2 Men Publicly Caned for Gay Sex
They received dozens of lashes in Indonesia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 23, 2017 11:15 AM CDT
A Shariah law official whips one of two men convicted of gay sex during a public caning outside a mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.   (AP Photo/Heri Juanda)
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(Newser) – Two men in Indonesia's Aceh province have been publicly caned dozens of times for consensual gay sex, a punishment that rights advocates denounced as "medieval torture" and that has escalated an anti-gay backlash. Hundreds packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning Tuesday, which was the first time that Aceh, the only province in Indonesia to practice Shariah law, has caned people for homosexuality, per the AP.

The men, aged 20 and 23, were arrested in March after vigilantes broke into their rented room to catch them having sex. A Shariah court last week sentenced each man to 85 lashes. Heterosexual couples also were caned Tuesday, for "affection outside marriage." Indonesia's LGBT community has been under siege in the past year. Prejudice has been fanned by stridently anti-gay comments from politicians and Islamic hard-liners.

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