Kuwaiti Gaydar Test to Ban Gays Entry to Arab Countries?

gay-arab-man-gcc-gaydar Circling around the news is something that may violate human rights in the Middle East, pointing out just how bad it might be for gays living in these countries: some Arab states are looking to develop a “gay” test to bar gay travellers from entry. It is illegal to be gay in 78 countries around the world, but in five countries –– three of which are in the Middle East (Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen) –– it is punishable by death.

There are no clear scientific guidelines on how Kuwait, the country to come up with the idea, will in fact use and meter out the test proposed for a number of interested countries.

But the intended test is for entry to Kuwait or any of the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC). The GCC includes of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Yousouf Mindkar, director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, said that the routine clinical screening of expatriates coming into the GCC will include tests to identify LGBT people who will then be banned from entering the country.

Mindkar says he has the technology to “detect” gays and prevent them from coming across the GCC borders. The plan will emerge in all its detail on November 11 when the Gulf Cooperation Countries committee convene.

“Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries,” he told local daily Al Rai. “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.”

We can presume that this proposed “gaydar” test is meant to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases from entering those conservative states and countries? Some gay “scenes” may also be associated with illicit activities that detract marry-able people from getting married and having kids. But straight people can act just as naughty!

We have received a personal email recently from an Indian national denied entry into the UAE for suspected TB scars. This lawyer accused the UAE of gross human rights violations.

While it is important for countries to try and keep communicable diseases in check (think about the MERS virus), diseases that “gays” get actually affect all humans.

Any ideas on what kind of factors would be included in the gay test? Will it be a lie detector, some hair-brained blood test or a the way a guy or girl talks or walks?

I suggest these same countries start working on testing air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, human rights standards at home, marine effluents and general poisons going into the environment.

Gays, at least the ones I know, are usually progressive thinkers in these areas: they are often the first to fight for the unjust when it comes to human and animal rights. They are among the world’s best artists and lead the way in veganism.

Meanwhile, gay travellers can find a very warm welcome in Tel Aviv, Israel, and while it is frowned upon in Turkey, gay travellers reportedly do not have problems there. I met a gay male traveller when I was staying in the Kasbah du Toubkal in Morocco though he was single at the time. But he seemed pretty at ease with being in Morocco.It seems to be hard, by these accounts, to be gay in Cairo. Dubai seems pretty friendly by far out of all Middle Eastern Arabian cities.

Oh, and if we have enough problems on our hands wondering if the FIFA 2020 World Cup should be in Qatar’s winter or summer, people from the LGBT in the UK are proposing an outright boycott.

I think some input and dialogue from locals who live in the GCC is worth considering before big boycotts are discussed.

My mom told me about a time when she travelled to Florida when it was illegal for blacks to be on certain buses and beaches there, and that was only about 40 years ago. Why am I saying this? The Gulf countries may need a little time catching up to what the western world thinks about sexuality and how one should choose to celebrate their personal choices.

Instead of a boycott, how about some (green) travel to the GCC  countries to support the gay men and women there? Come November, see if you can pass the test.

Image of sexy man from Shutterstock

7 thoughts on “Kuwaiti Gaydar Test to Ban Gays Entry to Arab Countries?

  1. LebaneseGuy

    Hello everybody,
    I was really entertained by reading this article and all of your comments.
    entertained… yeah maybe, but also hurt… hurt to know that we are still that far away in our region from understanding the true meaning of a sustainable society… we as a society would like to continue hiding from reality… assuming dreams and getting surprised from the most obvious circumstances… and CHOCKED!!! lol
    guys, either you like it or not either you agree or not either you are gay, bi or straight either your religion like it or does not homosexuality is a reality and it is one of the components of your and any other society. It has been since ever, it is still existent, and will continue existing for the rest of the existence of the human race.
    so you better stop fighting reality… stop fighting the creation of God… stop lying to yourself and to your people, and just adapt and respect the differences.
    and if Green Prophet is about sustainability… this is one of the most important subjects of social sustainability to talk about in our blind Arab society.

    NB: if you feel offended by this post please read it again… if you still feel offended then tell me what you think :)

    Reply
    • muhammad

      i really like ur guts and to speak the truth. wow i like ur thoughts and telling all to accept the reality.

      Reply
  2. Zaid

    So glad green ‘prophet’ is taking up these issues! This is so connected to saving our environment! I hope to soon see a post that champions the rights of consensual adults in incestuous relationships as well…after all who’s to say any love is wrong, as long as its consensual, right? lol…

    Reply
    • Karin Kloosterman Post author

      Zaid, you sound incredibly sarcastic. What’s your view on incest?

      I know that incest is broadly practiced in the Arab world where it is customary in some places, like among Israeli Christian Arabs, for first cousins to marry cousins. Very taboo in the Western world, it still happens. Incest does need to be addressed as there are loads of genetic problems passed to offspring in partnerings that result in children.

      Reply
  3. richard

    I think the test referred to is for people applying for residency visas? So visit visas should continue to be gay-inclusive :-) I suspect they have no actual technique other than basic psychology…spread the rumour the test exists and you’ll cut gay applicants by half. Or maybe the test is a question on the application form. ‘Are you, perchance Sir, a gay gentleman?’.
    At first I thought this initiative was probably driven by Islamic moral factors, but after some thought I think you’re probably right, it’s to do with AIDS. Consider that gay sex is, purportedly, practised much more commonly here, even just recreationally amongst otherwise heterosexual young men deprived of opportunities with females (sailor/prisoner-syndrome?) The old urban legend is that many young men lose their ‘ virginity’ with the Asian houseboy.
    Maybe they’re afraid of AIDS ripping through here like a Californian wildfire? Imagine the shame…

    Reply
  4. Karin Kloosterman Post author

    Human rights issues have everything to do with Green Prophet.

    I suppose I could have posted a photo of myself or any of the planet’s billions but deferred to a gay male stock photo, labeled as such at Shutterstock.

    This isn’t an easy easy issue to tackle as being gay is just really about being human. Some may argue that all of us are “gay” in small amounts, some more some less. My comment about HIV/AIDS is actually a common fear that communities worldwide have about the male gay community. HIV/AIDS is common in the male gay community in the west, and rising, due to effective anti-virals. This is not a prejudiced comment on my part, but a social and biological phenomenon due to the nature of gay sex.

    Reply
  5. Mick

    What’s with the weird posey photo?… oh of course…it’s a GAY man….. how silly of me. You’re article head image ironically steps in the same trail as the content of the story in that you can identify gay people through perceived stereotyping. As in: “Any ideas on what kind of factors would be included in the gay test? Will it be a lie detector, some hair-brained blood test or a the way a guy or girl talks or walks?”
    Poor show guys.

    Also disappointing:
    “We can presume that this proposed “gaydar” test is meant to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases from entering those conservative states and countries? ”

    You can presume what you like but this is also bare faced prejudice.

    Also:
    “While it is important for countries to try and keep communicable diseases in check (think about the MERS virus), diseases that “gays” get actually affect all humans.”

    Is an insulting and completely obvious thing to say.

    Finally:
    What does any of this have to do with the remit of Green Prophet?

    Reply

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