Kuwait Hub

Kuwait's 'Gay Tests' Not A Gay Issue?

Kuwait National Assembly

Amidst growing concerns over a Kuwaiti official's recent comments that Kuwait "will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] member states,” and a subsequent call for a boycott of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar (a GCC member state) in response to this latest anti-gay regulation, the author over at the blog "a paper bird" has argued this anti-gay law is actually focused more on combating migrant labor and enforcing established "gender norms." Among other observations, the author suggests that, due to mistranslations among other things, what Kuwaiti medical officials will be screening for in the workers it would apply to is not evidence of gay sex, but rather determining what a person's biological gender is and if he or she is adhering to the societal norms associated with that gender:

While police abuse of transgender-identified women has been especially violent and brutal, [my colleague Rasha Moumneh] stresses that the law does not just single out a “transgender” identity, much less “gay” sex, but rather targets anybody who doesn’t follow gender norms. It’s easiest for police to pick out biological men who are overtly wearing women’s clothing – but all men seen as effeminate, or women seen as butch, are potential victims.

The whole piece is worth reading and helps paint the larger picture about this proposal, including how it would affect everyone hoping to be employed in the region, including LGBT people.

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.

Watch: Epic Sand Storm Swallows Kuwait


In the late afternoon of March 25, a major sand/dust storm turned the sunset to complete darkness in a matter of minutes. Amazing.


Continue reading "Watch: Epic Sand Storm Swallows Kuwait" »

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Egypt Targets Gays in Effort to Out-Moralize Islamists

Arrests and abuse of gays have become commonplace in Egypt. Similar crackdowns are happening in Kuwait and Morocco (and likely plenty of other places) as well:

Cairo"For three months, the Egyptian police have embarked on periodic sweeps of streets in central Cairo to clear them of presumed homosexuals. The raids, independent observers and human rights activists say, reflect not simply official disgust. They're part of an effort by governments throughout the Middle East to out-moralize Islamic parties that have denounced the perceived depravity of Arab societies under autocratic rule. Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, though it is a convenient target, said Hani Shukrallah, executive director of the Heikal Foundation for Arab Journalism in Cairo. 'Meaningless crackdowns have become a regular thing,' Shukrullah said. 'If not gays, devil worshippers. If not devil worshippers, apostates. The government needs to outbid Islamic opponents as guardian of morals.'"

Those who follow this site will remember the post about Egyptians being arrested for being HIV-positive and the tortured they endured. You see, torture and abuse are considered of higher morality than love for another person if that person happens to be of the same gender.

Gays in Egypt besieged by wave of suppression [iht]


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