How to Visit Morocco as a Gay Man

Published Date Author: , October 22nd, 2014

Morocco - Google MapsI can only feel sympathy and solidarity with Ray Cole and his partner (Report, 17 October). It must have been a horrific and frightening experience. But as an openly gay man who has travelled more than 20 times to Morocco in the last decade (often with my partner), it seems useful to make some things clear to other lesbian and gay travellers.

1) Male homosexuality is, theoretically, illegal in Morocco. However, the law is not imposed frequently.

2) Homosexuality is an accepted part of Moroccan culture and has been for centuries. Most ordinary people are not hostile if you respect local customs (discretion, not pursuing underage boys etc). In addition, extreme Islamism is very rare in Morocco.

3) The whole state apparatus in Morocco has problems with corruption. This means that officials, including police, can act for personal motives – of power, money or religion – without much regard for legal niceties.

I have mostly found warm and open acceptance from ordinary Moroccan people as a gay man. Indeed, sometimes I have been pleasantly surprised: such as when the Moroccan-owned riad where we stay upgraded us to the best suite of rooms for free, on hearing that we had just had a civil partnership.

So, I think the best advice is to be streetwise: bear in mind you are in a Muslim country where homosexuality is, at least in theory, illegal.

By Patrick Baker – Full Story at The Guardian | Morocco Gay Travel Resources

Image via Google Maps

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