A tabloid website, Al-Madena News, has alleged homosexuality is spreading rapidly in Jordan and demanded the authorities clamp down on it.
The site, which means ‘City News’ in English, also alleged the authorities are ‘complacent’ about the phenomena in the article published on Saturday (7 July).
Al-Madena News (boasting 190,000 likes on Facebook) reported the former minister for social development had denied that gays applied for a license to form an official organization in Jordan.
But despite this, it alleged gays and lesbians are increasingly visible and ‘unashamedly’ demanding equality.
The article, which is not attributed to a particular writer, goes on to suggest there is a conspiracy of silence where the ‘security services and the Ministry of Interior seek to keep this truth from the public because it represents a departure from the Arab and Islamic values and Jordan’s conservative society.’
And it says that even though police previously shut some meeting places, LGBT people nevertheless gather increasingly in ordinary cafes and other public places as to not alert authorities to ‘what goes on in the shadows’.
What is most ‘striking’ and outrageous according to Al-Madena News is that through social networking gays and lesbians using fake names not only make their ‘vice’ public but now demand rights, like marriage and equality.
The site demands the authorities act to stop this growing ‘menace’.
As evidence of this apparent ‘threat to destroy society’ the article attached an email from a gay man (with his email address visible) that was sent to the portal, asking for help to meet other gays.
The article was widely read and shared on social networking sparking a debate with 222 comments.
Speaking with Gay Star News, Khalid, a model and spokesperson of Jordan’s gay magazine, My Kali, slammed the article which he labelled as ‘straight to the core homophobic’.
He added: ‘It has no base, and… it’s just an attempt at sensationalism, controversy and to incite the public against LGBT people.
‘Isn’t a publication supposed to remain neutral? It’s a personal piece without a name.’
Khalid suspects it might be related to the recent support gay and lesbian Jordanians received from the Facebook page of Amman, the country’s capital: ‘We’re not sure if it’s an attempt to incite hate seeing the support we’ve been getting lately.
‘This is not the first homophobic and unprofessional article Al-Madena News published.’
Khalid also criticises the portal for publishing the full email address of the gay man saying the email was sent in good faith: ‘That’s really unethical and shakes the credibility of the portal for revealing private emails sent confidentially by readers. That shows how unprofessional the paper is, using private emails to support homophobic calls – cheap!’
Gay sex between consenting adults in private is not illegal in Jordan but public decency laws are sometimes used against LGBT people.
Jordan has a conservative Islamic society but is slowly and gradually starting to tolerate gays and lesbians.