After a Kuwaiti official said the country may start using routine health screenings to detect homosexuality in expatriates seeking entry, Kuwaiti authorities announced their intention to increase enforcement of anti-gay legislation in both Kuwait and the Gulf countries.
For starters, Kuwaiti authorities are planning to propose a law mandating that foreign workers seeking to enter all Gulf states be required to pass a sexual orientation examination in addition to the standard medical examination.
Those found to be homosexual would be denied entry, according to a report by MEMRI.
Amnesty International condemned the proposal, urging Kuwait and the Gulf states to refrain from passing discriminatory legislation.
The Kuwaiti press also criticized the proposal, through parliamentarians were said to support it.
“The decision to prevent homosexuals from entering is good, and helps eliminate foreign phenomena in our society,” MEMRI quoted Kuwaiti MP Hussein Qawi’an as saying.
Another MP, Khalil al-Saleh, reportedly described the proposal as “preserving moral values and setting a boundary for this phenomenon, which is unacceptable in most societies.”
He added that the move did not limit personal liberty, but enforced moral and cultural norms.
A third parliamentarian, Sa’ud al-Hariji, said the proposal was “a sharia duty,” while a fourth, Hamoud al-Hamdan, said it protected Gulf societies against diseases brought by foreign workers who engage in “immoral practices.”
In Kuwait, convicted homosexuals under 21 may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. In August, the Kuwaiti parliament appointed a special committee to discuss “negative social phenomena,” chiefly homosexuality, which was described as “a sick phenomenon” that requires treatment, supervision, and even punishment.