By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com April 16 2012 10:20 AM ET
A news report from Saudi Arabia indicates that the government has moved to ban gays and women with masculine appearances from its schools in an effort to fight the “phenomenon” of homosexuality and gender nonconformity.
Emirates 24/7 cited a report from Monday in the Arabic language newspaper, Sharq. According to that newspaper, “Instructions have been issued to all public schools and universities to ban the entry of gays and tom boys and to intensify their efforts to fight this phenomenon, which has been promoted by some websites.”
Sharq reported that the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the feared law enforcement agency, would institute the order immediately following instructions from a high-level source. It was unclear who issued the order, but gay and students may return to public schools “if they prove they have been corrected and have stopped such practices,” according to Emirates 24/7.
Homosexuality is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, which observes Shari’ah law. Pink News reports that last year, a 36-year-old British man was threatened with beheading and Saudi Arabian authorities a six-month media blackout on him after it was discovered he was gay. His may have been entrapped by religious police in retaliation for the 2010 conviction of gay prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud in the UK for murdering his assistant in a London hotel.