The BBC is reporting that gay men are being harassed and abused in Morocco after photos taken from hook-up apps have been circulated online.
Morocco is a socially conservative country, and sex between men is illegal.
The country is currently in lock-down to try and prevent transmission of Covid-19, making it harder for gay men to avoid being harassed by their families.
Staying safe while using dating and hook-up apps in Morocco
To help gay men stay safe, Gaydar – the online dating specialists – has encouraged its users to use the functionality that enables users to make their main profile image ‘discrete’. This is one step that users can take to try and protect their identity while connecting with other men.
An LGBTQ Guide to the World
Is it legal to be gay in Morocco?
Same-sex sexual activity is criminalised under Morocco’s penal code. It can be punished by 6 months to 3 years imprisonment. Additional fines can also be imposed.
The laws seem to be enforced fairly sporadically and inconsistently by the authorities.
Is there anti-discrimination legislation in place to protect gay men in Morocco?
No. There’s no legislative protection from discrimination or harassment based on sexuality.
Is there marriage equality in Morocco?
No. There is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
What’s life like for gay men who live in Morocco?
It is illegal to be gay in Morocco.
Being gay is seen as a sign of immorality, contravening the traditions of Islam that shape life in Morocco.
The laws against same-sex sexual activity are enforced sporadically, with local people generally treated more harshly than foreign nationals.
Morocco’s government actively discourages any tolerance, education, or advocacy regarding LGBTQ rights.
Is Morocco safe for gay men to visit on vacation?
Morocco has long been a popular destination for queer travellers, but if you’re considering a visit to Morocco, you need to proceed with extreme caution.
There has generally been more tolerance of foreign gay men in popular destinations such as Marrakesh, however this often takes the form of prostitution by local people looking to make some money from visiting foreign nationals.
Plenty of gay men have visited Morroco without incident, however gay tourists are sometimes targeted for robbery or extortion and that can get tricky – this is a country where being gay can land you in prison.
A run in with the local authorities can be problematic for foreign nationals, but life-threatening for people who live there.
If you’re visiting Morocco, and hooking up with local guys, you can be placing them in material danger.
How can you help gay men who live in Morocco?
Find ways to help publicise the stories and experiences of LGBTQ people in Morocco.
Use your networks to raise awareness of the challenges faced by LGBTQ people in Morocco.
Lobby your political representatives to raise concerns regarding Morocco’s criminalisation of same-sex sexual activities through any available diplomatic channels.