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A Report on the Legal and Social Situation of the LGBTQI+ Community in the Middle East and North Africa Region, and its Radical Transformation Between 2020 and 2023. (Lebanon as a Model)

Consensual same-sex relationships remain criminalized in the majority of MENA countries. The countries of this region violate the rights of gays, lesbians, transgender people, and queer people using different laws, some of which are clear and explicit, and others that use broad expressions that are open to interpretation, which criminalize “sodomy,” “debauchery,” “violation of public morals and standards” and “immorality.”

Nevertheless, in many countries of this region, there has been an improvement in the situation of the LGBTQI+ community in recent years in several aspects. However, in the last two years, 2022 and 2023, there has been a noticeable decline in the social and legal status of members of this community.

Therefore, this report examines the history of the legal and social situation regarding LGBTQI+ rights in the MENA region, focusing on Lebanon over the past two years (2022-2023).

The report analyzes the various cases that have occurred in Lebanon since the summer of 2022 against the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, including the decision of the Lebanese Interior Minister, Bassam Al-Mawlawi, to ban gatherings and activities related to this community and the campaign of hatred and incitement by politicians and religious figures against homosexuals and transgender people that has continued for a significant period of time.

The report focuses on the motives and justifications behind these actions and also addresses the broader trends, challenges, and human rights violations faced by queer individuals in the region. It also highlights the efforts of local and international organizations working to promote the rights of LGBTQI+ people and provides recommendations to address the situation effectively.

Key Content:

  • Analysis of the evolving legal framework surrounding LGBTQI+ rights in Lebanon and the MENA region.
  • Insights into the social challenges and human rights violations faced by LGBTQI+ individuals.
  • Exploration of how countries in the region address expressions of homosexuality and gender identity within their legal systems.
  • Recommendations for civil society and the international community to support LGBTQI+ rights in the region.
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