Kuwaiti police officers arrested two men for allegedly engaging in ‘homosexual acts’, in a car at a cafe’s parking lot in Kuwait city.
The men were reported to have been acting ‘romantically’ in a car parked outside a café in the neighbourhood of Sulaibikhat of Kuwait city, when a police patrol caught them in the ‘homosexual act’.
The report appeared yesterday (5 September) in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan and is written in highly homophobic, inflammatory and derogatory language, intentionally mocking the two men.
The report also mentioned that the police found the men had a four-year-old ‘marriage contract’ .
The couple were said to have planned to travel and obtain a legal marriage certificate in an unspecified European country which allows same-sex marriages.
According to Kuwaiti and Arab LGBT activists who spoke with GSN regarding the gay couple, this may refer to a common practice among Arabian Gulf gay couples, whereby the men write and sign a contract of commitment, which each keeps (often in their wallets) as a token of love and commitment.
Speaking with GSN, a Kuwaiti transgender activist said that if this document was indeed ‘found by the police, then it may make things much worse for the couple in terms of a possible legal case against them.’
GSN could not verify the information reported by Al-Watan.
The two were arrested are said to be held in a police station until legal proceedings will be brought against them for engaging in same-sex acts.
Article 193 of the penal code punishes homosexuality between men, over the age of 21, with up to seven years imprisonment. If the conduct involves persons under the age of 21, then imprisonment can be for a maximum of 10 years.
The Kuwaiti transgender activist also told GSN that ‘while many countries and cultures are going forward in legal and social acceptance of their LGBT communities, Kuwait is going backwards.
‘Our country is regressing both legally and socially, sexual orientation and gender identity is increasingly talked about by politicians and the media as an “epidemic” that the country must get rid of.’
The Kuwaiti activist is very concerned the two will receive a particularly harsh sentence.
In May this year the Emir of Kuwait blocked a constitutional amendment to article 79 as to make Sharia ‘the only source’ of legislation rather than a major or main source as it is now.
Nevertheless Kuwaiti Islamists MPs have vowed that they will not desist and continue with pressures for constitutional amendments.
On 24 April MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi, a member of the parliamentary committee on tackling ‘practices alien to Kuwaiti society’, proposed to set up a ‘rehab center’ to ‘treat negative phenomena alien to Kuwaiti society.’ Al-Damkhi explained that such a facility is needed ‘in light of the occasional spread of negative phenomena alien to our Kuwaiti society.’
He suggested that the center would aim ‘to promote noble values amongst Kuwaiti youth, who are the future of the country; to fight what affects the moral values of the society; and to encourage the youth to be involved in fields that serve the nation’.