Saudi Gov Bans Gay Websites

Gretchen Gallen
SAUDI ARABIA – The Saudi Government continued its censorship identity crisis this week by finally deciding to ban all international gay and lesbian websites, including a local website called gaymiddleeast.com (GME), a supplier of news and information for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community of the middle east

The government's decision comes on the heels of a period of indecision over whether to allow its citizens access to information on gay and lesbian lifestyles.

Considered one of the most repressive governments still in existence, in a surprise move last year, the Saudi government let up on its tight censorship grip and allowed access to gay and lesbian sites, including GME.

But in a similarly unpredictable move, the government has resorted to previous censorship tactics this week and once again GME has been blocked from Saudi access, along with gaydar.com, 365gay.com and gay.com.

The owners of GME are not sure exactly when the ban occurred, and attempts so far to persuade the Saudi Government to enable access to the sites have proven ineffective.

"We are lodging an official complaint via these organizations to the Saudi authorities," GME's owners stated on the site, which can be accessed by other countries. "We will do all in our power to have the blockage removed from our website so that our readers in Saudi Arabia can once again access the site."