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Crackdown urged after 'gay wedding'

A COUNCILLOR has called for a clampdown on celebration halls, following the arrest of around 200 people at an alleged gay wedding in Bahrain over the weekend.

The men, reported to be of GCC nationalities, were attending a party at Hidd Sports Club's Al Rayan Hall on Thursday.

Police raided the event after neighbours complained about the noise, while men dressed in women's clothing were allegedly seen at the hall.

Muharraq Municipal Councillor Ramzy Al Jalaleef said the party went against the traditions of residents of Muharraq and Bahrain.

"Residents heard loud noise coming from the hall after 2am," he said.

"The guard alerted the hall's supervisor who in turn reported it to the police.

"I know the men had conned the hall's manager into believing they were holding a birthday party.

"However, it turned out - as I have heard - they were holding a wedding for two of the men."

Several cars were still parked outside the venue yesterday after the owners were rounded up by police.

Mr Al Jalaleef said proper checks should be carried out in future before such venues are rented out.

"They should be careful and investigate before allowing such events to happen and ruin the country's reputation," he said.

"The incident has made residents in Hidd upset, especially as it is an area that houses 29 mosques and is very religious and traditional."

Hidd Sports Club board member and head of sports Osama Al Malki told the GDN yesterday that the hall was handled by a female investor, whose contract had expired.

"We were already working on asking her to stop managing the hall as the contract has expired," he said.

"Then this incident happened, which only highlights the need to settle this urgently."

Mr Al Malki said a woman working for the investor was responsible for attending events and ensuring everything was in order.

However, she apparently did not attend last Thursday's event.

"I have witnessed the party myself and saw men extravagantly dressed as women attending a wedding," he added.

"It was very shocking."

basma@gdn.com.bh



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