Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Dubai: British man jailed for three years for public gay sex

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. I don’t know for sure.. But a 3 year sentence for public gay sex doesn’t sound that much different from the sentence one might expect to be handed down for public straight sex..

    In a Muslim country like that, they should count their lucky stars they weren’t condemned to death~

    1. Three years?! No, it’s more like 6 months here or a £1000 fine.

      It sounds like they went where they thought they wouldn’t be found – which sort of responsible for a drunk person. So 3 years is excessive to me.

      But then, you have to factor in the fact that it’s a muslim country.

    2. If you had bothered to read the article you would see that the straight couple got three months while the gay couple got three years, so you are wrong.

      Yes, they were very stupid to take that risk, in light of the legal situation, but it is wrong that gay couples are treated so harshly in comparison to straight couples. I do hope an early release can be negotiated.

      1. Oh yes you’re right, Dromio..

        I couldn’t have read the article, could I.. Sorry about that~

        But still, I can’t help but feel they are lucky for not being executed..

        I wonder if there will be a huge international outcry in this case like it says there was for that straight couple who subsequently got released and deported~

    3. @Peter S

      I wasn’t sure about sentencing in Dubai for public sex (and whether it being gay sex made any difference to the penalties imposed).

      In terms of news reporting, the most recent cases I could locate where British or Australian heterosexuals were convicted of having public sex resulted in sentences ranging from non-custodial through to a maximum of 6 months. Although the Article 358 does state a minimum sentence of 6 months – that does not always seem to be imposed where expatriates are committing heterosexual acts. The jump to 3 years does seem a significant difference (some of that may be for being drunk in a public place too though, to be fair).

      In terms of a case of adultery in 2010; two foreign workers to 100 lashings and deportation for having “unlawful sex.” (out of wedlock).

      Checking UAE laws its clear that homosexuality is illegal in Dubai, punishable by 1 year in prison. A person may also face forced hormone treatments which may include chemical castration.

      1. Adultery is also a crime, and a person convicted of homosexuality may also face charges of adultery if they have a spouse while having sexual relations with a person of the same-sex.

        Article 354 of the Federal Penal Code states, “Whoever commits rape on a female or sodomy with a male shall be punished by death.” While English translations of the Arabic text are in some dispute, it is generally felt that this is a prohibition against rape, and possibly consensual sodomy. Although, Article 177 of the Penal Code of Dubai imposes imprisonment of up to 10 years on consensual sodomy.

        Its clear to me that there are reasons to suspect LGBT people convicted of similar crimes to those who are heterosexual face harsher punishments in the UAE.

        That said, and whilst I do think these laws need repealing to ensure human rights are respected; I do think its foolish to get drunk in public in the UAE. Its even more foolhardy to then have sex out of doors in UAE.

        When I have stayed over in UAE,

      2. I have always been advised that if I am going to consume alcohol – not to do so to excess, and to only do so either in my hotel or where I have a taxi to take me from where I am socialising back to my hotel.

        These guys do not deserve their sentence but they should have been aware of the culture they were in.

  2. Sorry but these men bought it upon themselves. Come on one should know local laws while traveling. The sentence would not be so harsh in the UK but it would still be a punishable offense..

    1. Lynda Yilmaz 12 Apr 2012, 1:33pm

      You are absolutely right Hassia.

    2. Keith Farrell 12 Apr 2012, 1:44pm

      Yes you are right, So what we need to do is stay the hell away from any country which does not give us equal rights or treat us the same as straight couples. Les is keep our money in the countries which gives us rights

      1. I agree completely with Keith. Here in Spain we have a saying which translates as something like you can’t complain about the stench if you choose to lie down with pigs. These murderously fascistic countries are hell-holes no civilized person should visit. I have colleagues who have worked here and we have ended up arguing because they are the same homophobic hypocrites who refused to work in apartheid South Africa but quite happily flog their skills to these barbaric, rubbish ‘cultures’. And to these two imprisoned fools who had already sold their integrity together with buying their plane tickets, what did you both expect? Shut up and put up.

    3. Sex in public in itself is not an offence – if you reasonable believed that no one would either see you or be likely to be offended.

