Jakarta – A same-sex couple who recently held a wedding ceremony in Soppeng regency, South Sulawesi have been arrested and accused of falsifying their sexual identities prior to their marriage.
The Soppeng Police have detained the 24-year-old groom, identified only as MTR, and the 21-year-old bride, identified as MT, following a medical check-up and a series of interviews with several witnesses.
"We have questioned seven witnesses, including the marriage officiant," Soppeng Police general crimes unit head Adj. Comr. Amri told kompas.com on Monday.
He said that MTR, who was found to have female genitalia, was identified as male on their identity card.
Amri said that the bride, MT, had known about her partner's sexual identity prior to their marriage. However, she refused to disclose such information to her parents as she had already fallen in love with MTR, he said.
Both MTR and MT have since been charged under Article 263 of the Criminal Code on document forgery, which carries a maximum punishment of six years in prison, according to Amri.
The couple held their wedding on June 9. Despite the smooth proceedings, rumors circulated among the attendees regarding the groom's sexual identity. The village head said that neither the village administration nor the local Religious Affairs Office (KUA) had issued a marriage license for the couple.
MT's parents reported their suspicion to the Soppeng Police on Saturday. "Our entire family is ashamed, we have become the subject of ridicule because we were lied to. All this time, we thought [MTR] was a man based on his ID card," MT's parents said.
While Indonesian law does not criminalize homosexuality, anti-gay sentiment has risen in the past few years and same-sex marriage is not legally recognized. (rfa)