Saudi Arabia to ban gays from schools
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will soon ban the entry of “gay and tomboy students” from its government schools and universities, according to local media reports, in an apparent response to websites that promote gay rights and homosexuality.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, considered the country’s most-feared law enforcement authority, will be tasked with enforcing the new orders, Sharq Arabic-language newspaper reported earlier this week.
“Instructions have been issued to all public schools and universities to ban the entry of gays and tom boys and to intensify their efforts to fight this phenomenon, which has been promoted by some websites,” the newspaper reported.
It is unclear as to where the orders were issued from, however the newspaper stated that it came from a “high level” in an attempt to combat “unacceptable behaviour” in public places.
The report suggests gay students will be allowed to resume their studies if they can prove that they have "corrected" their ways.
Most children of guest workers and other foreigners in Saudi Arabia go to international private schools which will not be covered by the ban.
The Saudi government follows Shari’ah law, which strictly prohibits the open display of homosexual behaviour and is punishable by the death penalty. Other penalties include fines, imprisonment and whipping.
In 2010, the Saudi government banned the recruitment of all LGBT foreign workers after sending a memo to recruitment agencies in countries where many guest workers originate from, such as the Philippines and India, calling on them to be stricter in their screening processes.
“Officials of recruitment agencies who are responsible in conducting interviews of job applicants to Saudi Arabia are strongly advised to screen them thoroughly so that those belonging to the third sex are excluded,” the memo read.