Lebanon Launches Arab World's First Gay Pride Week

Lebanon Launches Arab World's First Gay Pride Week
Lebanon Launches Arab World's First Gay Pride Week

Great news. Unfortunately they still have a looooooooooong way to go.

Lebanon this week becomes the first Arab country to celebrate gay pride but the opening event in a landmark run of festivities was cancelled after Islamists threatened violence.

While the gay rights movement has steadily grown in Beirut, homosexual acts are still punishable by up to a year in prison.

Polls show the vast majority of Lebanese reject homosexuality

I don't mean to sound too cynical as this is a great step forward, just pointing out that the content of the article isn't as nice as the title.

In other words..


homosexual acts are still punishable by up to a year in prison.

It's a bit more complicated.


Though homosexuality is illegal in Lebanon, there is no actual law prohibiting it. Instead, gay men are prosecuted under Article 534, which states that “any sexual intercourse contrary to the order of nature is punishable” by up to a year in prison.

In a number of recent court cases such as the one cited above the judge found that since homosexuality is not contrary to the order of nature, there's nothing illegal about it.

Yeah, who would have thought that a belief that God condemns homosexuality would cause followers to condemn homosexuality?

People take for granted the reasons why religion in the west has been more tamed than in the middle east. It was not religious people evolving their religion as much as it was secular people standing up for sensible policies of balance and for the wellbeing of the weak and saying no to religious people's ambitions. Many religious people in the west still want government to merge with their faith. Secularists continually say no. Many still want prayer in public school. Secularists say no. If secularists did not oppose the religious, because perhaps they'd be killed for it, we'd have a situation much more like the middle east than we want to admit.

This is why I strongly believe that without this secular effort to restrain the dogma created behavior of the religious in the west, they'd be almost as or equally as antagonistic to the wellbeing of homosexuals as they are in the middle east. Remember that American Christians helped Uganda set up its kill the gays legislation. There are much fewer secular people in Uganda to say no.

It's definitely the dogma that creates the problem. If you take belief based on perceived divine authority out of religion you have speculative existential philosophy, or spirituality, which I have absolutely no problem with whatsoever, and engage in contemplating on a regular basis. It lacks certainty and self-righteousness, so it doesn't place burdens on others demanding everyone else bend to the will of those that believe it. Doubt is a good thing when considering ideas with little to no real evidence.

You can condemn it all you want, that's your right. As soon as that condemnation turns to violence you become a fascist. That is the difference between certain religions today.

Maybe, but they gotta start somewhere.

People here might confuse Arab with being Muslim. Lebanon is about half Muslim and half Christian.

They've had marches in Beirut for like a decade.

You are revising history a little bit by making it make it sound like secularism came about because non-religious people fought against those darn religious fundamentalists.

The US has a very large population that considers itself religious. Creating a separation between church and state could not have occurred if it was solely up to agnostics/non-religious/atheists.

I believe it came about because of religious minorities fleeing persecution who came here to the US. They realized that their religious liberties would be jeopardized if religious laws were allowed to pass by the majority.

Fighting against a gov't that was intrusive into controlling a person's property, religious practices and speech is a very American idea that is held by the religious and non-religious as well.

BTW the Kill gays law never even became law in Uganda. State executions of homosexuals is done only in Muslim majority nations. The "Christians are just as bad" shtick is tired old bullshit.

ye probs 40% christian i guess. But also, Lebanon is much less prone to extremists. Even Hezbollah are protecting christians, which is by far the most powerful force in lebanon, and most muslims have christian friends from their neighbourhoods.

And until 2003, 13 US states still considered gay sex a crime. Not a "donkeys can't sleep in bathtubs" crime that's on the books but never enforced - an actual crime, that people were still being arrested for. In Idaho it could be punishable by life in prison. Michigan had a maximum penalty of 15 years for a first offense, and life in prison for "repeat offenders".

That was in 2003. And the SCOTUS decision that struck down these laws was not a unanimous decision, nor was the American public largely in favor of this change. 2003 the US public was evenly split between people who thought gay sex should be legal and those who thought it should remain a crime, while the vast majority of the population rejected homosexuality as immoral.

In 2003. That was 15 years ago. A lot can change, very quickly.

hmm that doesn't seem like a real good idea.

Anal, blowjobs and masturbation happen in nature so those are 10/10 go for it.

The rest, not so much.

However that ruling does open up necrophilia, torture, murder, disemboweling and a few other things. Nature is metal.

