Jordan's parliament refuses amendment to outlaw 'homosexual material' online
Jordan's parliament refused Thursday a proposed legislation amendment that seeks to punish those who circulate material that 'promotes homosexuality' over the internet on Thursday.
Islamic Action Front MP Yanal Freihat proposed the addition of a text to the controversial cybercrimes legislation which has just been passed by the Jordanian lower house and will be scrutinised in the senate on Tuesday.
The addition included wording to "punish anyone who sends, prepares, distributes or supports any homosexual material or propaganda using digital means, whether on social media or via private groups".
Such acts would be, according to the proposal, punishable by "at least six month’s imprisonment and a fine ranging from 6,000 - 15,000 Dinars".
The Islamic Action Front is the parliamentary wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, and holds 10 seats in the parliament. All 10 of the Islamic Action Front's parliamentarians were in favour of the amendment.
During a parliamentary session on Thursday, 37-year old MP Freihat said that the amendment would "come to protect Jordanian children - and society as a whole - from a perverse phenomenon spreading in society".
Homosexual propaganda, according to Freihat, is taking advantage of social media to spread messages that "are against religion and Jordanian customs, traditions and values - as well as human nature".
Council speaker Ahmed al-Safadi refused to consider a vote on the amendment during Thursday's session.
The refusal of a vote on the amendment quelled fears held by pro-LGBTQ+ activists that the Jordanian parliament could move to criminalise homosexuality in the country.
Homosexual activity has been legal in Jordan since 1951 - but the penal code also includes vague language around "morality" and "indecent acts", and same-sex marriage remains illegal.
In the past the government’s media commission has used court orders to deny the publication and dissemination of books which "violate public norms and values".