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article imageSaudi Arabia hit for discriminatory policy on foreign homosexuals

By Leo Reyes     Jun 4, 2010 in World
An organization of gay and lesbians in the Philippines has expressed sadness over the Saudi Arabia's recent decision to ban employment of gay, lesbian and other similar gender calling from working in the country.
Ang Ladlad, an organization of gay and lesbians in the Philippines, said through its incoming chair Bemz Benedicto the conservative Middle Eastern nation's new order smacked of discrimination and deprived homosexuals of the right to livelihood.
Last month, the Saudi government announced a ban on the recruitment of gay and lesbian workers, including those from other countries.
While Philippine groups respect the Saudi government’s decision in light of its sovereignty, they branded this recent move as discriminatory and urged the Philippine government to seek “clarification."
The group which advocates the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals, said while the Saudi government has the right to implement its own policies, prohibiting the recruitment of gay and lesbian workers is tantamount to discrimination.
“If the policy was signed by their King, Saudi authorities are duty-bound to implement it. It is up to them to decide what to do," said Ang Ladlad leader Danton Remoto in Filipino in the “24 Oras" report.
Remoto said it was not simply a matter of implementing the law but a human rights issue, as the policy would mean fewer job opportunities for Filipinos in Saudi Arabia, the top destination for migrant Filipino workers.
Remoto questioned how the Saudi government plans to implement the policy, particularly on determining whether a worker is gay or not. “How will the screening work? Will it based on hair length, or one’s raising of an eyebrow?" he asked
In the meantime, Philippine Labor department authorities likewise expressed sadness over the ban on employment of the third sex. But they said decision is beyond the control of the government and urge those who are covered by the ban to observe the laws of Saudi Arabia on the recruitment of gay workers in the kingdom.
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