A secret gay wedding in Marrakech ended in a police chase last weekend.
Rabat – On the night of Saturday, February 16, two Moroccan men aged 24 and 26 held a wedding ceremony in a remote resort in the ochre city, Marrakech, until the Royal Gendarmerie interrupted.
The wedding, attended by Middle Eastern businessmen and other LGBTQ Moroccans, took place in a luxurious tourist complex in Saada, a rural town near Marrakech.
The wedding organizers reportedly asked guests to switch off their phones during the ceremony to avoid the leaking of photos or videos of the wedding.
The organizers then suspected that the Royal Gendarmerie had surrounded the resort and informed the wedding guests who began to flee and hide in a nearby forest.
The gendarmerie, with the help of some local residents who had reported the wedding, chased and arrested eight guests. Others managed to escape the scene by car.
Same-sex marriage is illegal under Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code, which criminalizes “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.” It is punishable by 6 months to 3 years’ imprisonment and a fine of MAD 120 to 1,200.
Although same-sex marriage is legal in several parts of the world, including the US, Australia, and Canada, merely being a member of the LGBTQ community in Morocco and other generally conservative societies is largely rejected.