Photo: Pride flag bearing Lebanon's cedar tree carried by human rights activists at rally in Beirut, 2013.

Lebanon interior minister tells security forces to ‘stop’ LGBTQ gatherings over pressure from religious figures


Lebanon’s interior minister gave instructions to security forces on Friday to stop gatherings of the LGBTQ community, following pressure from religious institutions. Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi instructed Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces to “immediately take the necessary measures to prevent any type of celebration, meeting or gathering” by the LGBTQ community. The orders followed “calls on social media to organise parties and events promoting homosexuality in Lebanon, and following communication from religious figures rejecting the spread of this phenomenon”, he said. Members of the LGBTQ community enjoy more freedom in Lebanon than in most other Middle East countries but still lack rights and face constant harassment. “This phenomenon is contrary to the habits and customs of our society” and religious principles, Mawlawi said, adding that “personal freedoms cannot be invoked”.

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