Saudi Arabia is notorious for controversies surrounding human rights — in fact, the Arab state sanctions executions for individuals caught in same-sex relations. But now, the Saudi government is proposing that people can be executed for “promoting their homosexuality in public or online,” reports Vocativ.
The nation’s Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution is currently weighing the decision; the newfound focus on this issue is triggered by a rise of arrests for LGBTQ “activity” in the city of Jeddah. Of course what constitutes as “activity” is subjective, but authorities believe that social media is playing a role in an “increased boldness” of LGBTQ individuals expressing their gender identity and sexual orientation.
This potential enforcement of the death penalty as tied to sexual orientation and gender identity is nothing new in Saudi Arabia, where sodomy is already punishable by death in accordance to the interpretation of Islamic Sharia law favored by the ruling monarchy. Sharia is derived from both the Quran and hadiths, which are statements attributed to Muhammad, but debated within the Islam community for authenticity. Hadiths specify regulations on everything from hygiene to prayer, and from sex to marriage. While there are many other Muslim countries that employ some form of state-regulated Sharia law, Saudi Arabia does so in a more extreme way mostly due to their practice of Wahhabism, a restrictive form of Islam.
(h/t Weasel Zippers)