Middle East

 

 

 

Saudi authorities seize rainbow toys in crackdown on homosexuality

Pencil cases, skirts and hats among items targeted for ‘contradicting Islamic faith and public morals’ Saudi officials have been seizing rainbow-coloured toys and clothing from shops in the capital as part of a crackdown on homosexuality, state media has reported. The kingdom opened to tourism in 2019 but, like other Gulf countries, it is frequently… Read more »

‘I do not wish to be anonymous’: Doctor becomes ‘first’ Qatari to publicly come out as gay

Exclusive: As the spotlight continues to fall on Qatar and its treatment of LGBT+ people, physician Nas Mohamed has taken the bold move to come out The moment Nas Mohamed knew for certain he was gay, he panicked. “I walked into a gay club and I knew I was 100 per cent gay,” he tells… Read more »

Iran arrests lesbian for ‘supporting homosexuality’

The state‘s Sharia law system imposes the death penalty on same-sex relations. The 6G Iranian and Lesbian and Transgender Network reported Tuesday on its website that an Iranian lesbian named Sarah was arrested in the province of West Azerbaijan while seeking to cross the border into Turkey. The Islamic Republic’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)… Read more »

Hackers demand $1 million to stop leak of private user info from Israeli LGBT+ dating site

Private user information from an Israeli LGBT+ dating site has been leaked online by hackers, who are threatening to release more data unless they receive a $1 million ransom. Geo-located dating service Atraf was among dozens of sites hit by the Black Shadow hacking group on Friday evening (29 October) after a break in at… Read more »

‘My friends have been locked up for weeks and had their heads shaved just for looking like they might be gay’

: Damning testimonies reveal the truth behind Qatar’s expensive PR gloss When he was about 13 or 14, Rafiq’s father and brothers beat him with broom handles in the hope of correcting what they called his ‘effeminate’ way of walking. Rafiq, who is gay, says that over time his behaviour became a source of ‘terrible… Read more »

Saudi Arabia: Halt imminent execution of young man

Update: Mustafa al-Darwish was executed on 15 June 2021. By carrying out this execution the Saudi Arabian authorities have displayed a deplorable disregard for the right to life. He is the latest victim of Saudi Arabia’s deeply flawed justice system which regularly sees people sentenced to death after grossly unfair trials based on confessions extracted… Read more »

Gay Iranian man allegedly killed by family days before seeking asylum

Alireza Monfared’s death sparked new worries for global safety of LGBTQ people. Alireza Monfared, a 20-year-old who was gay, was allegedly killed by family members, just days before he could leave Iran to seek asylum, according to multiple reports. News of his early May death made headlines in the U.S. this week thanks in part… Read more »

Homosexuality…its a sin…how dare you even talk about it!

Over the past few years, along with the development of the country, another hidden aspect of almost every other society is flourishing in Dubai. It seems to me that each year this subculture gets larger, bolder and more evident. A few years back it was so secretive and concealed that it was virtually non-existent to… Read more »

Gay and trans Syrians routinely mutilated, raped and anally violated by ISIS militants and government officials alike

Queer people in Syria suffer extreme and humiliating forms of sexual violence at the hands of government officials and ISIS militants, according to an explosive report shared by one of the world’s top LGBT+ right organisations. In interviews with 40 LGBT+ people and three heterosexual men as well as various caseworkers and humanitarian organisation representatives,… Read more »

10 Months In Jail For Supporting LGBT+ Rights

A Saudi court has sentenced a Yemeni blogger to jail and then deportation to Yemen for a social media post supporting LGBT+ rights for all in Saudi Arabia. After a trial in which he was provided no counsel, Mohamad al-Bokari, a Yemeni living in Riyadh, was sentenced 10 months in prison and a fine of… Read more »

Israel: ‘Gay conversion’ therapy ban bill passed by MPs

Israeli MPs have taken steps to outlaw the practice of “gay conversion” therapy by psychologists – the first Middle East country to do so. A bill passed its first stage in parliament, after two parties in the coalition government joined the opposition to vote in favour. Last year, Israel’s then-education minister endorsed the therapy, triggering… Read more »

Israel reaches record number of openly gay lawmakers

With addition of Yorai Lahav-Hertzano, the Knesset now has six homosexual MKs, or 5% of parliament, the fourth highest percentage in the world Israel swore in another openly gay lawmaker on Monday, marking a record for the country considered a regional pioneer on LGBT rights, despite opposition from religious conservatives. Yorai Lahav-Hertzano from the opposition… Read more »

Israel could become the sixth country in the world to ban traumatising gay conversion therapy as UK drags feet

Israel could become the sixth country in the world to abolish the practise of gay conversion therapy as its government considers fresh legislation. So-called ‘conversion therapy’ refers to the dangerous and discredited pseudoscientific practise of trying to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity. It is often compared to torture and has been linked to… Read more »

