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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blues for a Saturday Night

Tonight's selection - St James' Infirmary Blues, sung by Cab Calloway in a surreal 1933 Betty Boop cartoon "Snow White"

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Persian Gulf states to use medical exams to bar gay visitors

I wonder if JLo, Pitbull, Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber will step up and cancel any future appearances in Dubai now that the United Arab Emirates and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have announced plans to submit visitors to the Gulf countries (Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) to medical examinations aimed at keeping out gay visitors:
The routine clinical screening of expatriates coming into the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) might be also used to “detect” homosexuals, a senior Kuwaiti official has said.

A central committee tasked with the status of expatriates will look into the proposal when it convenes on November 11, Yousuf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, has said.

“Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries,” he said. “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,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Rai on Monday.

Homosexual acts are banned in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the GCC member countries.

In Bahrain, lawmakers, wary of the growing number of gays coming into the country, had pushed for a crackdown, including the adoption of tougher immigration measures and prompt deportations.

In 2011, Bahrain arrested 127 people, mainly gays from the Gulf countries, for holding a “depraved and decadent” party. The revellers hired a sports hall in Hidd, a conservative village on Muharraq island in the north of Bahrain, and organised a fee-paying party that brought together gay men from the Arabian Gulf countries. Most of the attendees were between 18 and 30 years old and one Lebanese and one Syrian were among those arrested following the police bust. 
I know I sound like a broken record on this subject, but once again here's a suggestion for Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and their cheerleader John Greyson, the celebrity Canadian gay leftist recently released from Egyptian jail: stop wasting everyone's time protesting the only country in the Middle East where gays live freely and openly, and make some noise about places like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states where oppression of gays is real and dangerous. By the way, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Ottawa is at 201 Sussex Drive, just a short walk from Parliament Hill. Go and protest there - I dare you.