A medical test being developed by Kuwait will be used to ‘detect’ homosexuals and prevent them from entering the country – or any of the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), according to a Kuwaiti government official.
GCC member countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – already deem homosexual acts unlawful.
This controversial stance is being toughened, according to Yousouf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry.
He told Kuwait newspaper Al Rai:
‘Health centres 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 be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states.’
Richard Lane, from gay rights campaign group Stonewall, said:
‘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.’
Those taking part in homosexual acts in Kuwait, if they’re under 21, can receive a jail sentence of up to 10 years.
It’s illegal to be gay in 78 countries, with lesbianism banned in 49. Five countries mete out the death penalty to gay people – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Mauritania.