Two male sex workers received the maximum penalty of 5 years in prison followed by deportation by a judge in Bahrain after pleading guilty to homosexuality and sex work in the lower criminal court. The judge says he served the penalty as a warning that “homosexuality ruins individuals and nations.”
“For individuals, homosexuality causes bad behavior, a lack of dignity, indecency, fear, pain, suicide and weakens people’s belief in Allah,” said the judge. “For nations, it causes divine punishment, immorality, chaos, splits families and leads to less marriages and births.”
Police officers were alerted after neighbors noticed the business, which happens to operate above an institute that teaches Islam to expats. They baited the men into offering sex to a plainclothes officer.
Since 2008, Bahrain’s government has tried to rid the country of persons identifying as LGBT, with ministers demanding gay children and effeminate men leave the country.
“We have homosexual rates on the rise, with such people working in flower shops, massage parlors or barber’s salons,” said Al Menbar MP Shaikh Mohammed Khalid Mohammed in a press release.
“Sluts walk around residential neighborhoods untouched.”
The government targeted over 2,000 Filipinos as possible sex workers in 2002 and raided a gay wedding party resulting in over 100 arrests in 2011.