Gulf Cooperation Countries to test, detect then ban gays from entering their countriesAround the World, Online Only, Top Highlights Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
In a move that is being widely criticized by international Human Rights Groups, members of the Gulf Cooperation Countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – are working on a test that they argue can detect a person’s sexuality. If all goes according to plan, these six nations will then ban the entry of gay people if the tests return positive for homosexuality.
According to Yousouf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, “Health centers conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries. However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will then be barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states.”
But Richard Lane, from the gay rights campaign group Stonewall, was far less sanguine. “These proposals are not only futile but contrary to international human rights law. Many Gulf States have gone to great lengths to market themselves as open for international business. Their leaders should think long and hard about putting forward measures to restrict freedom of movement and further prohibit the best talent from doing business in the region simply because of their sexual orientation.”
Currently homosexuality is illegal in 78 countries, five of which punish it with death. In Saudi Arabia, for homosexual men, lashes are given for the first offense, with the death penalty following the third offense. 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. In Qatar, however, homosexual acts between women are legal while those between men are illegal. In the United Arab Emirates, consensual homosexual acts are punishable by up to ten years in prison and may include chemical castration.
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