Minister of Interior declares: ‘Lebanon is against sodomy’

Marwan Charbel, Lebanon’s Minister of Interior declared that being gay is illegal and ‘wondered’ if married French gays should be allowed to enter the country

Minister of Interior declares: ‘Lebanon is against sodomy’
04 May 2013

Lebanese Minister of Interior, Marwan Charbel, declared publicly on TV that Lebanon is against ‘sodomy’ and rhetorically wondered if married gay French couples should be allowed to enter Lebanon.

During an interview with Al Jadeed TV, Charbel referred to gays in an extremely derogatory religious term, ‘liwat’, referring to the cursed people of Lot, roughly translated as ‘sodomy’ and sometimes used to denote the meaning of ‘fags’.

He said: ‘Lebanon is against liwat and according to Lebanese law it is a felony.

‘And I wonder, after France allowed gay people to marry, should we allow them to enter Lebanon?’

The announcement comes shortly after Antoine Shakhtoura, mayor of the Beirut suburb Dekwaneh, had six gay and trans club-goers arrested and transported in car boots to the police station where they were forced strip naked, photographed, beaten and humiliated, in a incident reported by GSN last week.

Lebanese LGBT activists, some of whom participated in a protest against the abusive arrest and beatings last week, dismissed and crticized the minister’s statement.

Speaking with Gay Star News, Bertho Makso, owner of Lebanon’s only gay friendly travel company, said: ‘Charbel is very ready to allow radical Muslims to break the law, while his anti-gay comment is pure ignorance.

‘Firstly, the law he refers to, article 534, prohibits sex acts "contradicting the laws of nature", which is punishable by up to a year in prison, which is not a felony.

‘Secondly, in 2009, Lebanese judge in Batroun ruled that gay sex does not “contradict nature” making the article redundant in this instance.

‘Thirdly, LGBT tourists are enjoying the hospitality here, even if the minister wanted to prohibit entry to married gays he couldn’t legally do it, and many tourism professionals simply laughed off his ludicrous remarks.’

Joseph Aoun, manager of Beirut’s gay bar Bardo told GSN: ‘We’ve had enough with homophobic rants and now we’re answering back working with Helem and the Lebanese LGBT media monitoring group.

‘We’re asking people to use a Facebook and Twitter profile picture which substitutes the two red lines of the Lebanese flag with the word ‘rights’ in Arabic and a rainbow colored cedar tree until the 17 May, International Day Against Homophobia.

‘We are also running an "Equality Marathon" and started a blog for people to exchange ideas about further developments.’

Georges Azzi, the executive director for the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality, commented to GSN: ‘the minister has failed to fight the real threats facing the country, such as illegal weapons and kidnapping.

‘Like any other decision maker who fails to achieve his duties he looks for a scapegoat and someone to blame – this time the LGBT community.’

Earlier today (5 May), the minister’s press office published a ‘clarification’ on Facebook stating Charbel wasn’t passing a judgment, merely stating that while gay marriage was recently legalized in France it is still prohibited in Lebanon.

Johnny Tohme, member of Helem, a Lebanese LGBT advocacy group, commented: ‘What makes me laugh, is that you say gays are leading to country into ruin, but those who follow our history see that destruction and corruption is simply the fruit of politicians, social and religious radicals’.



No thumbnail available

Gay activists will protest against Aeroflot in Moscow tomorrow

Protest and petition against Russia’s main airline after they reportedly forced a gay flight attendant to marry a woman
No thumbnail available

Hackers threaten Ugandan officials over 'Kill the Gays' bill

Cyber activists from Anonymous release names and contact details of Ugandan lawmakers, while petition garners 1.5 million signatures
No thumbnail available

'Suspected' lesbians in Ghana's capital targeted after homophobic residents put up posters

The incident comes a day after a group of 'suspected' lesbians in the same community were stoned and pelted with human faeces by an angry mob
No thumbnail available

Protest against anti-gay pastor planned for Sunday in North Carolina

During sermon, Charles L. Worley advocated building electric fence around gays and lesbians so they will die off
No thumbnail available

Neighbours boss 'proud' of show's first male gay kiss

After 27-years, Neighbours finally features a male gay kiss
No thumbnail available

HRC celebrates the birthday of gay marriage advocate Edie Windsor

Windsor married her partner of 40 years, Thea Spyer, in May 2007
No thumbnail available

Australian pro-footballer says homophobes should be banned from the sport for life

Australian Football League midfielder Brock McLean has called for fans who yell homophobic taunts to receive life bans and players to receive fines after going public with his support for his lesbian sister in an effort to combat homophobia inside the sport
No thumbnail available

Chorus from Macklemore’s gay anthem Same Love now its own song

Mary Lambert, the singer of the amazing chorus from Same Love, has released a ballad version called She Keeps Me Warm
No thumbnail available

Taiwan fertility clinic refuses lesbian's eggs

The woman was told recipients fear homosexuality is hereditary
No thumbnail available

Dan Savage uses gay slur to slam GOProud for its support of Mitt Romney

He tweets: 'The GOP's house faggots grab their ankles, right on cue'