Kuwait Scolds US Diplomat For Pro-LGBT Tweets

Kuwait took offense and summoned a top U.S. diplomat for tweets celebrating the start of Pride Month. The embassy shared a message from President Joe Biden in support of LGBT rights, and that got the ball rolling.

It called for all to be treated with “respect and dignity” and declared the president a “champion for the human rights of #LGBT persons.” The post featured a picture of a rainbow flag.

This sentiment did not sit well with the Kuwaiti government, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sprang into action. Acting Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy Jim Hollisteder was summoned to appear for what it said are tweets “supporting homosexuality.”

Officials gave the diplomat a memo rejecting the social media posting by the embassy. The Kuwaiti government then called on the diplomatic corps to “respect the laws and regulations” of the country and abide by agreements covering diplomatic relations by avoiding such messages.

Social media users in the conservative nation were quick to denounce the embassy’s postings. One said the U.S. is trying to impose its “diseased and decadent culture” onto their Muslim society. Others called the message “unacceptable.”

Human rights groups report that intimate relations between men in Kuwait are punishable by up to seven years in prison. Being a trans person was a criminal offense in the country until earlier this year, when a court overturned the edict as unconstitutional.

The tiny oil-rich nation is one of 69 worldwide where being gay is against the law.

The U.S. has previously stoked controversy in the Middle East with actions such as its embassy in the United Arab Emirates flying the rainbow flag at its headquarters last year.

Once again in 2022, the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See at the Vatican is flying the rainbow flag for Pride Month. This despite the fact that the teachings of the church prohibit such behavior, though not the orientation itself.

The State Department instructed diplomatic posts last year to avoid the display if it would cause controversy. Under former President Trump, flying the flag outside embassies was prohibited.