Sodomy is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, but gay life flourishes there. Why it is “easier to be gay than straight” in a society where everyone, homosexual and otherwise, lives in the closet?
Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading petroleum exporter. Oil accounts for more than 90 percent of exports and nearly 75 percent of government revenues, facilitating the creation of a welfare state, which the government has found difficult to fund during periods of low oil prices. Saudi Arabia is often called one of two Energy superpowers (the other is Russia). LGBT rights in Saudi Arabia are not recognized. Homosexuality and cross-dressing are widely seen as immoral acts and are treated as serious crimes deserving of stoning, whipping, prison or execution. In recent decades there have been reports of an underground LGBT community. While the kingdom has faced criticism from human rights organizations, it insists that it is always acting in accordance with Sunni Islamic morality, particularly its Wahhabi influences. No same-sex marriage, domestic partnership or civil union has any legal standing in the nation and may be used as evidence to initiate criminal proceedings. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality
Gay Saudi Arabia 2002-04: a cautious eye finds new freedoms
Intro: Two guest authors provide much-needed and updated stories about the presence of male homosexuality in modern Saudi Arabia, without the hysteria and distortions often posted in the media. This is not to say this fundamentalist regime is ‘open’ to gay life but the stories offer a calm observation of sexuality as it happens in real life.
Saudi Arabia Country Photos
Saudi Arabia is a complex, mysterious, fundamentalist country with much wealth from vast oil fields. It boasts the most modern standards for the middle and upper classes. However the form of Islam practiced there is backward and repressive that does not allow much personal freedom of expression, especially for women. Salafism, also known as Wahabbism