Over 100 people have been arrested in Bahrain over the weekend at what has been described as a gay wedding.
According to the Gulf Daily News, Police received complaints about noise from the neighbours of a hall in Hidd, a village on Muharraq island in the north of the Middle Eastern island nation.
Upon investigating, the event was found to be a wedding between two men, said the newspaper. The guests and couple were all arrested on the grounds of “immorality”.
Another newspaper, Al Ayam, described the event not as a wedding, but as a “depraved and decadent” fee-paying party “that brought together gay men from the Arabian Gulf countries”.
The newspaper reported that a police “undercover agent paid the 20 dinar entrance fee and was allowed into the hall where he saw dozens of cross-dressers drinking and smoking shishas (hookahs).”
The arrested men have been described as being between 18 and 30 years of age and of Bahraini, Lebanese and Syrian origins. The embassies of the non-Bahrainis have been informed of the arrests.
The owners of the hall who rented out the venue insisted that they had been told the event was a birthday party.
Homosexuality is not technically illegal in Bahrain but gays and lesbians as well as anyone dressing in non-traditional gender roles can be found guilty of violating traditional morality and sentenced to fines or jail time.