Painting rainbows on a school to brighten it up is apparently a punishable offence in Saudi Arabia. A Twitter account associated with the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice – the authority in charge of enforcing Islamic law – tweeted that the Talee al-Noor International School had been repainted after facing a fine of over $25,000 (£16,082).
The government division was worried that the rainbows painted on the school looked gay, describing them “emblems of homosexuality” and tweeting photos of the repainted school. The Saudi officials also tweeted that they sent the member of school staff responsible for the offending colours to jail to await trial.
Rainbows are an internationally recognised symbol of LGBT rights as you no doubt noticed on Facebook around the time of Pride and the blanket legalisation of same-sex marriage in America. It’s impossible to say what this school’s intentions were – maybe it just wanted to get spruced up with some bright colours, or maybe it did want to promote equality. Who knows?
Although the LGBT community do still face battles in the UK, attitudes across the world still lag way behind, holding hands in Russia is dangerous, being openly homosexual in Uganda is still impossible despite the removal of an anti-gay law and now, rainbows on schools in Saudi Arabia can land you with jail time and a fine.