The Saudi Arabian government is confiscating toys, clothes and other items bearing rainbow colors, saying they conjure images of the pride flag and promotes homosexuality.
Rainbow-colored bows, skirts, hats, pencil cases and other items aimed at children will be seized, according to a report broadcast Tuesday evening by Saudi Arabia’s Al Ekhbariya news channel.
“We are giving a tour of the items that contradict the Islamic faith and public morals and promote homosexual colors targeting the younger generation,” an official from the commerce ministry said on the channel.
The official added that the rainbow colors send “a poisoned message” to children.
The move comes ahead of President Biden’s planned visit to the kingdom in mid-July to discuss increasing oil production to help alleviate sky-high gas prices in the U.S.
Mr. Biden earlier this week signed a sweeping executive order aimed at protecting LGBTQ youth from a slew of conservative state laws and helping address barriers they face to health care and housing.
The order uses the federal government’s power to push back against state laws in Florida and Texas that restrict access to health care for transgender youth and ban discussions about gender and sexual orientation for young elementary school children.
A senior official described the state measures as “hateful discriminatory laws” and “un-American.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Saudi Arabia has frequently cracked down on art and culture that feature gay characters or are viewed as promoting LGBTQ rights.
In April, the kingdom demanded that Disney remove LGBTQ references from the Marvel movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” Disney refused, and the film did not screen in Saudi Arabia movie theaters.
The kingdom has also banned Disney’s upcoming movie “Lightyear” because it features a same-sex kiss.
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