LGBT rights in Kuwait

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

LGBT rights in Kuwait
StatusIllegal (for males); not criminalised for females[1][2]
PenaltyMaximum 7 years imprisonment[1]
Gender identityNo
Discrimination protectionsNone
Family rights

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Kuwait face challenges not experienced by non-LGBT Kuwaitis. Sexual acts between consenting adult males are criminalised under Article 193 of the Penal Code. LGBT persons are regularly prosecuted by the government and additionally face stigmatization among the broader population.


Article 193 of the Penal Code prohibits "consensual intercourse between men of full age (from the age of 21)" with a term of imprisonment of up to seven years. Article 192 covers relationships involving a man under 21 years of age.[1]

Article 198 prohibits anyone from making a "lewd signal or act" in a public place. In 2008, the law was expanded to also outlaw "imitating the appearance of a member of the opposite sex" with fines and or imprisonment.[3] This provision was overturned by Kuwait's Constitutional Court in February 2022, which ruled that prosecuting citizens under the code violated their personal freedoms, and that the law was excessively vague.[4]

In 2017 Polish Instagram star King Luxy was arrested in Kuwait for allegedly looking too feminine. He spent two weeks in custody before he was released.[5]

HIV/AIDS issues

In 1988, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Public Health published a report on HIV infections in Kuwait,[6] 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.[7]

In 1992, the National Assembly outlawed the knowing transmission of HIV to another person.

Foreigners found to be infected with AIDS/HIV are deported,[8] but Kuwaiti citizens who are infected are entitled to outpatient medical care, organized by a specialized infectious disease hospital.[citation needed]

LGBT rights movement in Kuwait

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.[9] All such interest groups or clubs have to be approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which never formally replied.

In July 2019 the group announced that they would again apply for a permit from the ministry in response to a crackdown by the Ministry of commerce on symbols representing homosexuality such as rainbows in shops.[9]

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal No (Penalty: 7 years in jail)
Equal age of consent No
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
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military No
Right to change legal gender No
Conversion therapy illegal No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also


  1. ^ a b c ILGA World (17 May 2016). State Sponsored Homophobia 2016: A world survey of sexual orientation laws: Criminalisation, protection and recognition (PDF) (Report). p. 106. Retrieved 2021-06-01. Article 193: "Consensual intercourse between men of full age (from the age of 21) shall be punishable with a term of imprisonment of up to seven years." Such relations with a man under 21 years of age are criminalised by article 192
  2. ^ "Kuwait Law".
  3. ^ "Cross-dressers' heads shaved in Kuwait". Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  4. ^ Yee, Vivian. "Kuwait Overturns Law Used to Prosecute Transgender People". The New York Times. Retrieved 2022-02-17.
  5. ^ "This controversial Instagram star was arrested and abused for being 'too feminine' in Kuwait". The New Arab. alaraby. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  6. ^ "A survey for unrecognized HIV infection in a special STD clinic in Kuwait". Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Kuwait" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 3, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2007.
  8. ^ "Kuwait deports 13,000 foreigners in just nine months". 2018-09-28. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  9. ^ a b "Kuwait's gay community wants official recognition for LGBT rights". The New Arab. alaraby. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 2021-03-31.