11-28-2007, 11:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Hundreds protest turning Morocco into a "brothel"
Moroccan "bride" jailed for gay wedding
A wedding for a well-known gay man in Morocco ended with the colorful 'bride' behind bars, along with five other wedding guests, and sparked riots and calls for authorities to clamp down on gays in Moroccan society.
The Court of First Instance in the northern city of Al-Qasr Al-Kabir, where the wedding took place, handed down jail sentences to six people who participated in the lavish wedding ceremony, including the 'bride', Fouad, a well-known gay man who sells alcohol for a living.
The identity of the groom is still unknown, press reports said Monday, but a full investigation is underway.
The wedding, attended by scores of gays and lesbians, lasted two days and had many elements of a traditional Moroccan wedding.
The 'bride,' adorned with jewelry and full facial makeup, wore a green gown with a golden belt. His head was covered with a white scarf. For the second day's celebrations, which featured a musical performance, he changed into a yellow cloak.
A black bull – one of the gifts to the newlyweds – was slain to the celebratory sounds of cheers and ululations. Afterwards, the 'bride' knelt, filled his glass with the bull's blood, and drank it, one of the guests reported.
But the 'bride' turned himself into police after he was caught and beaten by protestors, the Moroccan newspaper Al-Tajdeed reported.
More than 600 men and women took to the streets, chanting slogans condemning the city's leniency towards homosexuals and criticizing the couple's audacity to hold a gay wedding in the open.
An MP for the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), Saeed Khairoun, said the wedding signaled the disintegration of Muslim values and was a flagrant violation of the society's traditions.
He called on the government to "combat those want to turn Morocco to a brothel."
Moroccan gays were recently allowed to found their own organization, which demands equal rights for homosexuals and aims to combat all forms of discrimination.
According to article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code, homosexuality is illegal and is punishable by six months to three years in jail and a fine of 120 to 1,200 dirhams (15 to 155 dollars).
But the law is rarely enforced, and the sight of gay couples has become fairly common, especially in cities with large European expatriate communities like Tangiers, Marrakech, and Agadir.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).
Be the love you seek.