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Man Accused of “Gay Handshake” Stands Trial in Dubai

You can tell homophobia has gotten out of control when even handshakes between men are scrutinized for being “gay.” In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one man stands trial after being accused of giving a gay handshake to a colleague, reports The Huffington Post UK.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

22nd November 2013 22:37

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

The handshake in question occurred between a pair of firefighters with a longstanding grudge. The prosecution has charged the defendant with indecency for shaking hands in a “perverted” manner. The supposed “victim” says that, when shaking hands with his coworker, the defendant rubbed his middle finger on his palm.

Although the gesture seems too insignificant to be considered a homosexual act, even supposing it were meant to communicate something “gay,” a harmless handshake should not warrant judicial intervention.

For what it’s worth, the defendant denies giving the “perverted” handshake. He cites a workplace feud as the reason the plaintiff pressed charges.

“If this case goes any further it has the potential of setting a dangerous precedent,” argues the head of the UAE LGBT advocacy group. “It is inviting misuse by other claimants who are simply against homosexuality, causing a witch hunt against an already prosecuted minority group. What[‘s] next? ‘He look at me in a funny way, therefore he is gay and must be punished?’”

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