Gay marriage in Saudi Arabia: Police arrest several men

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JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia police have arrested several men, who appeared in an alleged gay wedding video, which went viral on social media.

In the video, the gay couple can be seen walking down the aisle with music in the background and being showered in confetti at an outdoor venue. One of them seems to be wearing a long bridal veil.

On Monday, Makkah police said “they had identified the cross-dresser and other people involved in the incident”.

“Officers arrested a number of people at the event and their cases had been referred to prosecutors,” they added. However, identity of the arrested has not been disclosed.

Saudi Arabia has no written laws concerning sexual orientation or gender identity, but judges use principles of Islamic law to sanction people suspected of extra-marital sexual relations, homosexual sex or other immoral acts, according to US-based Human Rights Watch.

The country’s anti-cybercrime law also criminalises online activity impinging on “public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy”.

There have been reports the country’s prosecution office is planning to request the death penalty for anyone “using social media to solicit homosexual acts.”

The Makkah police said the “gay wedding scene” had taken place on Friday during a festival at a resort in the holy city and had “surprised” people there.

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