LGBT rights in Kuwait

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LGBT rights in Kuwait Kuwait
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Male de-facto illegal
Not specifically outlawed, but prosecuted under the "debauchery" law with jail time up to 6 years
Family rights

Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Kuwait may face challenges not experienced by non-LGBT Kuwaitis. Homosexuality is not specifically outlawed but gay people are prosecuted under the "debauchery" law.


The penal code contains some general provisions against debauchery and immorality that can be used to punish LGBT people.

  • Article 193 of the Penal Code punishes debauchery (which is interpreted by the courts to mean male homosexuality) with up to six years imprisonment.
  • Article 198 prohibits "imitating the appearance of a member of the opposite sex" with fines and or imprisonment.

Criminal laws regulating the press, publishers, internet and all other forms of media, contain provisions banning images, content or the expression of ideas that offend public morality.


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The government does not allow transgender people to obtain new legal documents.

Transgenderism is generally associated with homosexuality. In 2008, cross-dressing in public became illegal.

HIV/AIDS issues

In 1988, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Public Health published a report on HIV infections in Kuwait,[1] especially the person's nationality, marital status and sexual orientation. In 2004 a United Nations report on HIV in Kuwait found that about six percent of known transmission cases were the result of unprotected sexual contact between men.[2]

In 1992, the Kuwaiti national assembly outlawed the knowing transmission of HIV to another person.

Forigners found to be infected with AIDS/HIV are deported, but Kuwaiti citizens who are infected are entitled to out patient medical care, organized by a specialised infectious disease hospital.

LGBT rights movement in Kuwait

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No known association or charity exists in Kuwait to campaign for LGBT rights or organize educational and social events for the LGBT community.

In 2007, the Al Arabiya news service reported that a group of Kuwaitis had applied for a permit to form a new association that would stand up for the rights of LGBT Kuwaitis. All such interest groups or clubs have to be approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which never formally replied.

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal No For male (Penalty: Fine or up to 6 years imprisonment) / No For female
Equal age of consent No For male / No For female
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military No
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also


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