Terengganu Islamic courts have convicted and charged two women for attempting to have lesbian sex, and sentenced each to a fine of RM3,300 (US$800), and six strokes of the cane, after both plead guilty.
Courts charged the women under the syariah law known as musahaqah, which bans lesbian sex.
Prosecuting lawyer Muhamad Khasmizan Abdullah has said that the verdict is a first for them, in terms of a conviction of same-sex relations in the east coast state. He also added that sexual intercourse between people of the same sex is forbidden in Islam.
“It is an offence and morally wrong,” he postulated over the phone.
The two women are currently out on bail, awaiting the meting out of their punishment later this month.
However, activist groups are not taking the action against the couple lightly, re-affirming that the couple were two consenting adults, and that court’s punishment was tantamount to torture.
Justice for Sisters has highlighted that while there have been cases of lesbian couples being arrested, though no reports of such punishments being handed out.
They are worried that the ruling will set a precedent for other couples, and will add to the discrimination currently being faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community in the country.
Last week, two prominent LGBTQ+ activists had their portraits removed from a photo exhibition at the behest of an Islamic Affairs ministry official, setting off a litany of criticism from rights groups, and the public at large.
In April of this year, Islamic enforcement officers found the two women, aged 32 and 22, in a parked car, attempting to engage in sexual acts. Officers reported that one of the women was in a state of undress, and that a sex toy was also discovered in the car.
For the record, Malaysia’s penal code states that the possession of “any obscene objects whatsoever” is a punishable crime.
You know that they say: One person’s vibrator is another’s massage device.
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