October 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Kuwaiti government plans test to ban gays
Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwaiti, gay news, Washington Blade

Kuwait City skyline. (Photo by Deepak; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

NEW YORK — In an interview with a local newspaper, an official of the Kuwaiti Health Ministry said his government is developing a medical test to detect gays and lesbians so they cannot enter the country and others in the region, Newsweek reports.

“Health centers conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the (Gulf Cooperation 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,” the Kuwaiti health official said to the newspaper Al Rai in a quote shared in the Newsweek report.

He said the proposal would be considered in November. Medical experts say blood tests for sex chromosomes can determine if someone was born male or female, but no test is known to authoritatively test for sexual orientation, the Newsweek article said.

All the GCC member countries, including Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, ban homosexual acts. Globally, 78 countries ban homosexuality, with lesbianism singled out in 49 of those. In Saudi Arabia convicted gays and lesbians face the death penalty as they do in Iran, Sudan, Yemen and the West African nation Mauritania. In practice, most Saudi Arabian violators get prison time, whippings and fines, Newsweek reported.

Kuwait has a history of punishing homosexuality harshly. It carries a penalty there of seven years in prison. In May, several media outlets reported the arrest of 215 gay men and lesbians after a nationwide police investigation, Newsweek reported.

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