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article imagePolygamous Nigerian Lesbians Flee Sharia

By kurtrat     Apr 27, 2007 in World
A Nigerian lesbian who married four women last weekend in Kano State has gone into hiding with her wives. They are fleeing from the Islamic police.
Under Sharia law, adopted seven years ago by Kano State in Nigeria, homosexuality (including, of course, same-sex marriage) is outlawed. Since women are not really supposed to have power of their own and their own sexualities, lesbianism is considered to be a serious crime.
The wedding celebration was held in a theatre that has now been demolished by Kano city authorities.
Lesbianism is illegal under Nigeria's national penal code as well.
Kano's Hisbah board, which uses volunteers to carry out Islamic law, told the BBC that the marriage between the women was "unacceptable." Now there's a surprise.
Hisbah volunteers  enforce Sharia law in Kano State
Hisbah volunteers, enforce Sharia law in Kano State
Photo courtesy of BBC News
Bala Ibrahim, in Kano for the BBC, said that Aunty Maiduguri and her four wives probably went into hiding the day after the wedding.
All five women, believed to be film actresses in the "local home-video industry," were born Muslims. Otherwise, they would not be held to Sharia law.
Islam allows a man to take up to four wives if he can support them. The Hisbah's deputy commander Ustaz Abubakar Rabo, told Nigeria's newspaper This Day, "As defenders of the Sharia laws, we shall not allow this unhealthy development to take root in the state."
Mr. Rabo told the BBC's Focus on Africa that if the women were found "guilty" of lesbianism, they could face one of two different punishments. For a married woman, the offense is considered adultery, and the punishment is death by stoning. A single woman would be caned. Both attractive options.
Eyewitnesses to the marriage said there was a huge turnout. Guests were given leaflets with a picture of Aunty Maiduguri surrounded by her wives as souvenirs.
The Kano police are not actively searching for the women but will arrest them if the situation arises. The Hisbah group, however, is completely separate from the police. It receives support from the state government.
Eleven other states in northern Nigeria, which is mostly Muslim, have adopted Sharia law.
I deeply admire the guts of these women, holding a large lesbian wedding in a place that adheres to Sharia law. What a bold, defiant act. I think they are amazing and hope they escape and live in peace. I am worried for their safety, but I am also sitting at my computer laughing because what they did is so spectacularly funny.
I can't believe they had the nerve to hold an openly lesbian, polygamous wedding. How much more illegal could a wedding be in a place that uses Sharia law, which is so male-dominated?
Aunty Maiduguri is my new hero. I think I will make T-shirts with her image on them as a lesbian-rights statement. Or perhaps "Free Aunty Maiduguri" bumper stickers.
Right on, sister!
*the best headline I've ever had.
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