The U.S. Embassy in Kuwait has received backlash from the government of Kuwait for a tweet supporting LGBTQ Pride Month.
On June 1, the United States Embassy in Kuwait posted a tweet supporting Pride Month. In the tweet, President Biden is quoted, explaining the need for pride.
“All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity,” the quote read, “and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love.”
This tweet received immediate backlash from the Kuwaiti government. The country’s foreign ministry released a statement demanding that the embassy not “publish such tweets,” and summoned the Acting Charges d’Affaires James Holtsnider for a meeting, during which it reprimanded the embassy for the tweet, which they argue violates diplomatic protocols.
The statement continued, saying that, under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, all nations with embassies in another country agree to “respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state.”
Because Kuwait is a Muslim country, where same-sex behavior is criminalized, the Kuwaiti government argues that the pro-LGBTQ tweet shows disrespect for the country’s prevailing customs and culture.
The Quran, the central religious text of Islam, condemns homosexuality outright, and the country’s penal code punishes same-sex relations between two men with up to seven years in prison.
As The Hill notes, this is not the first time a nation in the Middle East has criticized the United States’ displays of support for the LGBTQ community. Last year, the U.S. embassy in the United Arab Emirates sparked controversy after it flew the rainbow Pride flag on its flagpole, offending many in the Muslim-majority nation, which also has laws criminalizing same-sex relations.
Additionally, on Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia issued a tweet expressing support for the LGBTQ community – which may yet engender a similar backlash.
Many social media users responded to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait’s tweet, blasting the United States for promoting values that run counter to prevailing religious beliefs in Muslim-majority nations.
“Do not try to give homosexuality a natural color to integrate it into our society,” one user wrote. “I swear by God we will not let it pass Start.”
Another user tweeted that embassies should abide by the customs of the country that they are in. “U should delete this post it’s against our culture and traditions YOU NEED TO RESPECT.”
But some other Twitter users expressed gratitude for the message of tolerance sent by the original tweet.
“I was born in Kuwait and I’m happy to see such a tweet,” a third user wrote. “Happy Pride Month to the U.S. Embassy staff and to the many gay Kuwaitis I have met over the years. Love is love, no matter who you are or who you love.”
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