Kuwait says new airport scanners will detect gay travellers..?

By David Flynn, October 10 2013

UPDATE | According to a detailed analysis in The Paper Bird, the original report is not about security scanners detecting homosexuals but medical examinations to detect transexuals. Maybe we should change our featured photo to Dr Frank N. Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show..?

PREVIOUS | Never mind detecting terrorists and smugglers – Kuwait reckons it's found a way for airport security checkpoints to identify gay travellers and prevent them from entering the country.

According to Gulf News, the scientific breakthrough has been revealed by Kuwait's public health director, who says the new technology to detect homosexuality will be rolled out at international airports at Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

"The routine clinical screening of expatriates coming into the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) might be also used to 'detect' homosexuals" Gulf News claims, with Yousuf Mindkar, director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, reportedly explaining that "health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries."

“However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states.”

Homosexual acts are banned in all GCC member countries, with penalties ranging from up to 10 years jail in Kuwait to the death sentence in Saudi Arabia.

PS No, we actually don't believe that Kuwai has built the ultimate 'gaydar' machine. But it's good for a giggle, right?

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

This is appaling! Can we introduce 'scanning' technology that will not allow Kuwaiti biggots from entering Australia. 

American Airlines - AAdvantage

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 40

Will the airline be responsible for returning the traveller to their point of origin?

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

Besides the fact that such technology does not exist, the fact that this is made public and intentions to bar gays from entering seem genuine is absurd. Kuwait is actually worse than Russia with their new law preventing from gays to openly promote their sexuality in public.

This must be a joke, surely somebody did not translate the arabic properly or misinterpret the Director of public Health? If it is really true this is a sad day for humanity and will definitely spark up debates on numerous topics.

21 May 2013

Total posts 7

This is true, I have read the Arabic article in AlRai and can assure you that someone did a horrible job translating (and adding) content.

The director does make a bold (and rather foolish) statement about the need for regulations to prevent transexuals from obtaining long term residencies in the country. He mentions that the residency application process currently requires medical screening and this could be incorporated into it. 

What he doesn't mention at all, however, is: airport screening, homosexuality, technology, or any of the countries listed above.

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

Thanks for providing some clarification jalmulla. Although I don't agree with preventing certain groups of society not being able to get a fair chance to obtain PR due to gender, I can somewhat understand this statement from a religios belive (albeit also finding it a foolish statement as yourself and probably a personal preference rather than a government policy). Happy to hear that the screening at airports is not in play at all.

Puzzled however how this news went around the world, I checked and as David said it has been widely reported (UK Daily telegraph had an article for instance). I hope the Kuwat government will launch a PR campaign to rectify (as should media if proven that the interview was taken out of context)

21 May 2013

Total posts 7

I am baffled too. Apparently all those articles rely on one source (probably Gulfnews) as an easy interpretation to the Arabic article in AlRai. Unfortunately, the same mistakes are found there, too. Also, the article only mentions the director's statements briefly then goes on to descibe miscellaneous events and rules pertaining to gays in the region. I guess many of these papers chose to include those details as something the director said (it's tempting). 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

I wonder if the UAE knows that Kuwait has bundled  them into this as well? While laws and customs of countries should be adhered to, the UAE would be well aware that banning gay people from entering the country would be a PR disaster, cause a decrease of traffic through DXB (both from gay people and gay supporters) and cause quite a few cabin crew from EY and EK (among other airlines) to leave the country.

And what about airlines that fly there, they would then have to tell gay crew that they aren't able to operate to the UAE. Can you imagine the backlash in Australia, UK, the Netherlands etc if QF/VA/BA/KL a) asked their staff if they are gay and b)  then told them they couldn't work those flights anymore?

09 Nov 2011

Total posts 88

OMG - It would be intersting to know what they actually look for. Kuwait may want to take some time to recognise the GAY members of the armed allied forces of the world that helped save their asses during the Gulf Wars. - Trust me, there were many. This is another reason why I refuse to travel Emirates, Etihad or Qatar from Australia to Europe.

21 May 2013

Total posts 7

While I disagree with what the director has to say about "granting residency for transexuals", most of what is mentioned here is nowhere to be found in the original article published by AlRai. Where did you get this information, David? 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

Widely reported on wires such as UPI and citations in an article from Gulf News.

21 May 2013

Total posts 7

Thank you for your response, David.

I can see where you come from and have read both of the articles you've provided. Hovever, I still believe something went terribly wrong somewhere between AlRai and Gulfnews. I am actually pretty surprised to see such a bad translation make it to Gulfnews assuming anyone there speaks Arabic.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

I just ran the original through Google Translate and you're right, it's different content. I've also checked the  GulfNews story and this no longer cites the 'original' one, but is now written as a stand-alone piece. I've updated the article to reflect that.

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

Google translate actually translated the content correctly when you tried?? Shocking!!! I actually thought this story came into the "Western" world due to somebody using Google translate ;-)

qantas

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 113

maybe its to detect the obvious sexual devices we carry on ourselves - whips/chains/dildos - or perhaps the deformed hips we get from mincing?

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 110

why bother to visit Kuwait? Or many of those other Middle Eastern countires- Oman I can understand being a tourist destination - Iran/Iraq great to visit but  way to fundamentalist!!  what is there to see or do??? Just visit Israel - I cant get enough of Israel  started going 2 x yearly - Im not Jewish -  everything you could hope for - sea,surf,wine,wineries,city holidays, dead sea, spiritual/religious tourism and  the most amazing history - museums esp Israel Museum to die to visit!   Oh and btw gays are well received and treated very nicely  - no death sentence here!!!!  Oh I dont think the AU govt would say anything of import to any of the ME countries because they have opened all doors for migration of wealthy people from Middle East and Asia  - some countries maintain good border/immigration control yet still accept true refugees  -eg Greece,Israel, Switzerland

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 2

"PS No, we actually don't believe that Kuwai has built the ultimate 'gaydar' machine. But it's good for a giggle, right?"

It may seem ludicrous - but we really can't afford to be flipant about, or accept the premise behind this. It's not "good for a giggle"..

AlG
AlG

04 Nov 2010

Total posts 674

Have a bit of a sense of humour, Ononion, it's laughable that any country would think they have created this, just like the Afircan guy a few months back who said he had scientifcally proven that homosexuality was un-natural (I think he was using magnets as his 'proof').

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jul 2012

Total posts 9

This is more suited to an April 1st story.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jul 2013

Total posts 17

Does that mean their gay citizens can not be let into the country after a trip abroad? Silly me, I forgot Arab countries do not have gay citizens and homosexuality is rife. Ha,  Ha. I know  this because I have worked in an Arab state. 


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