03/17/2016, 14.36
INDONESIA
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Police break up gay marriage ceremony in Central Java

by Mathias Hariyadi

Residents in the village of Teges Wetan call in the police after seeing something “untoward”: two men, one dressed in female clothing, getting ready to marry. In October of last year, a similar ceremony was held without government recognition.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesian police raided a marriage ceremony last Saturday (12 March) involving two men, Andi Budi Sutrisno and Didik Suseno, in Teges Wetan, a small village in Wonosobo Regency (Central Java).

Same-sex unions are banned in Indonesia. In this case, village residents informed the authorities after noticing something untoward happening.

Upon arrival, police found the two men dressed up for a wedding. Andi ‘Andini’ Budi Sutrisno was wearing women's clothes. "We were called by villagers to stop the ceremony, as it shocked them,” local Police chief Surakhman said.

This is not the first time that an illegal same-sex marriage is celebrated in Indonesia. On 10 October 2015, two men held a public ceremony to celebrate their union in Boyolali (Central Java), disguising it as a ‘thank you’ ceremony for their long friendship. Their marriage was not formally registered.

In Indonesia, a marriage (between a man and a woman) can only be performed by a religious authority, and then registered at the Civil Records Office.

In the past few months, homosexuality has become a controversial issue in the Asian nation after a LGBT rights group, the Support Group and Resources Centre (SGRC), applied to open an office at the University of Indonesia, a request turned down by the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Muhammad Nasir.

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