Lebanon

At a glance

  • Same-sex relations: illegal
  • Legal gender recognition: possible
  • Registration of LGBTIQ organizations: not possible
  • Actions related to SOGi at UN: did not vote on IE SOGI in 2016

 

Overview

Since 2011, there has been a series of protests against the Lebanese government, including demands for recognition of the human rights of LGBTIQ people. Consequently, some liberalization has followed. Since 2011, several courts have ruled that Lebanon’s Penal Code prohibiting “sexual intercourse contrary to nature” does not apply to same-sex relations. Nevertheless, the law remains in force and, along with laws protecting “public morals,” contribute to strongly negative perceptions of LGBTIQ people. A path for legal gender recognition was created in 2016, and Lebanon’s strict censorship laws have not been applied to LGBTIQ content in recent years.

While some politicians have started to express support for the repeal of Lebanon’s ban on same-sex relations and LGBTIQ people more broadly, hate speech from politicians and religious leaders remains an issue.

Even though Lebanon is seen as more liberal than most of its neighbors, societal opinion of LGBTIQ people continues to be predominantly negative. LGBITQ identities are widely seen as un-Islamic and immoral. As such, harassment, discrimination, and family rejection are common. LGBTIQ activists are particularly vulnerable to violence and police harassment due to their visibility. However, due to increased visibility, as well as musical icon Mashrou’ Leila, the perceptions of particularly younger generations are shifting and becoming more favorable to LGBTIQ people.