Amazon has restricted search results and inventories for LGBTQ+-related subjects and goods in the United Arab Emirates in response to demand. According to a New York Times story, some books about the group are no longer available for purchase in the UAE. Additionally, search results for more than 150 phrases have been eliminated, including general terms like “LGBTQ” and “Pride” as well as more specific queries like “Transgender flag” and “breast binder for lesbians”.
As Pride month, an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ people around the world draws to a conclusion, this action has been made. Being homosexual is illegal in the United Arab Emirates. UAE is one of 69 countries in the world where homosexuality is prohibited by law.
“As a company, we remain committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we think that the rights of L.G.B.T.Q.+ persons must be safeguarded,” said Nicole Pampe, an Amazon spokesman, in a statement.
Pamper did add that the business “must also comply with the local rules and regulations of the countries in which we operate” because “Amazon stores across the world.”
The Emirati government reportedly gave Amazon until Friday to comply or risk punishment, according to the memo seen by NYT. The nature of those penalties, however, was yet unknown.
The UAE’s anti-homosexuality campaign is not new.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia recently seized rainbow-colored toys and children’s clothing on the grounds that they promote homosexuality, according to a report by official TV Al Ekhbariya. A range of goods, including hats, shirts, T-shirts, hair clips, and pencil cases, were reportedly seized from shops in the capital, Riyadh, by members of the commerce ministry.
Additionally, movies that depict or even allude to sexual minorities are prohibited in Saudi Arabia. In April, the kingdom said that it had asked Disney to take out “LGBTQ connotations” from Doctor Strange in the Marvel film Multiverse of Madness, but that the studio had refused.
The most recent animated movie from Disney, Lightyear, which has a same-sex kiss, has also been banned in Saudi Arabia and more than a dozen other countries.