An LGBT Group in Saudi Claims to Have Authorities' Blessings but Faces Fury Online

Published December 5th, 2019 - 07:16 GMT
Rami Khoury/ Al Bawaba
Rami Khoury/ Al Bawaba

A wave of anger spread on Saudi social media after an LGBT organization, مختلف  (Different), claimed to have received an official permit to operate legally in the conservative Kingdom. 

Translation: “It's official, the first LGBT rights group was approved in Saudi Arabia. The organization supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer people in the Kingdom."

The organization states that it supports people who are gay, lesbian, transexual, transgender, queer, asexual, bisexual and all other members of the LGBT community.

Translation: “The organization got its official recognition on the 22nd of November, 2019. What do you think about making this date an annual day for celebrating the organization? 

The announcement has sparked widespread outrage among conservative Saudis, who were tormented the official Twitter page of the organization with harsh comments.

Translation: “You should change your organization’s name to ‘mentally ill’ instead of ‘different`.''

Translation: “Biggest organization for people who are going to hell.”

Translation: “An LGBT group in Saudi Arabia? This is impossible.”

Meanwhile, some LGBT activists expressed support for the community. 

Translation: “Great news. This means we’re going forward, I hope there will be a time where everyone is accepted and we all live in harmony.”

Translation: “This fills my heart with joy.”

Translation: “Congratulations.” 

Saudi officials have not issued any clarification of the licensing of the organization yet, which raises doubts towards the legitimacy of the group's operation in the Kingdom.

Whether the account is in fact official or simply an independent support group, it's quite remarkable considering the fact that homosexuality is punishable by death in the Islamic Kingdom.


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