Lebanon LGBTQ Community Suffers Setback Amid Wider Clampdown

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07/18/2022

Nour never felt entirely safe as a queer person in Lebanon. But in the past few years, the 25-year-old pharmacist had begun letting his guard down, meeting with friends in LGBTQ-friendly spaces in Beirut and even performing in drag shows. He now opts to stay at home, fearing for his safety more than ever after a wave of anti-LGBTQ hate speech that followed last month’s decision by the Lebanese Interior Ministry to shut down any events aimed at promoting “sexual perversion.” The setback is part of a broader clampdown on marginalized groups and freedoms that activists say aims to distract the public from Lebanon’s spiraling economic and financial crisis, which has pulled over three-quarters of the population into poverty.

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