News (UAE): "Hormone plan for 'gay wedding' men" - Reuters
Hormone plan for 'gay wedding' men
From correspondents in Dubai
MEN arrested at what a United Arab Emirates official said appeared to be a gay wedding were to be given hormone therapy, officials said.
The news brought condemnation from the US State Department, which urged the Muslim Gulf Arab state not to go ahead with such treatment.
The UAE Interior Ministry responded by saying the case was yet to be heard by courts.
Police raided a hotel earlier this month where 26 homosexuals of Asian, Arab and UAE origin were at a party.
At least 12 were dressed in women's clothes and wearing makeup at what an official said appeared to be a wedding celebration.
Police Colonel Najm al-Sayar said the foreigners were likely to be deported while the locals, who were being held in the capital Abu Dhabi, would undergo hormonal therapy – most likely testosterone.
"They will be given psychological, medical and sociological treatment. Some of them will be given male hormones because some actually took female hormones," Colonel Sayar said.
"This kind of behaviour is immoral in our society and so we must address the issue."
An unnamed UAE Interior Ministry official, quoted by the state news agency WAM, questioned the comments, saying the "ministry is not in a position to set the penalties or any treatment that may be imposed on those detained".
"Only the judiciary has the right under the constitution to hand down a ruling," the official said.
Homosexuality is forbidden by law in most Arab states.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack condemned the arrests, which it said were the latest in a string of detentions of homosexuals.
"We call on the Government of the United Arab Emirates to immediately stop any ordered hormone and psychological treatment and to comply with the standards of international law," he said.