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March 5, 2014

A Lebanese judge has found that a transgender woman’s relationship with a man does not constitute ‘unnatural sexual intercourse’ in a further blow to the criminalization of LGBTI people in the majority Muslim nation

A criminal prosecution against a transgender Lebanese woman in the town of Jdeideh has been thrown out by a judge who found the woman had not broken any law.

The case occurred in January in the district of Matn but was only made public Tuesday in the latest edition of Lebanese legal journal The Legal Agenda.

The woman on trial had been born with an intersex condition and was assigned a male identity at birth but she grew up feeling that she was female and underwent gender reassignment surgery in the 1990s.

March 5, 2014

A Lebanese judge has found that a transgender woman’s relationship with a man does not constitute ‘unnatural sexual intercourse’ in a further blow to the criminalization of LGBTI people in the majority Muslim nation

A criminal prosecution against a transgender Lebanese woman in the town of Jdeideh has been thrown out by a judge who found the woman had not broken any law.

The case occurred in January in the district of Matn but was only made public Tuesday in the latest edition of Lebanese legal journal The Legal Agenda.

The woman on trial had been born with an intersex condition and was assigned a male identity at birth but she grew up feeling that she was female and underwent gender reassignment surgery in the 1990s.

December 25, 2013

Volunteers in Lebanon are helping LGBTI Syrians who have fled war and possibly being murdered because of their sexuality

Gay Syrians, who have fled to Lebanon to escape fighting, torture and possible execution, urgently need help to survive.

New organization Proud Lebanon is trying to meet the demand – but with thousands of Syrian refugees still escaping the war, is not able to reach everyone.

Those it can help are given support in accessing vital services, therapy to deal with the trauma they have faced and tutoring to get a job and build a better future.

December 25, 2013

Volunteers in Lebanon are helping LGBTI Syrians who have fled war and possibly being murdered because of their sexuality

Gay Syrians, who have fled to Lebanon to escape fighting, torture and possible execution, urgently need help to survive.

New organization Proud Lebanon is trying to meet the demand – but with thousands of Syrian refugees still escaping the war, is not able to reach everyone.

Those it can help are given support in accessing vital services, therapy to deal with the trauma they have faced and tutoring to get a job and build a better future.

December 13, 2013

A Lebanese TV show has targeted innocent LGBTI bar-goers by secretly filming them at a drag party

A Lebanese TV show has secretly filmed LGBTI people enjoying an innocent drag night at a bar and branded them ‘perverts’.

The Lilnasher show hosted by Tony Khalife on the New Tv (Al Jadid) channel is well known for tabloid-style reporting.

But this week the gay community of Beirut again found themselves in the firing line.

The revelers at Posh, an LGBTI bar, were celebrating Saint Barbara’s day or Eid il-Burbara.

November 6, 2013

Omar Kuddus asks if LGBTI activism has become dominated by ‘fashions’ and whether a focus on Russia is distracting from the wider struggle for rights

Whilst the world’s and media’s attention is focused on the plight of Russian LGBTIs, we must not forget homosexuality is illegal in 76 countries.

With the Winter Olympics Sochi in 2014 and Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws firmly in place, not a day goes by without some news about the conditions Russian homosexuals face under the heinous anti-gay propaganda laws.

October 11, 2013

Lebanon’s capital is famous for the Middle East’s most handsome men, inspiring cuisine and open, yet discrete, gay life

When the topic of travel destinations arises amongst travellers, Beirut may as well stop the conversation in its tracks.

However, don’t let anyone dismay you- Lebanon is a complex nation that refuses to be reduced to an evening news sound bite.

To those fortunate enough to see this indomitable city, a knowing smile will be your reward from fellow travellers who have reveled in its nightlife, been wrapped warm by the hospitality of its people, and tasted the rich tapestry of its food.

October 11, 2013

Lebanon’s capital is famous for the Middle East’s most handsome men, inspiring cuisine and open, yet discrete, gay life

When the topic of travel destinations arises amongst travellers, Beirut may as well stop the conversation in its tracks.

