Middle East

 

 

 

Online activists spur change in Middle East, China, world

Online LGBT activism and community-building are the focus of this week’s video in the “Quorum” series of 11 discussions of international LGBTI issues. Moderator for the latest discussion is Andre Banks, executive director of AllOut.org, the U.S.-based advocacy organization that has enlisted 2 million people worldwide to take action online for LGBTI rights. Panelists /… Read more »

10 Reasons Why it’s Great to be Gay in Israel

“Israel is the most gay friendly nation in the Middle East” – as the headlines say, but what’s behind the rainbow-colored slogan? For all the skeptics and fans of Tel Aviv, Kristóf Yosef Steiner breaks down the White City’s major attributes First and foremost: No one asks you to choose between your religion and sexual… Read more »

Sick Islamic terrorists pushed man off building for being gay – then stoned lifeless body

In a series of photographs released by the religious fanatics, the terrified man sits blind-folded on a plastic chair as a grinning executioner takes pictures of the crowd below Sick Islamic terrorists pushed a man off a building for being gay – and then stoned his lifeless body as it lay on the ground. In… Read more »

With generous social benefits, a welcoming attitude, and a thriving support community, Toronto has emerged as the unofficial capital for gay Iranian refugees.

When Ali escaped Iran and arrived in Turkey in 2012, he had already decided where he wanted the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to place him. I told them I’m choosing Canada because I’m going to go to university [and] Canada is cheaper than U.S.; Australia is too far; and in some states in… Read more »

Individual and Community Resilience Factors Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer and Questioning Youth and Adults in Israel.

Abstract Drawing on resilience theories, this study examined the individual and community factors of Israeli lesbians, gays, bisexuals, queers, and questioning (LGBQs) that contribute to positive mental health and the degree to which individual and community protective factors mitigate the adverse effect of risk factors for poor mental health. Differences in resilience factors between LGBQ… Read more »

LGBT Iraqis face ‘imminent risk of death’ under Islamic State

A new report concludes LGBT Iraqis who live under the control of the Islamic State group are likely “at imminent risk of death.” The 18-page document the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and MADRE, a global women’s advocacy organization, released on Wednesday notes the Sunni militant group has imposed a strict interpretation of… Read more »

Saudis Behead Four For Drug Possession & Persecute ‘Gay’ And Businesswoman

The Saudi Arabian “morality police” have been busy these past weeks handing out gruesome penalties for crimes that would be considered misdemeanors in the U.S. Sharia, of course, has different standards than we do and those standards are harsh and deadly. Sharia has no set code of laws that can be relied on to assure… Read more »

Toronto’s gay mecca a refuge for persecuted Iranians

While other Muslims pay homage to the holy city of Mecca, Elina Azari worships Toronto, the gay mecca for queer Iranians. A month ago, the 26-year-old native from Tehran followed the treks of other queer refugees stranded in Turkey and joined the growing Iranian LGBTQ community for a new life in what some of them… Read more »

Two gay Syrian refugees get sanctuary in Canada

Canada: A gay Syrian couple seeking refuge from discrimination and war in their hometown are now able to live in Canada after local sponsors and supporters intervened on their behalf “I want to ride a roller coaster for the first time,” Danny Ramadan told cbc.ca. “I would also like to give back to the community… Read more »

Israel: Twice-cancelled Jerusalem Pride attracts low turnout

This year’s Jerusalem Pride – which was delayed twice due to the Gaza conflict – has finally gone ahead, but attracted a lower-than-expected turnout. The Pride event, which was initially due to take place in August but was delayed over security fears during the Gaza conflict, finally took place yesterday. Held in Shabbat Square, reported… Read more »

Watch: ISIS fighter warns that ‘gays and paedophiles’ teach in ‘infidel’ schools

A video featuring a fighter allegedly with ISIS, the Islamic State, who warns against gays, drug dealers and paedophiles teaching in “infidel countries,” and says gays are “the worst of creatures” and “like animals”. The video, which was posted online at the beginning of April, recently went viral. The eight-minute clip features an armed man… Read more »

Gay Syrian refugees start new lives in Vancouver

Same-sex couple among the first of 1,300 refugees Canada promised to bring in by end of 2014 Two gay Syrian refugees are enjoying their first full day in Canada Wednesday, thanks to the efforts of local sponsors and supporters. “I want to ride a roller coaster for the first time,” says Danny Ramadan. “I would… Read more »

Lebanon police entrapping gay people by going through WHATSAPP contacts

Beirut: Lebanon’s LGBTQI advocacy organization Helem says that police in Beirut are entrapping gay people by going through the WHATSAPP message service contacts of arresting gay individuals. Urgent Announcement: Helem has learned that the Hobeich police station has been arresting individuals in Beirut They are summoning contacts from detainees based on their WHATSAPP conversations to… Read more »

Jordanian society anti-gay despite decriminalizing same-sex relations

Amman: Although Jordan is one of the few Arab states to have decriminalized same-sex relations, anti-gay discrimination and harassment remain common in the conservative desert kingdom. “Culturally speaking, this type of sexual behavior is not accepted in the very conservative society in Jordan,” Musa Shteiwi, director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University… Read more »

Love against all the odds: Lesbian Muslim couple from Iran tie the knot in Stockholm… and the delighted imam is gay too!

