Bahrain Deporting 2,000 Gays from RP
The Gay Times Are Over
Manila Standard, July 11, 2002
At least 2,000 Filipino homosexuals in Bahrain will be forced to come home
in the next few weeks as a result of a police crackdown on illicit sex and
prostitution, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said yesterday.
OWWA Administrator Wilhelm Soriano received a report from the Philippines’
welfare officer in Bahrain that authorities there have issued notices of
closure to some 500 commercial establishments while threatening to deport
their Filipino gay employees. Beauty salons, massage houses, flower and
tailoring shops and other establishments are included in the crackdown.
Just last month Bahrain deported foreigners suspected to be involved in the
An OWWA employee who has worked in Bahrain, an Islamic state, said the
vulgarity of certain gay people is offensive to the locals because it goes
against their norms, culture and religious beliefs.
"In Bahrain, there is no separation of church and state like in the
Philippines, and they do not recognize gay rights," the OWWA worker
Soriano said the agency has yet to take action because not even the
Philippine embassy in Bahrain or its labor attache has been formally informed.
It appears the local authorities have merely sent closure notices to
establishment owners and their workers.
OWWA will attempt to request the government to "take it easy" on
the Filipino workers with the promise that they would admonish the gay
community to behave. They might also ask for a six-month extension or until
the workers’ contracts expire.
"Some shops owners and their gay workers have trooped to the
Philippine embassy in Bahrain requesting that representations be made on their
behalf for a six-month grace period to give Filipino gay workers time to
complete their work contract and prepare for their return home. Others have
gone to court to defer enforcement of the crackdown," Soriano said.
If the gay workers’ pleas fail to convince the authorities, there will be
no recourse but to deport them.
OWWA has a P10 million standby fund that can be used for the workers’
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