Mecca police 'arrest everyone involved' in alleged gay wedding

Mecca police 'arrest everyone involved' in alleged gay wedding
Saudi Arabian police report that they have identified and arrested those involved in an alleged gay wedding near Mecca, and dismiss the incident as a prank "performance"
2 min read
10 January, 2018
Several video clips of the same-sex wedding emerged on social media last week [Twitter]
Several days after video footage of an alleged same-sex wedding ceremony between two young men went viral on Twitter, Saudi authorities have announced they have arrested everyone involved, labelling the alleged wedding a "performance of a same-sex wedding scene".

Despite a limited first response to the Twitterstorm that exploded after the footage surfaced last week, Mecca police of the Aradiyat governate, where the ceremony allegedly took place, released their own statement on Twitter on Monday.

"In regard to the video clips circulating on social media, showing a young man dressed in women's clothes alongside a group of companions," the statement read, "on Friday, Aradiyat police were informed by an attendee of a festival happening at one of the city's resorts, that during which, he was shocked when a young man entered the resort, dressed in women's clothing, in a performance of a same-sex wedding scene."
"After this, measures were taken to identify the cross-dresser and his companions, who were then arrested, and their case referred to the Public Prosecutor who will continue the legal proceedings against them," the statement concluded.

The most recent statements from the police followed reports that those involved in the alleged wedding were under police investigation

Saudi Arabia enforces strict laws against homosexuality, which is punishable by flogging, imprisonment, or even death. 

News of the arrests quashed initial Twitter responses hailing the incident as a signal of change in the rapidly-modernising kingdom.

Translation: "This is the new Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of Mohammed bin Salman."

However the video clips provoked a colossal backlash from outraged homophobes of the Saudi Twittersphere, many of whom blamed the incident, and the general occurence of homosexuality in Saudi Arabia, on "foreign influence".

Translation: "These foreigners are spreading vice among the Muslim community. We need a national campaign to crack down on homosexuals."

Moreover, the police's treatment of the incident as a prank "performance" of a same-sex wedding ceremony, indicate that attitudes towards homosexuality are far from modernised and that the kingdom prefers to take a dismissive stance towards homosexuality, rather than acknowledging in its existence in the ultra-conservative country.