Tim Buckley doesn’t want you to fly Qatar Airways.
Buckley is organizing a boycott effort of the Arab state’s airline. For gays, Buckley said, there is no life in Qatar.
“The fact is Qatar is one of 10 countries on earth where they have codified into law the penalty for a man who loves another man is death,” Buckley told SFGN in a telephone conversation this week.
To raise awareness and, perhaps, change hearts and minds, Buckley created www.BoycottQatarAirways.com. There visitors can learn of Qatar’s anti-LGBT culture and sign a petition asking for Miami-Dade County government personnel to not use the airline.
“It’s a mechanism to create awareness,” Buckley said of the boycott. “A little pinch in their wallet might get them to pay attention.”
Flying out of Doha, Qatar Airways arrives daily at Miami International Airport. Qatar Airways also services Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington.
As Qatar prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Buckley said labor conditions inside the country are extremely poor. In petitioning Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez to sanction Qatar Airways, Buckey’s group outlines conditions for workers in Qatar.
“Qatar Airways has, itself, abused its employees who work under the careful watch of the Qatari government,” he said. “In Doha, the airline mandates that its employees live in company housing with strict curfews and where their personal lives are monitored, and bans workers from marrying without its permission. Female employees who become pregnant can be terminated. Women also must adhere to strict grooming policies, including weight limits, a throwback to an era when age and sex discrimination were the norm,” declares the Alliance for Workers Against Repression Everywhere (AWARE.)
Located on a small peninsula on the northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar gained its independence from Great Britain in 1971. British and U.S. forces jointly operate an aviation base, Al-Udeid, in Qatar.