      1. Sex in public (in England & Wales) … I should have said …

  3. Lynda Yilmaz 12 Apr 2012, 1:32pm

    I’m inclined to think that anyone, having any sort of sex anywhere in public is courting trouble and in a foreign country where even alcohol isn’t allowed they must have been stark staring mad! I’m thinking this is less of a ‘gay’ issue and more like one of sheer stupidity! 3 years seems like a let off. Idiots!

    1. Irregardless of the legality, stupidity, morality or drunken nature of the activity, the simple message is clear, don’t go to Dubai. And if you do go there to live, then you are submitting yourself to living in a closet, unless you are a wealthy Arab Prince who can purchase whatever you want, regardless of how religious you are.

    2. @Lynda

      I do agree that there is a strong aspect of foolishness to this case. Whilst not attempting to justify the actions of the UAE authorities – one would usually not put oneself at risk of being arrested!

      I do think there is a gay aspect to this story given the lack of equality in sentencing for heterosexual couples doing similar things.

  4. What on Earth were they thinking? I understand they were drunk and horny but still… some common sense needed to be applied.

    The fight for equality in these countries must be difficult enough for the locals, without annoying outsiders coming in and causing a scandal.

  5. Public sex is a crime in all countries so I have very little sympathy for these 2.

    What complete and utter morons.

    Having said that, the fact that their punishment is so much harsher than that which would be meted out to a straight couple just proves what a backward, primitive, uncivilised dump Dubai actually is.

    No Briton with any conscience shouild live or work there.

    Slavery is how this ‘country’ operates.

    All those Indian and Pakistani and Sri Lankan cleaners and waitresses and barmen and builders are slaves.

    Officially they are not slaves but the fact that they are held against their will and unable to leave their jobs or the country, and the fact that they earn subsistence wages while living in squalor means that they are modern day slaves.

    I often wonder about the morality of Britons who live and work and holiday in these dumps. They are profitting from slavery yet seem wilfully ignorant of that fact.

    Dubai should be avoided like the plague.

    1. Well said that man.

    2. ‘..All those Indian and Pakistani and Sri Lankan cleaners and waitresses and barmen and builders are slaves…’

      anymore of this sort of generalising, there are lots of IT and other white collar asian people from subcontinent working and living there too.

      3 years sentence was for combination of alcohol consumption and sex in public. harsh but not outrages

      1. I never said there wasn’t Asian people working in IT in Dubai.

        I simply said that the Asian population working in the service industty or the building industry are slaves.

        You do grasp the distinction I hope.

        1. ‘I simply said that the Asian population working in the service industty or the building industry are slaves.’

          you still generalise

          majority of them went there knowing the reality very well, usually relative was working there already. money is not that great but still loads more (no taxes) then they could earn and save at home and majority of them have a choice as to stay or leave.

          1. Kane, I think you’ll find many construction workers, as well as many – most? – domestic servants from South Asia have their passports taken away from them and held by their employers. They don’t speak Arabic and all legal proceedings are conducted in Arabic. dAVID is not wrong in saying that many of them are little better than slaves.

          2. rehan i was highlighting an aspect of generelising in which david often excels, as it happens i have some filipino and pakistani friends and one of them after 12 years living in london is planing to move over to dubai where he already has number of relatives working there. while it is true that domestic labour in dubai is often mistreated, such mistreatment is not confined exclusively to uae or its citizens

          3. Yes, but I think dAVID was quite clear in referring to service and construction staff – would I be right in guessing your friends aren’t in either of these industries?

            I’ve have one cousin who worked there – in shipping – and though he did well enough there, I thought he was insane to spend that much time in what is, IMO, a hellhole. Mistreatment of domestic servants is not excused by the fact that it happens elsewhere too.

