GCC eyes medical test to detect homosexuality – official

Kuwaiti official said the measure would be to prevent gay tourists and expats from entering the region
By Staff writer
Tue 08 Oct 2013 10:39 AM

Gulf countries could seek to bar entry to all homosexual tourists and expats, a senior Kuwaiti government official claimed, adding that medical tests could be introduced to detect these individuals.

Speaking to an Arabic language newspaper, the director of public health at Kuwait’s Ministry of Health Yousuf Mindkar said that a central committee will be set up to investigate the proposal when it convenes next month.

He claimed that the measure could also be introduced in all GCC states.

“Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries,” he was quoted as saying by 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.”

Homosexual behaviour is currently illegal in all GCC states and much of the Arab world.

Last month, the government of Oman sued the editor of a weekly tabloid and suspended it from publication after it ran a story about gays in the Gulf Arab state.

The Week's publisher Saleh Zakwani said the Ministry of Information had told him not to publish the September 5 issue, but it was not clear how long the suspension was for.

"No harm was intended by the story," he told Reuters.

The article in The Week, which distributes 51,000 copies in the Gulf sultanate, suggested that Oman was more tolerant about people's sexuality than other Gulf states.

The article was denounced across online social networks in Oman and the newspaper was forced to apologise.

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