So How Exactly Is Kuwait Going to “Medically Test” People to Detect If They Are Gay?

Oct 07, 2013 at 3:25 PM ET

The tiny, oil-rich nation of Kuwait claims it’s deploying gaydar on a whole new level. Just how is anyone’s guess.

Kuwait’s director of public health, Yousuf Mindkar, announced Monday that Kuwait will begin performing medical tests to determine if expatriates entering the country are gay. To this end, immigration officials will be enhancing their “routine medical checks” on the numerous people immigrating to the country to live and work.

Kuwait is just one of many Gulf states who have little tolerance (if not overt intolerance) for gay people or gay rights. But it may be the first to attempt actual “MD-approved” testing. So how will these alleged gay detectors function? Your guess is as good as ours.

Will the Expat Gaydar machine function like a penile plethysmography, the test used in the US to monitor convicted pedophiles’ reactions to different genres of pornography?

Beyond this controversial testing method (which seems quite impractical for the Kuwaiti airport), we know of no real test to determine sexuality. So will the Kuwaitis dip into medieval superstition about alleged attributes of gayness and require fingerprint exams? Will the border patrol monitor entrants’ “hair whorls”? Will they keep gay-specific hand-and-foot measurements on file at border control?

Kuwait is already known for its crackdowns on the LGBTQ community. In May Kuwaiti police arrested 215 suspected gay men and women, hunting them down in cafés and other “suspicious places.” Officials plan to institute the new gaydar as one of several “stricter measures” to keep the country as straight as can be.

What’s more, all six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which Kuwait is a member, may jump on board with Mindkar’s plan in November when the GCC leaders convene. Gay acts are currently illegal in each of the GCC nations.