Kuwait’s foreign ministry summoned a senior US diplomat on Thursday after the American embassy sent a series of tweets marking Pride Month.
June is Pride Month, dedicated to the celebration of LGBT+ culture, history and activism. Traditionally, Pride Month has been marked by worldwide parades and lively performances to celebrate gay, lesbian, and trans culture. It reflects the ongoing fight against discrimination and injustice towards the LGBT+ community.
The US Embassy in Kuwait on Thursday tweeted a rainbow flag and president Joe Biden’s message of solidarity.
“All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love,” read the tweets published in English and Arabic.
“[President of the US] is a champion for the human rights of LGBTQI persons.”
Homosexuality is punishable by law in a number of majority-Muslim countries, including Kuwait. It is one of the 69 countries in the world criminalising homosexual relationships and where these could invite a prison term of up to seven years.
Hours later, Kuwait said it handed the US charge d’affaires James Holtsnider a memorandum rejecting the published tweets. It also demanded the embassy to respect the laws and regulations in force in the country and “not to publish such tweets”.
The tweet drew widespread backlash from Kuwaiti politicians and residents who upheld Fascist view as they condemned the embassy.
“The behaviour of the American embassy is unacceptable,” said parliamentarian Osama al-Shaheen. “Foreign embassies must respect the public order of Kuwait and its official religion.”
“This is a lack of manners from the embassy, a blatant interference in the internal affairs of the state, disrespect for the laws of the state and contempt for the religion of Islam,” wrote another user.
Additional reporting by agencies