A Personal History of Jerusalem’s Only Official Gay Bar

The Video Pub is a valuable queer space in the holy city, and it may not survive COVID-19. If you’re looking to find the Video Pub in Jerusalem, you might have to look a little harder than usual. Located in a little niche a floor up from street level, the only official gay bar in… Read more »

Non-binary Muslim writer ‘heartbroken’ after queer refugee story is banned from 11 countries

The season finale of Apple TV Plus’ Little America, which spotlights gay Muslim refugees, has been banned across 10 Arabian counties as well as Russia. Titled “The Son”, the episode features actor Haaz Sleiman and Adam Ali as the two leads and explores the true story of a gay Syrian refugee seeking asylum in the… Read more »

After Palestinian Authority Bans Queer Group, Rep. Ilhan Omar Tweet”s ‘LGBTQ Rights Are Human Rights’

After authorities in Palestine cracked down on a queer advocacy group in the West Bank, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted her support for the organization and offered suggestions on how people could support LGBTQ Palestinians. “LGBTQ rights are human rights,” she wrote in a tweet Monday night, “and we should condemn any effort to infringe… Read more »

Palestinian Authority Bans Activities by Gay Rights Group

Jerusalem — A Palestinian gay and transgender rights group vowed on Monday to continue its activities after the Palestinian Authority police barred the group from holding events in the West Bank and threatened to arrest participants. The Palestinian Authority police, who exercise control in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, announced the ban over the… Read more »

250.000 revelers attended this year’s Tel Aviv Pride

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka dancing on a float are just amazing Tel Aviv celebrated the LGBTI community during the annual Pride, taking place today (14 June). 250.000 Pridegoers took to the streets of the city, considered by many a safe haven in Israel for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people. View this post… Read more »

Israel: Amir Ohana becomes first openly gay minister

The first openly gay man to become a minister in Israel has been appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Amir Ohana, of Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party, was named as acting justice minister following the sacking of the previous office holder. Mr Ohana, 43, is a Netanyahu loyalist, who backs moves to protect the prime minister… Read more »

Israel: Amir Ohana becomes first openly gay minister

The first openly gay man to become a minister in Israel has been appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Amir Ohana, of Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party, was named as acting justice minister following the sacking of the previous office holder. Mr Ohana, 43, is a Netanyahu loyalist, who backs moves to protect the prime minister… Read more »

LGBTI Jews march in New York’s annual Celebrate Israel parade

‘[It’s] a proclamation of our miraculous existence against all odds’ A group of LGBTI Jews are marching in New York City’s annual Celebrate Israel parade today (2 June). The LGBTI contingent of the march was organized in part by A Wider Bridge, an organization dedicated to connecting the LGBTI Jewish communities in North America and… Read more »

First openly gay Orthodox rabbi ordained in Jerusalem

Jerusalem (JTA) — A gay rabbinical student denied ordination by a liberal seminary in New York was welcomed into the rabbinate in Jerusalem, breaking a longstanding taboo against homosexuality in the Orthodox community. Daniel Landes, a prominent American-Israeli rabbi, granted semichah, Hebrew for ordination, to Daniel Atwood alongside a mixed group of men and women… Read more »

Pride and gay sex illegal: Beirut, Lebanon fights back with LGBTI flags

If today’s show of LGBTI visibility goes well, Beirut may hold its first public Pride later this year A Pride parade in Beirut, Lebanon, has never happened. Police, for the past two years, has banned the event for fear of offending ‘public morality’. But for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia today (17 May),… Read more »

Top Lebanon military judge rules homosexuality not a crime

No crime: Top Lebanon prosecutor rules homosexuality not a crime. A top military prosecutor in Lebanon has ruled that homosexuality is not a crime, Lebanon’s Daily Star has reported. In a landmark decision, Judge Peter Germanos on Saturday ruled against prosecuting four soldiers. The men were dismissed from their posts in a “sodomy” case. The… Read more »

‘I had to sit on a Pepsi bottle’: Gay men in Iraq reveal shocking torture stories

This is exactly what it’s like to be LGBTI under ISIS Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, fell to ISIS in June 2014. Everyone was affected, but so-called Islamic State targeted gay people in particular. It took nine months of intense military operations from Iraqi forces and their allies to recapture Mosul in July 2017. But… Read more »

For LGBTI people in Lebanon, they go through their own Stonewall everyday

For LGBTI people their fight for equality looks very different to the riots at Stonewall It is reported that on the night of June 28, 1969, transgender revolutionary Sylvia Rivera, infuriated and exhausted with the way the queer community had been treated, took off her shoe and flung it at the heads of the NYPD… Read more »

LGBTI Halloween university mixer shutdown after violent threats in Lebanon

The former Grand Mufti said the queer event would ‘bring a divine retribution against Lebanon’ LGBTI Halloween university mixer shutdown after violent threats in Lebanon A trans rights march in Lebanon. Threats of violence have shutdown a queer Halloween mixer at a prominent university in the Lebanon capital of Beirut. The Gender and Sexuality Club… Read more »

