Today, in the soon-to-be-Arab-Springed kingdom of Jordan, ten gay men and women were arrested for being gay in the same room. While Jordan does not have any laws on the books regarding homosexuality, the government does give leeway to local administrators to … kinda do whatever they wish with gays. For example, it appears gays could be placed underneath the prison indefinitely. Call it Jordan’s Elastic Clause“:
“The administrative governor of the Marka area, Adnan Qatarneh, ordered the arrest of the 10 gays and lesbians after they held a reception at a party hall on Wednesday to get to know each other,” he told AFP.
“The arrests were made to prevent a disturbance of the peace,” he added, without elaborating.
Homosexuality is not illegal in the conservative desert kingdom, although it is widely seen to be unacceptable.
“There are no laws in Jordan to deal with homosexuality cases,” another security official said. ”It is up to administrative governors to decide how to handle such issues, including any period of detention.”
Despite Jordan being a brutal, lawless administration in terms of homosexuality, Jordan is not considered a particularly dangerous locale for gays, and does not draw much international attention or condemnation for this behavior. And frankly it shouldn’t, according to the strategy of targeting the worst offenders first.
Nevertheless, Newsweek writer Max Strasser — chasing traffic with a poorly researched, unscientific list post — saw fit to include the United States ahead of Jordan among his “Top Twelve Most Homophobic Nations.”
Strasser, presumably suspecting that even Newsweek wouldn’t allow him to place the U.S. in his top 12, essentially placed the United States at number 13, the lone member of a category skin-crawlingly titled “Bubbling Under.” According to him, the United States is not an official Nation of Most Concern, but any day now a gathering of ten Louisiana gays might get rounded up and left to the whims of a Louisiana mayor, and this fate is objectively worse than being left to the whims of a Sunni Islamist.
However, the Times of Israel article reporting on the Jordanian arrest mentions — Strasser should probably take a look-see — that his dangerously homophobic United States has in fact issued a human rights report concerned about Jordan’s treatment of gays, a homophobic movement ominously raising even our bubbles.
Here’s Strasser’s list:
4. Saudi Arabia
“Bubbling Under”: United States
Strasser’s actual criteria for the list aren’t specified, a shame because a list of the countries statistically most dangerous to gay residents or travelers would be a valuable piece of journalism. I can only assume, but Strasser’s criteria — considering his exclusion of Jordan and most of the other nations of Earth, present and past, in favor of the United States for his cop-out number 13 — likely consisted of “Strasser’s feelings” and “Strasser’s agenda.” Why else would he compile this useless, unscientific list if not for the purpose of smearing the United States with it?
If Strasser truly cared about the safety and security of gays worldwide, he would have compiled a legitimate report that would be of some use to them. This list is about Strasser’s ego and Newsweek‘s traffic. Nothing else.