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Kuwait Summons U.S. Diplomat Over Pride Month Tweet That Quotes Biden

James Holtsnider
Charge d'Affaires James Holtsnider

Same-sex sexual relations are illegal in the country, and those found guilty of it face seven years in prison.

@wgacooper

Kuwait summoned top U.S. diplomat James Holtsnider on Thursday after the U.S. embassy in the country posted a tweet in support of Pride Month.

The tweet came on the second day of Pride Month and quoted President Joe Biden.

"All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love," the post read. The embassy added that the president "is a champion for the rights of #LGBTQI persons."

The Kuwaiti government responded by releasing a statement condemning the post and said it had summoned Charge d'Affaires Holtsnider over the tweet.

The statement said there was a "need for the embassy to respect the laws and regulations in force in the State of Kuwait and the obligation not to publish such tweets," according to a translation by NBC News.

Kuwaiti public officials also criticized the tweet, including an MP, who called the embassy's post "unacceptable."

In an email to The Advocate, a spokesperson from the State Department said they could not comment on diplomatic correspondence or conversations. However, they did offer a comment on LGBTQ+ rights.

"Human rights are universal. Respect for a person's human rights should never be limited based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics," the spokesperson said. The United States proudly advances efforts around the globe to protect all individuals, including LGBTQI+ persons, from violence and abuse, criminalization, discrimination, and stigma, and to empower marginalized populations and local civil society, including the LGBTQI+ community."

In February, the Kuwaiti Constitutional Court ruled that the criminalization of "imitating the opposite sex" was unconstitutional.

Same-sex sexual relations are illegal in Kuwait, according to the LGBTQ+ rights group Human Dignity Trust. Punishment for those found guilty of it can be imprisoned for seven years.

@wgacooper
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