Bahrain | Gay Rights | Kuwait

Persian Gulf Countries May Use Medical Exams to 'Detect' Gay Visitors

Persian_Gulf_Arab_States_englishRoutine medical examinations conducted on visitors to a group of Middle Eastern nations known as the the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) may be used to "detect" gays, Gulf News reports, citing a senior Kuwaiti official:

“Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries,” he said. “However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Rai on Monday.

Homosexual acts are banned in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the GCC member countries.

In Bahrain, lawmakers, wary of the growing number of gays coming into the country, had pushed for a crackdown, including the adoption of tougher immigration measures and prompt deportations.

According to Yousuf Mindkar, Kuwait's director of public health, a GCC committee will consider the move on a meeting in mid-November.  Sexual acts between members of the same sex is prohibited in the GCC countries, and prison times in Kuwait in particular can be up to 10 years if any of the participants are younger than 21.

Two years ago, 127 gay men were arrested in Bahrain for what authorities called a "depraved and decadent" party.  Earlier this year, a 39-country poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found the Middle East to be the most intolerant region in the world towards gays and lesbians, along with sub-Saharan Africa.  In addition, the report found slim evidence that attitudes in the region were shifting towards increased tolerance.

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  1. They should make them sing Streisand.

    Posted by: EE | Oct 7, 2013 5:35:27 PM

  2. The World Cup now has a problem in Qatar.

    Posted by: Jay | Oct 7, 2013 5:37:08 PM

  3. If you do not like the laws....then DON'T GO TO THESE EFFD UP COUNTRIES. Problem solved. Who would want to go there anyway?

    Posted by: Stephen | Oct 7, 2013 5:41:34 PM

  4. It's time to put some pressure on FIFA to move the 2022 World Cup before the slave labor builds all the stadiums.

    Posted by: Craig | Oct 7, 2013 5:44:14 PM

  5. thoughts exactly...why would anyone want to visit a country where you are a considered a criminal upon entering?

    Posted by: myackie | Oct 7, 2013 5:45:02 PM

  6. Honestly, with all the globe to choose from, who would go to these places anyway?

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 7, 2013 5:46:33 PM

  7. Have you seen these places? Nothing but sand for miles and miles. Dirty and not on my travel plans!

    Posted by: Jaysonn | Oct 7, 2013 5:48:39 PM

  8. Wait...if they can perform a medical exam, of sorts, to prove homosexuality, that would therefore indicate that it is biologically based and the Middle Easterners must have located the "gay gene" or some other scientific proof. Doesn't that sort of contradict the religious zealots' around the world (not just in the ME), idea of being LBGT is a choice. Sucks when your own hate gets in the way of your agenda. Just Sayin'

    Posted by: Just Sayin' | Oct 7, 2013 5:54:04 PM

  9. @Stephen

    Right, don't fly Emirates and Qatar Airways too. And World Cup 2022 in Qatar? Forget about it!

    Posted by: litper | Oct 7, 2013 5:54:37 PM

  10. @ Just Sayin': they were referring to a medical "check" that might indicate homosexual activity, regardless of one's innate sexual orientation. It also apparently applies to expatriates, not visitors. Whether the "check" is an exam or simply some form they have to fill out is not clear.

    They might try an HIV test in order to make sure that they do not have to pay any of the cost of treatment - you don't let them back in in the hope that someone else picks up the tab.

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 7, 2013 6:04:09 PM

  11. But people that believe and support such actions...enter our nation freely...

    Posted by: QJ201 | Oct 7, 2013 6:09:22 PM

  12. There are a few folks that may have to travel to these countries for their job. Fortunately, if that were the case at my employer, one would be off the hook if they expressed a concern about business travel there. While it may be easy to say find another job, it may not be as quick and easy.

    Posted by: AngelaChanning | Oct 7, 2013 6:12:09 PM

  13. My family lives in Saudi Arabia. I travel to all of the above mentioned countries regularly and have never had anything happen to me. I was in Bahrain when the referenced 127 person party happened. That was horrible.

    I go there to visit my family and despite the comments about it being dirty and just desert, it's actually quite stunning. I have photos on my blog if you want to check it out. Some of the most beautiful beaches, oasises, and architecture in the world can be found in the GCC.

    I can't imagine how this would be enforced anyways. The immigration process through Bahrain (easier than Saudi) is simply a 1/4 sheet of paper with check boxes and a few places to put in your name and local address. The first time I went there I didn't even fill it out, just walked through and paid customs my 8 bucks or so.

    Either way, yes it's absolutely horrible, it's impossible to enforce and we shouldn't judge people or places simply by the actions of their governments. I'm out to a many Saudis and they could not care less :D


    Posted by: Justin | Oct 7, 2013 6:19:11 PM

  14. And yet we allow muslims to enter into my country because Democrats love terrorists.

    Posted by: Kev C | Oct 7, 2013 6:20:15 PM

  15. Justin, it might look pretty outside, it's still dirty inside, just like dirty minds of these sick people! Islam is not compatible with Moden society.

    Posted by: litper | Oct 7, 2013 6:23:09 PM

  16. Wow Kevin! BUSTED!! I'm a democrat and I sure do love me some terrorists! I can't believe I've been OUTED! NOW what?

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Oct 7, 2013 6:30:03 PM

  17. "Oh Honey!!! Where shall we go this year for our summer vacation? Rio? Paris? Milan? Rome? Kuwait?... Kuwait??? That's what I was thinking! Fabulous! Soak up the crude oil, marvel at their oppression, maybe get some lashing! Wonderful!"

    Who in the f*ck is going to Kuwait?

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 7, 2013 6:30:22 PM

  18. This is very serious. Even Russia has not banned gays. I just read about this on Towle. and I see everyone is prepared with anti-Islam comments.

    Posted by: GBE | Oct 7, 2013 6:31:19 PM

  19. This is mind blowing: medical care in SA and Kuwait would be as good as any on the planet. God knows those countries can afford it. So how can their pracitioners...ohforgetit.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Oct 7, 2013 6:31:41 PM

  20. How exactly does this medical test work? Seems as if they'll be turning a lot of straights away, too...

    Posted by: grench | Oct 7, 2013 6:32:01 PM

  21. come on folks.....what kind of "medical" test can determine whether someone is gay??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: Bernie | Oct 7, 2013 6:32:10 PM

  22. Maybe they'll just sneak up behind you and yell "clang clang clang!" If you reflexively say "went the trolley" then you're deported to the south of France.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Oct 7, 2013 6:32:44 PM

  23. This is bad news for size queens.

    Posted by: BD | Oct 7, 2013 6:33:35 PM

  24. This is bad news for size queens.

    Posted by: BD | Oct 7, 2013 6:33:35 PM

  25. @Gbe, anti-Islam? Islam is anti-human!

    Posted by: litper | Oct 7, 2013 6:39:31 PM

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