But homosexuality remains officially illegal and there are sometimes police crackdowns
The Lebanese Psychiatric Society has declared homosexuality is not a mental illness.
The society says in a statement: ‘Homosexuality in itself does not cause any defect in judgment, stability, reliability or social and professional abilities.’
It also states: ‘The assumption that homosexuality is a result of disturbances in the family dynamic or unbalanced psychological development is based on wrong information.’
The society is asking the country’s health professionals to ‘rely solely on science’ whenever expressing opinion or providing treatment to homosexuals.
The statement puts Lebanon is step with most other Western nations on the issue. In the United States, for example, The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders 40 years ago.
Still, homosexuality remains officially illegal in the Middle Eastern country which is considered to be fairly liberal.
The society’s statement comes just weeks after a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) was released stating that Lebanese Internal Security Forces threaten, ill-treat, and torture LGBT people in their custody.
The 66-page report by HRW, entitled ‘It’s Part of the Job: Ill-treatment and Torture of Vulnerable Groups in Lebanese Police Stations,’ is based on over 50 interviews with people arrested for the suspicion of being gay, drug use, or sex work over the past five years.
According to the experts and former detainees HRW interviewed, the police do little to hide their disdain of LGBT people, drug users and sex workers.
ISF continues to use anal ‘probe’ tests despite an official ban by by both the Lebanese medical association and the ministry of justice following a case, revealed by GSN, where 36 men were subjected to the tests – and were even forced to pay for them – after being arrested in a police raid on a porn cinema where men allegedly meet for gay sex.
by Greg Hernandez
Source – Gay Star News