The Lebanese Civil Community Responded To The Ban On LGBTQ+ Events

Beirut Pride 2018

Updated, June 26, 2022.

Annually, members and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community around the world celebrate their history during the month of June.

In Lebanon, a country that rejects the LGBT status, the community is still shyly celebrating by holding peaceful protests and events. However, on Saturday, June 25, the Lebanese woke up to the news that the Minister of Interior, Bassam Halawi, has decided to ban such events.

This decision was heavily criticized by the public deeming that the ministry has decided to condemn these peaceful events instead of tackling the many important issues in the country, such as the rising shortages of bread and water, and the ongoing inflation.

His decision was mostly considered a human rights violation, suppressing the freedom of the community and their ability to express themselves.

The minister justified this decision by blaming the “pressure from religious authorities” and the fact that such events go against Lebanese traditional values.

Religious interference is not new in Lebanon, since the same pressure was witnessed when discussing civil marriage and banning child marriage by public demands, and also women’s rights.

Lebanon has still a long way to go in regards to the acceptance of others and equality for all. Just this weekend, Beirut Pride’s billboard was vandalized overnight in Ashrafieh.

Taking matters into their own hand, the civil community decided to protest against the ministry’s circular, which will take place on Sunday, June 26.

The march is organized by Madane Network (meaning civil network) and the Secular Clubs in the country and will take place in front of the Ministry of Interior.

Titled “We will continue to love and live as we want,” the protest aims to send a message to “religious authorities, the state, and its violence.”

Editor’s Note, June 26, 2022: Following threats and campaigns against those intending to participate in the march, the event has been postponed for safety reasons.

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