Dubai Club Punished for Gay Night
PlanetOut.com Network, April 4, 2001
By Gregg Drinkwater
SUMMARY: "Fluff night" may have opened peoples eyes, but it
also led to the closing of the club that hosted Dubais first publicly
advertised gay night.
A nightclub in the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai hosted a gay night last
week, only to be shut down by government officials, the British Broadcasting
The Diamond Clubs gay "Fluff Night"Dubais first
publicly advertised gay club nightfeatured a transvestite DJ from
Birmingham, England, and a "best-dressed transvestite" contest,
according to the BBC.
Alerted to the gay event by the thousands of publicity flyers distributed
by the partys organizers, local authorities closed the club for
"violating Islamic laws and indulging in immoral activities"
according to a report from the Khaleej Times, an English-language newspaper
published in Dubai.
The order to close the club, issued by Dubais Crown Prince, General
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, was also seen by those in the region as
a public demonstration of the governments disapproval of homosexuality.
According to the International Lesbian and Gay Association, consensual sodomy
in Dubai is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, although punishment can be
more severe if defendants are charged under Islamic law, rather than under the
secular penal code.
One of the seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is one
of the most important ports in the Persian Gulf. Home to thousands of
expatriate workers from Britain, Russia, South Asia and elsewhere, Dubai
offers one of the livelier nightlife scenes on the Arabian peninsula.
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