BAHRAIN's gay community is outraged after a number of social networking sites were blocked as part of a government clampdown on porn.
Homosexuals previously used the Internet to meet new partners, but say their safety has been put at risk by a government decision to block access to sites such as www.gaydar.com.
One gay Bahraini man, who asked to remain anonymous, said they would now have to meet in public - exposing them to the possible wrath of family, society and the dangers of meeting strangers. He claimed the ban would lead to an increase in porn being sold on the black market, but said if the government wanted to address homosexuality it should start in its own schools.
"I also think a lot of expats will end up leaving now - they live here mainly because Bahrain is more liberal."
A gay expat man, who wanted to remain anonymous, agreed the move was a backward step.
"I'm really disappointed, but I have already found a way around it."
Meanwhile, a lesbian Bahraini who asked to remain anonymous said although she didn't use gay social networking sites herself, many of her friends did and were upset with the clampdown.