World News

Malaysian court annuls same-sex marriage - media

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian court has ordered a couple to separate, declaring their marriage a same-sex union as the husband was a woman, local media reported on Tuesday.

An Islamic court in the central state of Malacca ruled as void the marriage between 40-year-old Mohd Sufian Mohamad and 43-year-old Zaiton Aziz after medical examinations showed Sufian was a woman, the New Straits Times said.

Same-sex relationships are not recognised in this moderate Muslim country which also bans Muslim transsexuals from changing their gender.

A mosque official solemnised the marriage between Sufian, who was born Mazinah Mohamad, and Zaiton in December 2002 but the state religious affairs department refused to register the marriage after becoming suspicious of Sufian’s gender.

“According to (Zaiton’s) statement, she had never seen or touched her husband’s private parts and had taken him to be a man all along and that she felt good and satisfied together (with her partner),” Judge Che Saufi Che Husin said in the ruling.

“This is astounding and illogical. It is abnormal to go through life as husband and wife as such.”

He gave the couple 14 days to appeal, The Star newspaper said.

The couple did not show any emotion when the judgment was read out, said the newspaper, which carried a photograph of a bespectacled Sufian sporting a crewcut and Zaiton in a headscarf and traditional Malay dress.