Bahrain, Middle East

The Kingdom of Bahrain is an island microstate in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is known as one of the more tolerant Muslim nations in the Middle East, and has recently undergone a period of political liberalization. However, homosexuality remains a crime, and the government has periodically deported expatriates living in the nation for their sexual orientation. Homosexuality has been considered illegal in Bahrain since 1956 when, as part of the British Empire, it was given the Indian Penal Code. Article 377 of this code made "unnatural sexual behaviour" a crime punishable with imprisonment not to exceed ten years, or deportation for twenty years of a fine. The law remains in effect today, and seems also to apply to cases of adultery. However, the law seems to be rarely enforced. The subject of homosexuality in Bahrain is rarely discussed in the newspapers, although it is not a forbidden topic.

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Bahrain Country Photos

| January 31st, 2012 | Comments Off on Bahrain Country Photos
Bahrain-financial-trouble-behind-calm-facade photo:

Bahrain has a reputation as a relatively liberal and modern Persian Gulf. The government  has encouraged tourism development which is a significant source of income. Despite a recent period of political liberalization including some changes in the criminal code, in 2011 during the ‘Arab Spring’ major protests against government policies led to massive street protests. The law is silent on private, non-commercial sexual acts between consenting adults. The law therefore allows homosexuality and it is not criminalized in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Traditional religious mores view homosexuality and cross-dressing as signs of immorality, which may impact how the legal system deals with LGBT-rights. Law enforcement agents and the courts have broad discretionary powers to issue fines and or jail time for any activities deemed to be in violation of traditional morality.  

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On Bahrain, Freedom, Revolution and LGBT Rights

| April 4th, 2011 | Comments Off on On Bahrain, Freedom, Revolution and LGBT Rights

An Interview with Jasmin – a Shi’a and Gay Man An extended and updated version of an interview done on GayCityNews by Dan Littauer Gay Middle Editor April 4, 2011 As the tiny Persian Gulf archipelago kingdom of Bahrain enters its second month of widespread protests — with clashes on March 13 resulting in more than 1,000 being hospitalized and news that the government has brought in troops from neighbouring Saudi Arabia — a young gay Bahraini blogger offers insight into the sources of discontent there as well as alternative visions the demonstrators harbor. In a series of email exchanges, Jasim (not his real name), a 24-year-old man who identifies as both Shi’a and gay, reflected on the economic inequalities at the root of Bahraini discontent — conditions that, fuelled as well by the events in Tunisia and Egypt, have overwhelmed the traditional ruling elites’ effort to divide the

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