Kuwaiti Government Deports 76 Gay Men As Part Of “Morality” Crackdown

“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards any morally objectionable activities."

The head of Kuwait’s “morals committee” announced that 76 men accused of homosexuality have been deported.

The suspects were all detained in raids on massage parlors, according to Kuwait Al Seyassah newspaper, resulting in nearly two dozens such establishments being closed.

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“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards any morally objectionable activities and we will not be lenient with anyone who breaks the rules or puts the health of Kuwaiti citizens and residents at risk,” said committee chair Mohammad Al Dhufairi.

According to reports, sex toys, women’s underwear, and make up were all seized by members of the committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Ministry of Interior.

Homosexuality is against the law in Kuwait, with those convicted facing up to six years in prison. Crossdressing was made illegal in 2008.

Authorities maintain sexual immorality is brought to the country by foreigners: In 2013, a health minister advised adding a “gay exam” to routine medical tests to prohibit gays and lesbians from entering the country. In addition, films from The Danish Girl to Beauty and the Beast have been banned because of positive LGBT depictions.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.