By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com October 08 2013 1:10 PM ET
The Persian Gulf kingdom of Kuwait is planning to identify LGBT people through “medical screening tests” and bar them from setting foot inside the country and its neighbors, reports the International Business Times.
According to the Kuwaiti health ministry’s director of public health, Yousouf Mindkar, routine clinical screenings of those entering the Gulf Cooperation Council countries will soon include tests to detect LGBT people and keep them from entering.
“Health centers conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries," Mindkar told local newspaper Al Rai. "However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states.”
Homosexual acts are currently illegal in all GCC member states including Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, with those found guilty facing a possible jail sentence of up to 10 years if they are under 21. The GCC is a political and economic alliance encompassing those countries plus the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman.
The announcement of these tests has triggered outrage, with LGBT groups now calling for a boycott of the soccer World Cup tournament currently planned to take place in Qatar in 2022.
“FIFA now has no option but to cancel the World Cup in Qatar,” said British activist Peter Tatchell, director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, referring to the organization that runs the World Cup. “Allowing it to go ahead in these circumstances would involve FIFA colluding with homophobic discrimination. ... There is no known medical test to detect homosexuality. I wonder what quackery the Kuwaiti authorities plan to invent in their vain attempt to identify gay men. It simply won't work.”
However, a FIFA spokesperson told International Business Times the organization was not aware of the testing plan and reiterated that FIFA “is actively engaged in fighting against all kinds of discrimination within football and within society as a whole.”