their early 40s, would have to separate because doctors found that the ''husband''--who sports short-cropped hair and dresses as a man--had female sexual organs, said Mohamad Mokhtar Karim, a lawyer for the state.

''From the examination results, he's entirely a woman,'' Mohamad Mokhtar told the Associated Press. ''Mohamad Sofian was born a woman.''

''He dresses like a man, but if you look at him, personally, I think, he looks like a woman. He has got breasts and everything,'' Mohamad Mokhtar said.

The lawyer said Mohamad Sofian, originally given the female name Mazinah Mohamad after birth, had mistakenly been allowed to change her name to a male one on her identity card.

Same-sex marriages are neither allowed under sharia law, which governs civil matters for all Muslims, nor recognized by Malaysia's secular laws, which apply to ethnic Indians, Chinese, and other non-Muslims, who make up 40% of the country's 27 million people.

Mohamad Mokhtar said the question of whether the two women were lesbians was not raised in court and was ''speculation.''

The couple married in a mosque in Melaka in 2002, but the state's Register of Marriage filed a lawsuit against the couple following complaints by the bride's family that the groom was a woman, Mohamad Mokhtar said.

In 2005 the government declared a same-sex marriage between an ethnic Chinese transsexual--still legally a man--and her male partner invalid. (AP)

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