Meet the man hoping to become the Muslim world’s first openly gay president

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07/14/2019

Mounir Baatour’s office is cool, the steady thrum of the air conditioner offering a welcome break from the blistering summer heat that has descended upon Tunis. Past noon, little moves outside. The streets are empty and even the city’s ubiquitous cat population has slinked off to the shadows. Despite the temperature, Baatour, the first openly gay man to run for president in a Muslim country, remains focused upon the task ahead. The road leading to the November poll is unlikely to offer a smooth ride. Homosexuality itself isn’t illegal in Tunisia. However, practising it is. This distinction has allowed Baatour, a lawyer, to register the pressure group Shams. Along with others, the group campaigns for a repeal of the colonial French law proscribing sodomy.

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