Lebanon LGBT Activists Hold Rare Protest


Pink News reported yesterday,

Helem Lebanon LGBT protestA rare protest, demanding a repeal of laws criminalising homosexuality as “against nature”, has taken place in Lebanon.

Around 50 activists gathered outside the Hbeish Gendarmerie in Beirut, a place where morality police often take suspects, in the first protest of its kind for four years.

As well as calls to decriminalise homosexuality, the group also wanted four trans women released.

The event was organised by the Helem association, a prominent LGBT rights group based in the country, which handed out placards that read, “homosexuality is not a disease” and “sex is not illegal – your law is archaic”.

Helem chief Genwa Samhat told AFP that most people were detained under a 94-year-old law.

“Most people arrested under this law aren’t detained in the act but in the street because of their appearance,” she said.

Although Lebanon is more tolerant than other Arab states, being LGBT is still regularly mocked on television and police often perform raids on nightclubs they suspect are frequented by gay men.

The full report is here.

The organizers of the event, Helem Lebanon, can be found on facebook here, and have posted a short video from the event.

The anti-pinkwashing brigade could not be reached for comment.

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A Zionist in exile, Mirabelle has, in past lives, been a lawyer, a skier, and a chef. Outside of Israel, her favorite place in the world is Sun Valley, Idaho.