          4. @rehan
            yes, david was quite clear in referring to service and construction staff, but still managed to generalise when he said:

            ” All those Indian and Pakistani and Sri Lankan cleaners and waitresses and barmen and builders are slaves.” if i could draw your attention to ‘All’ in order to emphasize the aspect of generalising.

            you say ‘Mistreatment of domestic servants is not excused by the fact that it happens elsewhere too.’ agree but it was one of core arguments as to why ” Dubai should be avoided like the plague”
            i gather that places like london should equally be avoided like plague since domestic slavery happens in capital too

          5. domestic slavery happens in capital too

            Sorry this is way off-topic, but: yes kane, domestic slavery can be found in London too, and the penalties, when it’s discovered (which is almost exclusively in diplomatic circumstances and not involving British people), are enormous. In Dubai and the other UAEs, where it benefits the privileged locals, it isn’t quite in the same league, I think you’ll agree.

    3. In England & Wales, cruising or dogging comes under laws related to voyeurism, exhibitionism or public displays of sexual behaviour; however, the laws on cruising/dogging are ambiguous. Prosecution is possible for a number of offences such as section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, indecent exposure under section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or for the common law offence of outraging public decency. However, ACPO policy is that arrests are a last resort and a more gradual approach should be taken in such circumstances. All prosecutions in these cases require someone to be offended and for evidence that the persons committing the offence ought to have been aware that someone was likely to be offended when they were carrying out the acts.
      Sex in public per se in England & Wales is not an offence although it can be prosecuted under a variety of pieces of legislation IF certain criteria are met.

  6. Dubia, and Emirate Airlines paint a picture of sophistication and openess. My experience was being separated from my partner at immigration and being held for lengthy questioning in Dubai. I cannot say for sure whether this was homophobic in nature but fair to say I felt uncomfortable the entire time I was there. There are plenty of alternatives for travel, and I will exercise my choice to limit my tourist travel to those countries that have a rule of law and legislation that is supportive of gay rights.

    1. There is nothing sophisticated or open about the slavery on which this despicable country is built.

  7. The real question here is not the sentence or the act, however stupid to do so in public, it is the flagrant abuse of Human Rights in a country that makes Homosexuality illegal in the first place; a country which frequently abuses fundamental human rights in the name of culture and religion, inexcusable

    1. Human rights?

      in Dubai?

      They don’t exist there.

      it is a hellhole built on slavery.

  8. While I think that the sentence is harsh they were fool hardy top think they would get away with it. I have sympathy for them they are in a country where it is still illegal to be gay!

    Although I do have to wonder about the guy who just happened to be in a parked car too, a little bit suspicious to me!

  9. David Wainwright 12 Apr 2012, 3:17pm

    When in Rome do as the Romans do , it’s the law of the land whether you like it or you understand . If you wish to behave in such a licentious manner then do not go to a moslem country . Modesty is very much a part of moslem culture and should be respected when visiting a moslem country as a guest . For most people being gay isn’t a problem however open displays of affection are frowned upon and as for having sexual intercourse in public , well if you really must do it , then do so where you are not likely to be seen and offend people, particularly in a culture which frowns on any open displays of affection .

    1. Yes, and regarding the issue of alcohol – there is a recognition that it is a cultural view and that other tourist/business visitors may not share that view so its possible to consume in hotels or purchase under licence.
      As much as you wouldnt run the risk of arrest by having sex on the street in front of a shopping centre, so too it is sensible to restrict drinking to discrete locations like a hotel or restaurant that serves alcohol to tourists etc.

      1. “it is sensible to restrict drinking to discrete locations like a hotel or restaurant that serves alcohol to tourists etc.”

        Although one should bear in mind that the waitress or barman serving you that alcoholic drink in your hotel, is quite likely, a modern day slave.

        Slavery is wrong.

        1. @dAVID

          When you are working and your company routes you through Dubai you have very little choice sometimes but to stay in a transit hotel for a night! The only twice I have been to Dubai

          1. Fine – but that does not alter the fact that the hotel you stayed in was built by slaves and the staff serving you in said hotel are slaves.

            I would suggest that the next time your company tries to route you through Dubai or the UAE that you look for an alternative route.

