If you have been keeping up with international news you just might have seen the little tidbits offered about Kuwait implementing “gaydar” to keep LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, and Transgender) out of their country. Other countries in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Countries) that include Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates already deem homosexual acts as unlawful. Health centers conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries. However, they are taking stricter measures that will help them detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states. And did you know that It’s illegal to be gay in 78 countries, with lesbianism banned in 49. Five countries mete out the death penalty to gay people, those being Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Mauritania.
- Iran: Since 1979, the government has executed more than 4,000 people charged with homosexual acts. A non-adult who engages in consensual sodomy is subject to a punishment of 74 lashes.
- Saudi Arabia: Although the maximum punishment for homosexuality is execution, the government tends to use other punishments – such as fines, prison sentences, and whipping – unless it feels that homosexuals have challenged state authority by engaging in social movements.
- Sudan: For homosexual men, lashes are given for the first offence, with the death penalty following the third offence. 100 lashes are given to unmarried women who engage in homosexual acts. For lesbian women, stoning and thousands of lashes are the penalty for the first offence.
- Yemen: Homosexuality is still illegal in Yemen in accordance to the country’s Shari’a legal system. Punishment ranges from flogging to death.
- Mauritania: The Shari’a law applies in Mauritania. The penal code states that, since 1983, any adult Muslim caught engaging in an ‘unnatural act’ with a member of the same sex is punishable with the death sentence by public stoning.
This warped plan comes from Kuwait’s director of public health, Yousuf Mindkar. The clinical screens are meant to make sure the foreigners entering the Arab countries are healthy. But Mindkar wants to use them as an opportunity to crack down harder on what’s been seen as a troublesome rise in the country’s gay population. Theoretically, the health officials in Kuwait could distil this practice and other similar research findings into a science-inspired gay detection screening process. But the accuracy rate would be far from proficient, and leaps and bounds away from the level of proof sufficient to ban someone from entering the country. We don’t even have to look to the East for examples of homophobic immigration law. For 22 years the United States tried to screen out HIV-positive foreigners which could be considered a form of gay discrimination. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s gaydar plan is set to be debated at the Gulf Cooperation Countries committee meeting next month. It will be interesting to see if the committee gives the proposal the green light, and even more interesting to find out how Mindkar proposes to pull it off. Unfortunately, wherever the gay detector falls in the spectrum between asking someone if they like sports or analyzing their facial width-to-height ratio, it won’t be the first time history has used soft science to justify a kind of witch hunt rooted in fear and hatred. And those never ended very well in the past.
Everything I have read about or seen on the television about Kuwait and the GCC using supposed scientific tests to ban people from entering one of the countries has sent red flags right up my WTF flag pole. As a serving member of the United States Air Force (active duty) I was stationed in the Gulf region in the country of Kuwait as well as visiting Bahrain for r & r. As an American, used to American culture, I witness first hand, what appeared to me, as unethical treatment to human beings. That’s not seeing things as only a foreigner to the county but as a human being. Who gives a flying fuck what a person’s sexual orientation or their sexual preference is. I wonder why we haven’t seen any WBC (Westboro Baptist Church) support for Kuwait and the GCC. Maybe the WBC has been banned from those countries as well. Neither here nor there, it just seems like there are countries who wish to alienate themselves from others in the world. I would think this would affect their income from international travels no matter their orientation. Anyway, just wanted to pass on some international bullshit news that struck me as worthy to put here.
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