Sahar Mosleh and Maryam Iranfar married in Swedish capital Stockholm Both were forced to flee Iran where gay people are given the death penalty The couple were married by Imam Ludovic Mohamed Zahed Imam Zahed who is Algerian but lives in South Africa is also gay Beaming with pride, their faces wreathed in smiles, this… Read more »

Lebanese police go on gay arresting spree

Beirut: Police in Lebanon across the country are conducting search and raid operations targeting gay men and arresting them. The operation began Aug 9 when police arrested 27 men at the Agha Hammam Turkish bath in the Hamra-Concord area of Beirut for alleged “gay sex” and “indecency.” Six of those have since been released while… Read more »

Report: Lebanon targets gay men in 3 raids, 45 arrests

Journalist Dan Littauer reports on a wave of Lebanese police raids targeting gay men, starting with the Aug. 9 arrest of 27 men at the Agha Hammam Turkish bath in Beirut (reported here Aug. 13). Further raids reportedly occurred on Aug. 14, with 18 men arrested at two locations. Excerpts from Littauer’s account, starting with… Read more »

Study Finds 17% of Young Iranians Are Gay

An official report has found that 17 percent of young Iranians are gay. According to The Economist, the 82-page report was recently issued by Iran’s parliamentary research department. The survey of 142,000 students found that 80 percent of unmarried females have boyfriends and 17 percent of respondents said they were gay. The researchers’ suggestion on… Read more »

Israel allows Jews to immigrate with same-sex spouses

The Israeli Government says it will now allow Jews to immigrate to Israel with their non-Jewish same-sex spouses. Interior Minister Gideon Saar told immigration authorities on Tuesday not to differentiate between married gay and straight couples. Israel does not permit gay couples to marry in the country, but recognises same-sex marriages if they were performed… Read more »

Openly gay Lebanese singer faces opposition to concert

Mashrou’ Leila and lead singer Hamed Sinno still set to perform at Zouk festival A public figure and legal adviser in the small, largely Christian Lebanese city of Zouk Mikael is trying to stop a concert by a local, independent band whose lead singer is gay. “We, the honourable free people in Zouk will not… Read more »

Jail, 450 lashes for Saudi man who used Twitter to befriend gay men

Saudi Arabia: A man has been sentenced to three years in prison and 450 lashes by a court in Saudi Arabia for using his Twitter account to meet with gay men. The 24-year-old unnamed was arrested after he posted several tweets calling for same-sex relations and expressing his readiness to meet gay men, according to… Read more »

MSM Advocates from the MENA Region Launch “M-Coalition”: The First Arab Coalition on MSM and HIV

(Melbourne, Australia) – As part of the International Aids Conference, the M-Coalition was officially launched and presented to the International community at large ceremony yesterday at the Clarendon in Melbourne, followed by a series of sessions and interventions across the global village. Hosted by the Arab Foundation of Freedom and Equality (AFE), the M-Coalition is… Read more »

Jerusalem LGBT center falsely linked to killing of Palestinian

Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, an LGBT community center that has operated in Jerusalem for more than a decade, became embroiled earlier this month in the controversy surrounding the July 2 killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian youth that triggered new fighting between Israel and Gaza. Israeli police and the internal Israeli security agency… Read more »

Lebanon: Anal exams still being conducted on ‘suspected homosexuals’ despite ban

Anal examinations are still being carried out on people suspected of being gay in Lebanon, despite the country’s medical board banning the practice. People arrested by police in the country have been subjected to the humiliating exam – which involves an egg-shaped object being placed inside a man’s rectum – despite condemnation by the Lebanese… Read more »

How Pink-Washing Leaves Israel Feeling Squeaky Clean

Now that suspected Jewish extremists have confessed to the murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir and are in police custody, it is only fair to look at the rumored scenarios that were spread before the Shoafat murder was seemingly solved – the ones speculating that the motive for the murder was an “honor killing.”… Read more »

Iranian author persecuted for being gay flees to Turkey

Iran: An Iranian poet and writer harassed, blacklisted and arrested for being gay has been forced into exile by the Islamic regime in Iran for alluding to same sex relations in his work. Payam Feili, 29, who was recently incarcerated for 44 days has managed to flee to neighboring Turkey where he has been living… Read more »