  10. Well… there’s many things I wouldn’t do in a conservative muslim country: Preach about Jesus, hand out Bibles in public, HAVE GAY SEX IN PUBLIC and burn a qran. There are many things you can avoid by using your brains… ;)

  11. johnny33308 12 Apr 2012, 4:13pm

    People, here is yet another example of a country that criminalizes gay sex. So why would anyone gay ever wish to go there? Why spend LGBTIQ money in places that practice discrimination against us? It is in essence, arming those who are our enemies. How can anyone contribute to the well-being of those who would harm us? It is not at all sensible, and it is illogical in the extreme….wake up people, it is LGBTIQ people whose lives are put in danger when we spend our money in places such as the UAE….stop going to such places! SHUN ALL SUCH PLACES!

    1. johnny33308 12 Apr 2012, 4:16pm

      Of course, using one’s common sense would seem to be indicated in any country or locality. Being stupid will often result in terrible consequences anywhere….don’t leave home without your brain!

    2. and there are places in the world that dont criminalize gay sex but are equally dangerous due to massive homophobia like usa or russia, should we boycott those countries as well?

        1. i prefer common sense not boycott

          1. So what should we do about the slavery problem in Dubai then?

          2. david, we all agree slavery has no place in 21 century, but as long as there is poverty en mass slavery will continue in one form or another, its a constant battle. and we all agree there should be more of political and diplomatic pressure on uae to deal with slavery and anti gay legislation, but personally i dont think boycott will work in this case

        2. I agree – it seems common sense to me to avoid a place where my sexuality could jeopardise my safety.

          1. and it seems common sense to me to avoid sexual activity in public places where my sexuality could jeopardise my safety.

          2. Yes, I would agree with that too.

          3. I would simply avoid Dubai.

            Even if Dubai decriminalises homosexuality, it still condones (unofficial) slavery.

  12. Dubai hopes to become the playground of the world. They have invested heavily in this. Their money will be wasted if they don’t update their uncivilised laws for all these foreign visitors they expect to come there to spend their money.
    I wouldn’t go there if they paid me, I can see all the cheap tat and glitter I want in Europe

  13. KIm Berlin 12 Apr 2012, 6:39pm

    why do people continue to go to theses countries that continue to abuse human rights?

  14. theGentleWarrior 12 Apr 2012, 7:13pm

    I for one won’t even use a stopover flight that goes through Dubai.

    The home-office can if it chooses to lean hard on Dubai over this one.

    It’s real simple, they want our money, investment and all benefits that come from the first world.
    If we stop doing business with these people, they can either come around real quickly or stay in the stone age throwing rocks at one another for Allah.
    It is obviously not unprecedented, they allow alcohol to resident non-Muslims, because if they didn’t no one would visit

    If we (as a country) decided to use nuclear power stations and electric cars, well then, the Arabs can eat their fecking oil for all the good it would do them.

    1. Slavery is the main issue that Dubai has not addressed.

      A country which tolerates slavery is very unlikely to tolerate homosexuality.

  15. ‘…which is almost exclusively in diplomatic circumstances and not involving British people…’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00srp6v
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12687088

    1. OK, so Saeeda Khan isn’t part of the diplomatic corps – otherwise, my point still stands.

      But what’s your point, kane? Because there are instances of foreign workers being brought into the UK by and with other foreigners as slaves, we shouldn’t speak of the [proportionally immensely greater number of instances] of imported slaves in the Arab world?

      1. by all means, we should speak out against all instances of slavery whenever it occurs, regardless of the size, i never said otherwise

        but i disagree with davidn’s notion we shouldnt travel to places where slavery, although illegal, happens.

        1. Ah, but when you say it’s illegal, have you come across one instance of Arabs being prosecuted in their own countries for keeping slaves? I’ve not heard of it (though I can’t pretend I’m especially well-informed in such matters). From the examples I’ve come across they get off scot-free – one example that comes to mind was of a Sri Lankan woman enslaved for 16 years, and when she finally escaped as a gesture of “goodwill” the Emir of Sharjah (I think) merely paid her back pay. Her former employer’s family were not liable for any form of compensation.

  16. “which is almost exclusively in diplomatic circumstances and not involving British people”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00srp6v
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12687088

  17. Why would any gay person go to a backwater where being gay is illegal anyway?

    BOYCOTT.,

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all