LGBT rights in Kuwait

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StatusIllegal: Islamic Sharia Law is applied
Not specifically outlawed, but prosecuted under the "debauchery" law with jail time up to 6 years

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Kuwait face challenges not experienced by non-LGBT Kuwaitis. Homosexuality is not specifically outlawed but gay people can be prosecuted under the "debauchery" law.


The penal code contains some general provisions against debauchery and immorality that can be used to punish LGBT people.

  • Article 193 of the Penal Code punishes debauchery (which is interpreted by the courts to mean male homosexuality) with up to six years' imprisonment.
  • Article 198 prohibits public immorality. In 2008, the law was expanded to also outlaw "imitating the appearance of a member of the opposite sex" with fines and or imprisonment.[1]

HIV/AIDS issues[edit]

In 1988, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Public Health published a report on HIV infections in Kuwait,[2] 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.[3]

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

Foreigners found to be infected with AIDS/HIV are deported, but Kuwaiti citizens who are infected are entitled to out patient medical care, organized by a specialized infectious disease hospital.

LGBT rights movement in Kuwait[edit]

No known association or charity exists in Kuwait to campaign for LGBT rights or organize educational and social events for the LGBT community.

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 never formally replied.

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal No (Penalty: Fine or up to 6 years Imprisonment)
Equal age of consent No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only 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 marriages 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
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "A survey for unrecognized HIV infection in a special STD clinic in Kuwait". Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  3. ^ (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on July 3, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)