The funny thing about those religious minorities is that were not just fleeing persecution in Europe, they also attempted to persecute each other while already in the US.

I thought it said LeBron. I was like, "Damn, that dude can do it all. Triple doubles and fighting for equal rights overseas. I'm fucking impressed".

Separation of church and state is a secular policy no matter who supports it.

There was violence in the US when gay rights started really gaining momentum in the late 60s. People were literally burned alive. You have to start somewhere. I wish them the best of luck.

i hope it goes well and everyone's safe

And Turkey isn't part of the Arab world because their primary language is Turkish and not Arabic, but they're definitely part of the Muslim world, and Istanbul Pride has been going since 2003.

Louisiana is still arresting gay men for violating "sodomy" laws despite it being unconstitutional.

When was the last time someone was jailed for being gay in Lebanon?

Lebanon had it for a while now. Hope nobody gets stabbed like what happened in Israel by an extremist Jew.

No census has been done in Lebanon since the war

And yet you came up with a specific number of 30% with no supporting source.

A person can self identify as a unicorn that doesn't change the meaning and definition of the word unicorn.

My agenda was simply to bring more clarity into peoples discussion.

The CIA World Factbook estimates the following: Muslim 54% (27% Shia, 27% Sunni), Christian 40.5% (includes 21% Maronite Catholic, 8% Greek Orthodox, 5% Melkite Catholic, 1% Protestantism in Lebanon, 5.5% other Christian), Druze 5.6%, very small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, Hindus, and Mormons.

Ar·ab NOUN a member of a Semitic people, originally from the Arabian peninsula and neighboring territories, inhabiting much of the Middle East and North Africa.

Arabs can be of any faith, including Christian.

From your own article.

The Sheriff's Office is backtracking and now says it didn't realize anti-sodomy laws weren't valid anymore.

The one sheriff responsible for this didn't know the law was changed over a decade ago, ie its not the law and the sheriff didn't follow the law.

Also from your own article.

the local district attorney tells the newspaper he has no intention of prosecuting

So no one was jailed for it.

Ill ask again.

When was the last time a homosexual was jailed for being gay in the US? Not prostitution mind you, and not pedophilia, but for having consensual adult gay sex.

You are splitting hairs and my meaning is clear. If its people who hold religious ideas vs. those that don't than secularism would not have happened in the US.

As far as religious extremism goes (religious violence, oppression of people of different faiths, women, gay people) Islam by far has a much larger problem of extremism.

Perhaps its easier to justify religious violence when you are following the teachings of a blood thirsty conqueror, rather than the "turn the other cheek" fellow.

God condemns homosexuality

If you're a christian Christ was very specific in saying that treating other people how you would like to be treated trumps anything that's ever been written in any holy book or spoken by any prophet in the past present and future.

So no anal, blowjobs, masturbation, fur porn, BDSM, choking?

When Sydney started its Gay Mardi Gras, it wasn't safe, and continued to be unsafe for over a decade. Beatings (many by cops), murders, you name it.

And this was a western country.

I too hope it goes safely, but I do not expect it.

It's a bit complicated. Several Lebanese judges have ruled homosexuality is not a crime, as it does not fall under lewd acts. However, persecutions continue as many ignore common law for 'tradition'. It really depends on how liberal (and usually urban) of an area we're talking about, according to my family members that live and work there. There might be one area charging people (mostly fines) and another area with a gay bar.

Also Israel is pro gay and is a ton of Arabs living in it.

Though the tolerant attitude towards gays in Israel is derived mainly from the secular Jewish majority rather than the Muslim and Jewish orthodox minorities.

Sounds like a 4chan name

I think you might be confusing "secular" with "atheist."

The commenter you responded to was talking about secularism, which is the belief that matters of religion should be separate from matters of the state. It's entirely possible to be a Christian and a secularist, and many of the people who pushed for the ideal of secularism (like the Founding Fathers) were Christians.

BTW the Kill gays law never even became law in Uganda. State executions of homosexuals is done only in Muslim majority nations. The "Christians are just as bad" shtick is tired old bullshit.

Yes it did, they just swapped out life imprisonment for a death sentence, how humane. And that was after heavy international pressure.

Now their society just murders LGBTQ people while the government looks the other way. Progress!

It's a trap!

It's a trap!

The first gay pride parade in NYC was like this too. The society wasn't tolerant, the police weren't tolerant, it wasn't safe. It's a starting point.