A Week of Victories for Iranian LGBT: 6Rang makes History at Istanbul Pride 2014

For the first time ever, 6Rang Network facilitated the organizational presence of Iranian LGBT community and launched a groundbreaking report on state-sponsored medical abuse of its community in Iran at the largest Pride in a Muslim country. Istanbul Pride 2014 was attended by thousands of participants from around the globe including Iran. For the Iranian… Read more »

Iran A ‘Paradox’ For LGBT’

Arsham Parsi had just been accepted into an Iranian university to study to become a veterinarian when three of his friends who were either gay or transgender committed suicide. He had previously worked with a doctor in his hometown of Shiraz in southern Iran who had been conducting research for a study on rates of… Read more »

‘Steep rise’ in HIV infection feared among gay Israeli men, says survey

Israel: A survey conducted by the Israel AIDS Task Force shows the likelihood of a steep rise in HIV infection rates among gay men in the country, reports GayAsiaNews.com. Of the 989 men who participated in the online poll of gay men, 48 percent reported having unprotected sex at least once this year. The survey,… Read more »

Being Gay in Iran

Coming Out in a Country Where That Can Get You Killed, and the TV Documentary That Outed Me to the World I Ran From Iran And found myself in this town in Turkey, where I didn’t know a soul. I was one of the lucky ones. I’m 16. “May I ask you something personal?” I… Read more »

LGBTQ Communities in the Arab World Face Unique Digital Threats

Across the Arab world, LGBTQ communities still struggle to gain social recognition, and individuals still face legal penalties for consensual activities. In Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iraq, homosexuality is punishable by death. In 2001, 52 men were arrested for being gay in Cairo. And in Syria, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates, being outed as… Read more »

LGBT Syrians seek refuge in Lebanon

Ahmed Danny Ramadan, a journalist who has contributed to publications in the U.S. and other countries, returned to the Syrian capital two months before the country’s civil war began in 2011. He said his colleagues at the non-governmental organization where he worked “hated” the fact he is openly gay, so they reported him to Syrian… Read more »

Kuwait: Parliamentary panel offers to ‘help gays and cross-dressers end their suffering’

A National Assembly panel in Kuwait has offered to ‘end the suffering’ of gay people and cross-dressers. According to the Kuwait Times, MP Hamdan Al-Azmi, president of the ‘negative phenomena committee’ made the offer to gay people yesterday. He said: “Some cross-dressers are going through physiological suffering, and maybe they can be cured if they… Read more »

UAE: Court upholds men’s 6-month jail term for ‘sodomy’

A court in the United Arab Emirates has upheld a six month jail term handed to two men who are alleged to have had sex. State-run newspaper The National is reporting that the Federal Supreme Court has upheld a sentence against the two men, who had previously been convicted of intentionally committing acts of ‘sodomy’.… Read more »

Experts Predict: Iran Will Remain Deadly

Two reports indicate that despite a new president’s overtures to the contrary, Iran will remain a deadly place for LGBTs. With the election last June of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s president, there were hopes for a Persian Spring that would improve human rights for the country’s struggling LGBT community. Those hopes have not been borne… Read more »

Lebanon Just Did a Whole Lot More Than Legalize Being Gay

LGBTQ rights supporters rejoiced on Thursday with news that homosexuality is no longer illegal in Lebanon. A court ruling abolished a case against an unnamed transwoman – accused of having a “same sex relationship with a man” – stating that homosexuality can no longer be considered a crime because it is “not unnatural.” Lebanese law… Read more »

Lebanon Court: Gay Sex Not A Crime Against Nature

A judge in Lebanon has declared invalid a law criminalizing gay sex. The ruling is being hailed as a milestone by activists in Lebanon. According to the English language The Daily Star, Judge Naji al-Dahdah ruled Article 534 of Lebanon’s penal code to be invalid in clearing a transsexual woman of having a same-sex relationship… Read more »

Israel to legalise surrogacy for gay couples

Israel will legalise surrogacy for gay couples and has begun to issue passports for babies born via surrogacy abroad, ministers have announced. Currently, surrogacy is only legal for married couples, meaning that all same-sex couples have to travel abroad if they want to use a surrogate. However, under the changes, it will become legal for… Read more »

Yemen: 25-year-old man shot dead for being gay

Reports out of Yemen say a gunman in the southern province of Lahj has killed a man for being gay. Eyewitness Ahmed Hadi told the Associated Press that Waleed Saleh Awedan, 25, was shot by a man riding a motorbike near his home on Monday evening. The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorised… Read more »

Israel’s first memorial to gay Holocaust victims unveiled

Israel’s first memorial to the homosexual victims of the Nazis was inaugurated on Tuesday in a Tel Aviv park near the city’s Gay Center Israel now has its first memorial to the gay victims of the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, with a public memorial to them unveiled in Tel Aviv’s Meir Park on Tuesday.… Read more »