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Matty Healy The 1975
courtesy of Instagram/@the1975

The 1975’s Matty Healy protests anti-gay UAE laws, kissing a man in Dubai

Video of the kiss was later deleted to protect the man’s identity

Matty Healy, frontman of The 1975, doesn’t keep quiet in the face of injustice or troubling social issues. He’s previously denounced the Alabama abortion ban while onstage in the state, called out the misogyny of the music industry at the Brits, and more recently (July 25) featured Greta Thunberg on a track.

Nor does Healy shy away from physically opposing such injustice himself. Last week, he kissed a man in the crowd on the lips while performing in Dubai, where there are strict laws against homosexuality.

The kiss was part of an overall message about acceptance. From the stage, Healy addressed fans, saying: “If you’re gay, I love you and God fucking loves you.” Part of the backdrop for the gig was a large screen showing a rainbow flag.

In the United Arab Emirates, gay sex is illegal, while the UK Foreign Office advises against public displays of homosexual affection in the territory. People have previously been arrested for kissing in public.

A tweet including video of the kiss was deleted after commenters pointed out that it might lead to repercussions for the man involved (it’s not clear if he was actually from Dubai or not). Healy did tweet again later on, though, thanking the Dubai crowd and adding: “I don’t think we’ll be allowed back due to my ‘behaviour’ but know that I love you and I wouldn’t have done anything differently given the chance again.”