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3 Jun 2022

Kuwait unhappy about US Embassy flying rainbow flag for Pride month

The ambassador has been summoned.

Kuwait has summoned a top US diplomat in protest over tweets from the American embassy supporting LGBT rights, its foreign ministry says.
US officials there had posted a rainbow flag and message of solidarity from President Joe Biden for Pride month.
But Kuwait officials criticised the embassy for "supporting homosexuality" and demanded it didn't happen again.
Rights for LGBT people are severely restricted in Kuwait and it is illegal there for men to be gay.
In a pair of tweets published in English and Arabic on Thursday, the US Embassy in Kuwait quoted President Biden as saying all humans "should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love".
The post, published to mark the beginning of Pride Month, appeared with a picture of a rainbow flag symbolising LGBT rights.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
View original tweet on Twitter
Hours later, Kuwait's Foreign Ministry said it rejected what had been published and had summoned the US Charges d'Affaires James Holtsnider to hand him a memorandum condemning the posts.
According to its statement, the Foreign Ministry ordered the embassy to respect Kuwaiti laws and "not to publish such tweets".
Kuwaiti officials accused the embassy of violating international conventions requiring diplomats to "respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state".
Many conservative Kuwaiti Twitter users responded with similar outrage to the US embassy's Pride post, including MP Osama Al-Shaheen who wrote: "The behaviour of the American embassy is unacceptable."
"Foreign embassies must respect the public order of Kuwait and its official religion," he added.
Another Kuwaiti social media user accused US officials of "imposing a diseased and decadent culture on our conservative Muslim society".
Rights for LGBT people are extremely limited in socially conservative Kuwait - one of 69 countries in the world where being gay is criminalised.
According to the Gulf state's penal code, men who have same-sex relations can be punished by up to seven years in prison.
Until this year, it was a criminal offence in Kuwait to be a trans person. A court has now overturned the law as unconstitutional.
The US State Department is yet to respond from an emailed request from the BBC for comment.

Kuwait has summoned a top US diplomat in protest over Pride Month tweets from the American embassy.

US officials in Kuwait had tweeted out an image of a rainbow flag and an official Pride Month statement from US President Biden.

Kuwait officials have made a formal complaint on the basis that it is supporting homosexuality.

Kuwaiti officials accused the embassy of violating international conventions requiring diplomats to "respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state".

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Kuwait?

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Kuwait? Let’s take a look at some of the key equality indicators.

Is homosexuality legal in Kuwait?

There are no specific laws that prohibit same-sex sexual activity, but LGBTQ people are regularly prosecuted under laws against debauchery and immorality. Penalties applied can include imprisonment for up to six years.

Are there anti-discrimination protections in place for LGBTQ people in Kuwait?

No. There are no protections from discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.

Is there Marriage Equality in Kuwait?

No. There is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Kuwait?

Kuwait is a socially conservative country and homosexuality is a taboo subject.

Homophobia is systemic.

LGBTQ people conceal their sexuality.

Reader's Comments

1. 2022-06-04 01:32  
How sad for them that another country feels its good to accept all people no matter what they believe. Love is love hopefully someday these people will be more open and accepting of ALL people. We can only hope.
2. 2022-06-15 10:23
Some places take a lot longer to realize that people have individual opinions of what is acceptable in life. To be forced into having a blind belief just because a "leader" or government says so is primitive and oppressive these days. Some day these governments who claim their religion or "ideals" don't respect other's opinions will learn, but it takes time.
Religion is the poison of society!

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