Kuwaiti gays ask permission to get organised

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The gay and trans community in Kuwait has approached the government requesting an official gay rights organisation.

The majority Muslim country currently does not allow such groups to exist, despite a growing number of openly gay and transgender Kuwaitis.

According to online news service, Al Arabiya, the gay rights request follows the recent Upholding Ethics report from the Kuwaiti National Council.

The report reveals $2m (£1m) has been allocated to combat the rise of homosexuality and a proposal to criminalise “cross-dressing.”

Homosexuality and transvestism are currently prohibited in Kuwait, but this is considered a crime of morality and is rarely enforced by law.

The proposed amendment to the penal code would make transvestism punishable by a 1000 dinars (£1,780) fine or a jail sentence.

The oil-rich country of three million people was invaded by Saddam Hussein in 1991, sparking the first Gulf War.

It is relatively liberal and democratic compared to its Muslim neighbours. It has an elected national council and women gained the right to vote in 2006.

However, homosexuality between men is punishable with imprisonment for up to ten years.

People entering Kuwait must prove they are not HIV positive and the “publication and distribution of any writing or images that are immoral” is against the law.