However, don’t let anyone dismay you- Lebanon is a complex nation that refuses to be reduced to an evening news sound bite.

To those fortunate enough to see this indomitable city, a knowing smile will be your reward from fellow travellers who have reveled in its nightlife, been wrapped warm by the hospitality of its people, and tasted the rich tapestry of its food.

October 5, 2013

Reports say Beirut International Film Festival faces censor disapproval on decision to include award-winning French thriller ‘Stranger by the lake’

Will they, won’t they?

That’s what gay and other rights activists are wondering about the Beirut International Film Festival as it gets ready for tonight’s screening.

The film chosen in the Panorama section for the 10 pm show tonight is the controversial gay thriller “L’inconnu du lac” (Stranger by the lake), French director Alain Guiraudie’s 2013 work that has won both bouquets and brickbats.

October 5, 2013

Reports say Beirut International Film Festival faces censor disapproval on decision to include award-winning French thriller ‘Stranger by the lake’

Will they, won’t they?

That’s what gay and other rights activists are wondering about the Beirut International Film Festival as it gets ready for tonight’s screening.

The film chosen in the Panorama section for the 10 pm show tonight is the controversial gay thriller “L’inconnu du lac” (Stranger by the lake), French director Alain Guiraudie’s 2013 work that has won both bouquets and brickbats.

August 29, 2013

Psychologists agree to be expert witnesses in court to say homosexuality is natural, and so laws against ‘unnatural’ sex acts do not apply

Lebanon is closer to making gay sex legal after psychiatrists and psychologists in the country stated homosexuality was ‘natural’, GSN can reveal.

The statements are a huge breakthrough because law 534, used to prosecute gay sex, is actually a law against ‘unnatural’ sex acts.

And now psychologists and psychiatrists have stated they would be prepared to be expert witnesses in court and tell judges homosexuality is ‘natural’.

June 26, 2013

Security forces in Lebanon routinely torture, beat, verbally and physically abuse people suspected of being gay, breaching international agreements which the country ratified, says a report

Lebanese Internal Security Forces threaten, ill-treat, and torture LGBT people in their custody says report released today (26 June).

In just one example of many interviewees, Nadim was arrested in 2010 because his brother was suspected of drug dealing. He was repeatedly beaten, threatened, and subjected to an ‘anal probe’ examination.

May 4, 2013

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

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’.

May 4, 2013

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

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’.

April 24, 2013

Gay and trans party goers rounded, beaten, stripped naked and humiliated by municipal police under direct orders of Beirut, Lebanon suburb mayor Antoine Shakhtoura

Municipal police rounded clubbers outside Beirut’s prime gay club, Ghost, arrested and transported them back in their car boots to the police station where they were forced to strip naked, photographed, beaten and humiliated.

According to Roy Khouri, Gay Middle East’s Beirut correspondent, all the detainees (five gay Syrians and a Lebanese trans woman) were severly beaten and transported in the boot of officers’ cars in the early hours of Sunday (21 April).

April 5, 2013

Lebanese security forces use ‘anal probe’ exams to test for ‘proof’ of men being gay, reported a local legal organization

Anal probes are still being used in Lebanon by security forces in order to ‘determine’ ‘proof’ of men being ‘gay’, revealed Legal Agenda (Al Mufakkira Al Qanuniyya), a local legal organization.

These tests, which Human Rights Watch has previously discredited, saying they amount to torture and humiliation, are still being carried out despite being banned by the Lebanese justice ministry and the country’s medical association.

October 17, 2012

Three people were questioned for nearly a day over allegedly spreading rumors that a famous Lebanese TV personality is gay

Lebanese police in Beirut questioned three people yesterday (16 October) for allegedly spreading rumors that TV presenter Joe Maalouf is gay.

