APPALLING

Two Men Publicly Caned in Indonesia for Gay Sex

Hundreds of Indonesians gathered to watch two men be publicly caned Tuesday for having gay sex. Each man received 82 lashings, the punishment handed down by an Islamic court that said the pair was found in bed together. The caning took place in the city of Banda Aceh in Aceh province, an area known for its ultraconservative religious police. Authorities forced the pair to stand on a raised platform as masked men flogged them, with as many as 1,000 spectators jeering and filming the scene on smartphones, Reuters reported. The caning marked the first application of anti-homosexuality legislation enacted in the province in 2014, and some spectators used the opportunity to display signs and banners condemning the province’s LGBT community. In addition to the two men, at least eight other people were caned for other offenses. Last year, the province caned 339 people for various crimes, Human Rights Watch reported.