I totally agree with that philosophy, but let's be honest that Christians do not reject the condemnation of homosexuality in the old testament. They embrace the dogma.

Religious extremism is a problem, Muslim's don't have a monopoly on toxic ideology

Also Israel is pro gay and is a ton of Arabs living in it.

I honestly don't care if anyone's god condemns homosexuality. As long as his followers don't feel they need to do his dirty work. Unfortunately, it never works this way. The almighty god needs his human followers to do the work he's incapable of doing himself.

Dogma is the problem.

Dogma is belief based on claims from perceived authority.

Beliefs form our thoughts, feelings and actions. They also form the foundation for other beliefs in a belief system.

If you truly believe that a book is the word of the creator of all things, then you'll believe the book is 100% true. If the book says that homosexuality is a sin, then those who believe the book is true will believe that.

Here's the part so many fail to grasp, because it's logic based on a belief system with which they don't agree..

If being homosexual is a sin, either it is a choice or God is not a fair, benevolent being, but an unfair punitive one, a God that is unappealing to follow or worship. So people conclude, consciously or not, that homosexuality must be a choice, because God is good, not evil.

Another point builds on that..

If being homosexual is a choice and a sin then responsible people should discourage the choice in order to prevent divine judgement.

And one more..

In order to discourage this sinful choice, those that make it should be discriminated, scolded, punished effectively in order to deter their sinful choice.

This explains why religious people persecute homosexuals. The belief system that results from believing a book is the word of God, that says homosexuality is a sin, clearly, logically leads to the behavior of persecution. It's not hard to understand why. Religious people do not have broken logic, they just put the content of a book they trust into that system with faith. That causes the entire problem. When they doubt the book is 100% true like many moderates and nonbelievers, their beliefs, feelings, logic and behavior change accordingly.

Some people are slow learners.

Lebanese here. I hate to say this but we are not as progressive as some may think we are. Until today people are not allowed to get married under civil law, only religious. That means that if a Catholic man wants to marry a Muslim woman one of them must convert to the other's religion.

Confirmed, at least in my experience.

a) Reform, Reconstructionist, and most branches of Conservative Judaism don't think biblical texts categorically condemn same gender relationships. The infamous Levitical passages don't say anything about sex between women at all, and condemn sex between men only in circumstances in which one man is treated "as if he were a woman."

Opinions on what that modifier means vary. Some think it refers specifically to penetrative sex, without condemning other forms of sexual intimacy between men. This is similar to condemnations of wearing mixed fabrics, or dietary restrictions - ancient Israel saw the universe as divided into very distinct categories, and to mix categories threatened to upset the balance and cause disaster.

Others think that this condemnation referred to the social and legal status of women at the time. Women were property in the ancient Mediterranean, and sex was one of the means by which a man "acquired" a woman who thereafter could be used at will. Some of the Israelite's neighbors thought it was also acceptable for a powerful man to "acquire" weaker men in the same fashion. To have sex with a man "as if he were a woman" was to make him your slave, and rape him.

b) I'm Episcopalian. This is not a small or marginalized denomination. The Episcopal church has permitted clergy to bless the unions of same gender couples since the 80's. the deacon who taught my 7th grade Confirmation class was gay, and our church recognized his marriage at a time when the state considered gay sex a crime.

Same gender couples are very actively encouraged to seek marriage blessings, because the church doesn't want anyone avoiding them in the mistaken impression that they aren't welcome. Bishop Gene Robinson was the first gay man with a husband elected Bishop in the Episcopal church, on June 7th 2003 - three weeks before the US Supreme Court struck down "sodomy" laws.

Episcopal church leadership voted with an overwhelming majority to approve an update to the marriage liturgy, formally extending the full sacrament of marriage to same gender couples in 2015. They also banned anti-trans discrimination in 2012, again by an overwhelming majority. My diocese has a float in the Gay Pride parade every year. This is my bishop. He's straight but he's always at the parade.

And the Episcopal church is far from alone here. The United Church of Christ, the Methodists, United Church of Canada, the Presbyterians, etc - not to mention all the decentralized Protestant denominations that have no central authority and therefor no standard policy, but do have a large and growing number of congregations enthusiastically welcoming LGBT people and families. The United Church of Christ in particular. They issued their first statement in support of the rights and dignity of gay people, a resolution calling for churches to oppose "sodomy" laws, in 1969 - two months before Stonewall.