LGBT rights in Kuwait

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LGBT rights in Kuwait Kuwait
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Male illegal
Female legal
Jail time up to 10 Years
Gender identity/expression Transsexual persons not allowed to change legal gender
Cross-dressing illegal
Family rights

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Kuwait may face challenges not experienced by non-LGBT Kuwaitis. Adult and consensual sexual acts between women are legal in Kuwait; however, male homosexual conduct is illegal.[1] Kuwaiti law does not recognize same-sex marriages.

Laws on homosexuality[edit]

  • Article 193 of the Penal Code punishes homosexuality between men, over the age of 21, with up to six years imprisonment.[2] If the conduct involves persons under the age of 21, then imprisonment can be for a maximum of ten years.[3]
  • Article 198 prohibits "imitating the appearance of a member of the opposite sex" with fines and or imprisonment [Human Rights Watch 17 January 2008].
  • Adult and consensual sexual acts between women is legal in Kuwait.[1]

In February 2005 police charged a group of 28 alleged homosexuals with creating a public disturbance after they met outside a fast-food restaurant. On 27 October, police raided a party where homosexuals were allegedly celebrating a wedding.[4]

Laws against homosexuality in media[edit]

First enacted in 1961, the national law has several regulations that are used against LGBT themes.

  • Article 26 bans the, "publication that violates public morality or persons' dignity or personal freedom...".[5]
  • Article 37 gives the Office of Printing and Publications the power to ban the importation of publications that will harm "public morals" or the "sanctity of religions".[5]

In 2000, the Kuwaiti appeals court overturned the lowers court's criminal convictions against two female authors, whose books had touched upon homosexuality, but upheld the fines.[5]

Gender identity/expression[edit]

Before 2008, cross-dressing was legal in Kuwait. In 2008, cross-dressing in public became illegal.

In 2003, Kuwait's Civil Bench of the Court of First Instance dismissed the case of a 25-year-old woman who wanted to change her name on official documents after undergoing a sex-change operation in Thailand.[6] Although a year later, subsequent reports stated that it is possible for transgender persons in Kuwait to have their documents changed to reflect their surgery, provided that sufficient evidence exists that the person suffers from a rare medical condition.[7]

LGBT rights movement in Kuwait[edit]

In 2007, the Al Arabiya news service reported that a group of Kuwaitis had applied for a permit to form a new association that would stand up for the rights of LGBT Kuwaitis. All such interest groups or clubs have to be approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which has not formally replied.[4]

HIV/AIDS issues[edit]

In 1988, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Public Health published a report on HIV infections in Kuwait,[8] especially the person's nationality, marital status and sexual orientation. In 2004 a United Nations report on HIV in Kuwait found that about six percent of known transmission cases were the result of unprotected sexual contact between men.[9]

In 1992, the Kuwaiti national assembly outlawed the knowing transmission of HIV to another person.[3]

Abuse of transgender people[edit]

US human rights report of Kuwait says that security forces have harassed, detained and sexually abused transgender person along with many other asians and non-gulf arabs.[10]

Living conditions[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal No
Equal age of consent No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriage(s) No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military No
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No

See also[edit]