Honoring the LGBTQ communities that celebrating Pride Month, the U.K and U.S embassies in the United Arab Emirates participated in raising the rainbow flag.
For the first time in history, a pride flag was flown by a diplomatic mission in the Gulf and a country where same-sex relationships are illegal.
The U.K. mission to the UAE tweeted on Monday saying that June is Pride month. They celebrate the equality and visibility of LGBT people around the world. The post also added that they raised the rainbow flag to affirm their pride in the UK’s diversity and their values of equality, inclusion, and freedom, along with the hashtag “#Pride2021”.
On the other hand, the U.S. embassy shared an image of its flagpole flying both the American and pride flags together. Its Twitter account that published the image tweeted saying, “On the anniversary of Stonewall, a milestone in the American civil rights movement, the U.S. shows its support for the dignity and equality of all people.”
The post quickly faced negative reactions, including the one that came from the former director of Dubai’s finance department, Nasser Al-Shaikh. He was posting on Twitter, saying that the British Embassy has disrespected the UAE and its people. He added, saying that it looks like someone there is still living the long gone UK imperial days.
The UAE has not released any comments regarding the matter yet.
Islam considered the act of homosexuality as a sin. Although the UAE has already allowed its expat population to engage in cohabitation, eating pork, and even drinking alcohol. Still, the local population remains largely religious and conservative.
It is still not clear about the penalties of UAE surrounding the acts of homosexuality, despite that it is significantly more liberal compare to its neighbors where the death penalty might be applied more extreme.