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Gay couple’s holiday runs into clash of civilisations

May 8, 2015 Headline News, LGBT No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59British Airways has been caught up in a hassle after a gay couple booked one of its online holiday deals in Morocco, a country where homosexuality is illegal.

Homosexual acts are illegal in 78 countries in the world, many of them in Africa, and homosexuality is frowned upon culturally in many other countries. A full list is included at the end of this article.

The two gay men in the latest case booked a room at the Eden Andalou Spa and Resort hotel in Marrakech.

After seeing the holiday deal online, they called to confirm the price and to check their relationship status would be no problem.

All was fine – until they were told they could holiday at the hotel only if they stayed in separate rooms, Britain’s Daily Mail reported.

The couple, both English, say they paid for airport parking, transfers and a new camera, with no inkling anything might go wrong – until British Airways emailed them asking them to get in touch regarding their holiday in July.

The men say BA told them the hotel had been in touch to confirm that they could not stay because they were in a homosexual relationship.

British Airways gave the couple a full refund.

BA also apologised to them, though the apology was hedged with the following point: “Please note that as part of our terms and conditions we refer our customers to the Foreign and Commonwealth office website, offering country specific guidance on local law and customs.”

Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Morocco and complaints can lead to prosecution, the Foreign and Commonwealth office warns.

A gay British man was jailed in Morocco last year for “homosexual acts” after police searched for images on his mobile phone. The man, a 69-year-old grandfather, was jailed for four months with his Moroccan friend in dungeon conditions that he says were “indescribable”. It happened after police found the “homosexual pictures” on his phone.

FOR THE RECORD, homosexuality is illegal in the following 78 countries, according to website, which tracks the subject:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Algeria
  3. Angola
  4. Antigua & Barbuda
  5. Bangladesh
  6. Barbados
  7. Belize
  8. Bhutan
  9. Botswana
  10. Brunei
  11. Burundi
  12. Cameroon
  13. Comoros
  14. Cook Islands
  15. Dominica (but no enforcement of anti-gay law reported)
  16. Egypt
  17. Eritrea
  18. Ethiopia
  19. Gambia
  20. Ghana
  21. Grenada
  22. Guinea
  23. Guyana
  24. India
  25. Indonesia (in Aceh Province and South Sumatra)
  26. Iran
  27. Jamaica
  28. Kenya
  29. Kirbati
  30. Kuwait
  31. Lebanon (law ruled invalid in one court)
  32. Lesotho
  33. Liberia
  34. Libya
  35. Malawi (though enforcement of law has been suspended, reportedly)
  36. Malaysia
  37. Maldives
  38. Mauritania
  39. Mauritius
  40. Morocco
  41. Myanmar
  42. Namibia
  43. Nauru
  44. Nigeria
  45. Oman
  46. Pakistan
  47. Palestine/Gaza Strip
  48. Papua New Guinea
  49. Qatar
  50. Samoa
  51. Saudi Arabia
  52. Senegal
  53. Seychelles
  54. Sierra Leone
  55. Singapore
  56. Solomon Islands
  57. Somalia
  58. South Sudan
  59. Sri Lanka
  60. St Kitts & Nevis
  61. St Lucia
  62. St Vincent & the Grenadines
  63. Sudan
  64. Swaziland
  65. Syria
  66. Tanzania
  67. Togo
  68. Tonga
  69. Trinidad & Tobago
  70. Tunisia
  71. Turkmenistan
  72. Tuvalu
  73. Uganda
  74. United Arab Emirates
  75. Uzbekistan
  76. Yemen
  77. Zambia
  78. Zimbabwe

Written by Peter Needham

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