In July, Murr TV’s (MTV) celebrity Joe Maalouf’s made allegations on his program Enta Horr that authorities are protecting ‘faggots’ and ‘perverts in cinemas’ which he described as ‘safe havens’ of ‘debauchery’, demanding swift action by the authorities against them.

September 3, 2012

Following a campaign by Lebanese Canadian LGBT activists Canada denied entry visa to a homophobic pop star from Lebanon

Lebanese Canadian LGBT activists ran a successful campaign that led Canada to deny entry to a homophobic pop star from Lebanon.   All his scheduled concerts in the country have now been cancelled.

Unconfrimed reports, however, still suggest the pop star may attempt to reschedule some of the shows and apply again for a visa with the Canadian authorities.

Earlier this year, Mohamad Eskandar released a song called Ded El Enf, mocking the Lebanese LGBT community’s attempts to find acceptance in the country.

September 1, 2012

The Lebanese minister of justice has publicly demanded an end to the use of discredited anal probe exams to 'test' if men are gay

Lebanon’s justice minister, Shakib Qortbawi, demanded earlier this morning (1 September) an end to the use of anal probe exams used find out if men are gay.

During an interview with the Lebanese paper Assafir, the minister said the anal probe exams must stop, whilst acknowledging that the judiciary is totally independent but requested they should listen to his and the Lebanese Medical Association’s opinion.

‘In Lebanon there will be no more anal tests.

‘The judiciary is independent but they should listen to us,’ he said.

September 1, 2012

The Lebanese minister of justice has publicly demanded an end to the use of discredited anal probe exams to 'test' if men are gay

Lebanon’s justice minister, Shakib Qortbawi, demanded earlier this morning (1 September) an end to the use of anal probe exams used find out if men are gay.

During an interview with the Lebanese paper Assafir, the minister said the anal probe exams must stop, whilst acknowledging that the judiciary is totally independent but requested they should listen to his and the Lebanese Medical Association’s opinion.

‘In Lebanon there will be no more anal tests.

‘The judiciary is independent but they should listen to us,’ he said.

August 17, 2012

Two men who were caught yesterday having sex in car in Beirut were arrested and publicly outed

Two Lebanese men were detained last night (16 August) on suspicion of’ indecent acts’ in the Ashrafieh neighbourhood, Beirut.

The men, aged 42 and 22, were reported to having been caught having gay sex in a car.

Lebanese Murr TV (MTV) has publicly outed them, publishing their full names and ages.

According to the Lebanese Ministry of Information the two men were handed over to the vice squad upon request from the judicial authorities.

August 17, 2012

Two men who were caught yesterday having sex in car in Beirut were arrested and publicly outed

Two Lebanese men were detained last night (16 August) on suspicion of’ indecent acts’ in the Ashrafieh neighbourhood, Beirut.

The men, aged 42 and 22, were reported to having been caught having gay sex in a car.

Lebanese Murr TV (MTV) has publicly outed them, publishing their full names and ages.

According to the Lebanese Ministry of Information the two men were handed over to the vice squad upon request from the judicial authorities.

August 11, 2012

Lebanese LGBT advocacy organization Helem held a protested demanding immediate halt to the use of the anal probe and virginal exams

Lebanese LGBT advocacy organization Helem held a protest this morning (11 August) in front of the Lebanese ministry of justice in Beirut, demanding immediate halt to the use of the anal probe and vaginal exams (used to test for virginity).

This historic protest was the biggest ever public demonstration of LGBT advocates and their supporter in the Arab world, and a very rare occasion. The only other protest happened in 2008, also in Beirut.

August 11, 2012

Lebanese LGBT advocacy organization Helem held a protested demanding immediate halt to the use of the anal probe and virginal exams

Lebanese LGBT advocacy organization Helem held a protest this morning (11 August) in front of the Lebanese ministry of justice in Beirut, demanding immediate halt to the use of the anal probe and vaginal exams (used to test for virginity).

This historic protest was the biggest ever public demonstration of LGBT advocates and their supporter in the Arab world, and a very rare occasion. The only other protest happened in 2008, also in Beirut.