Tuesday, September 12, 2023

For the repeal of Article 534 of Penal Code in Lebanon, which criminalizes homosexuality

A new ad in MTV Lebanon advocating for the decriminalization of homosexuality in the country is stirring up controversy in the Arab world

The campaign pushes for the repeal of Article 534 in the Lebanese Penal Code, a law first adopted in 1943 that is used to criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations with up to one year of imprisonment. 

Even though several courts have tried to affirm consensual same-sex acts don’t qualify as being “against nature,” it hasn’t stopped multiple arrests continuing to persist,

In the clip, two men are seen standing side-by-side in an elevator when a third man joins them and pulls a gun from his jacket. The tension is palpable until he leaves. When he does, the first two men grasp each other’s hands when words flash across the screen: “There’s crime and there’s love.”

Since premiering, the powerful ad has generated an array of attacks from anti-gay figures, including from Culture Minister Mohammad Mouratda, who lambasted the network and accused it of incitement and division.

Lebanon's LGBTQ community has been the target of repeated attacks in recent months, both by political and religious leaders. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called in late July for the "death penalty" for liwat [a derogatory term for homosexuality].

Despite the outcry, LGBTQ Arabs and allies insist the campaign is sparking much-needed dialogue about the law, which they say is long overdue.  

It's time to change, Lebanon!!! 

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