A court in Lebanon has ruled that homosexuality is natural and is not a criminal offense. [Contrary to an earlier version of this article, the ruling was not made by the Supreme Court in Lebanon.]

For English-speakers, details of the ruling must await a translation of an Arabic-language account of the decision.

Logo of the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health

Logo of the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health

An early account of the ruling  stated that the court’s ruling included a declaration that discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal.

For the particular case before the court, the ruling set aside  Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which calls for a year in prison for men convicted of “sexual intercourse against nature.”

A separate French-language account of the court decision stated that a lower court in the Metn region east of Beirut ruled that Article 534 does not apply if homosexuality is exercised as a right and in a non-abusive way.

Last spring, the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health (LebMASH) challenged Article 534, arguing that because “homosexuality is a natural variation of human sexuality,” it should be exempt from the law forbidding sexual intercourse “against nature.”

 

In cooperation with Erasing 76 Crimes

 

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