Two LGBTI Iraqis were brutally killed this week

Hamoudi Al Mutairi’s last words were ‘I want to see my mother’, according to reports. Two LGBTI individuals in Iraq were murdered in the space of two days this week, according to a local human rights organization. Both murders appeared to be homophobic attacks on the LGBTI community, IraQueer said in a press release. Hamoudi… Read more »

Gay Syrian recounts two-year long sexual abuse ordeal when he was 13

This article contains details of graphic sexual assault that some readers may find upsetting A gay Syrian man is hoping to inspire other survivors of domestic abuse by sharing the story of his ‘terrifying’ sexual abuse when he was 13 years old. Adnan Al Mouselli, now 25, was born in Damascus, Syria but moved to… Read more »

Thousands march in Jerusalem Gay Pride amid surrogacy uproar

Jerusalem — Over 15,000 people marched in the Gay Pride Parade through Jerusalem on Thursday, partying in the shadow of a recently passed surrogacy law that excludes homosexual fathers and outraged the gay community. Waving rainbow flags emblazed with the Star of David and blasting music, throngs of people marched through the streets of central… Read more »

A top court in Lebanon rules homosexuality is not a crime

It is the highest court ruling in favor of legalizing homosexuality in Lebanon’s history The fight to end the criminalization of homosexuality in Lebanon just got one of its biggest legal boosts. A Lebanese Court of Appeals ruled that homosexuality is not a crime. Lebanon criminalizes homosexuality with up to a year in prison under… Read more »

Everyone is welcome: the only gay hangout in the Arab world

From giving refuge to offering makeup sessions, Helem is an umbrella for some of Lebanon’s most marginalised people Tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood of Beirut, Helem, the first community centre for LGBTQI+ people in the Arab world, opens its doors every day from midday to evening. Everyone is welcome. Inside, in a study bathed… Read more »

Opinion Why We’ve Suppressed the Queer History of the Holocaust

Even in the concentration camps, the prisoners of the Nazis employed homophobia to distance themselves from those considered ‘other’. That ‘disgust’ still informs the erasure of Jewish gay and lesbian victims from the Holocaust narrative On September 10, 1944, Gonda Redlich, the Jewish head of the Youth Care department in the Theresienstadt ghetto, wrote in… Read more »

Saudi police arrest everyone involved in Mecca ‘gay wedding’ after video goes viral

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have reportedly arrested everyone involved in an alleged same-sex wedding. A video clip, which features two men in traditional Saudi dress in an apparent wedding ceremony, went viral in the country last week. ? Many in the Middle Eastern country have posted homophobic messages and hate speech since the video emerged,… Read more »

Coming Out in Lebanon

Openly gay, lesbian and transgender people face persecution across the Arab world. The exception may be in Lebanon, which has slowly grown more tolerant thanks to the work of activists. Throughout the Arab world, gay, lesbian and transgender people face formidable obstacles to living a life of openness and acceptance in conservative societies. Although Jordan… Read more »

Iran’s transgender community: Legally recognised yet socially ostracised

Transgender people in Iran are both legally and religiously accepted in the country but their existence in Iranian society is not easy. Iran is the only Muslim country in the Persian Gulf region that gives trans citizens the right to have their gender identity recognized by the law—but violence, rejection from their families and society,… Read more »

This Gay Couple Left Iran For A Better Life.

Washington – In the best-case scenario if Ramin Haghjoo and Nima Nia still lived in Iran, they would be married. Just not to each other to women, probably through arranged marriages. Perhaps they could have found women also attracted to their own gender and looking to hide the fact, like one of Haghjoo’s friends did.… Read more »

British man sentenced for ‘touching man’s hip’ finally back home

A Scottish man who was jailed in Dubai for touching another man’s hip has returned home after a long ordeal. Jamie Harron, a 27-year-old electrician from Stirling, Scotland, was sentenced to months in prison for public indecency after he touched another man in a bar, apparently to avoid spilling a drink. The alleged incident took… Read more »

2 gay Iraqi soldiers found love amid war. Then the death threats started

SeattleEach night, when the guns fell silent in Iraq, Btoo Allami would invite his friend Nayyef Hrebid over for dinner. The two first locked eyes on a dusty battlefield in Ramadi. After days of exchanging hasty glances amid gunfire, they snuck away one night to listen to Michael Jackson on shared earbuds. The music stopped,… Read more »

Israeli MP forced to resign after attending nephew’s gay wedding

An Israeli MP has been forced to resign – after attending his nephew’s same-sex wedding. Yigal Guetta had sat as a member of the Knesset (Parliament) for the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party. But his decision led to anger from other lawmakers within his party and from Orthodox rabbis, after he revealed that in a radio interview… Read more »