Jordan Arrests 10 Gays and Lesbians For Holding a Reception

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday Feb 28, 2014

It appears that you don't even have to be breaking a law to be arrested in the Middle East anymore. Despite the fact that it is not illegal to be gay in Jordan, authorities there arrested 10 alleged gays and lesbians this week for holding a get-together at a party hall in east Amman. AFP has reported that a local official ordered the arrest of the group, as homosexuality is viewed as unacceptable.

"The administrative governor of the Marka area, Adnan Qatarneh, ordered the arrest of the 10 gays and lesbians after they held a reception at a party hall on Wednesday to get to know each other," a security official told AFP. "The arrests were made to prevent a disturbance of the peace," he added, without elaborating.

"There are no laws in Jordan to deal with homosexuality cases," another security official told AFP. "It is up to administrative governors to decide how to handle such issues, including any period of detention."

In its latest human rights report on Jordan, the U.S. State Department said gays face discrimination there.

"Legal and societal discrimination and harassment remained a problem for women, religious minorities, religious converts, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community," the report said.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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