30th of April, 2013… a week after the incident that caused a storm of outrage among the LGBT in Lebanon and the human rights delegate and supporters alike, a week after Mr Antoine Chakhtoura, Mayor of Dekwani, a residential and industrial hub in mount Lebanon, took an unjust, illegal and unwelcomed step by raiding a gay bar located in Dekwani, and attacking the gay crowd that has been partying there for the last two years…
Mr Chakhtoura, who did not base his resolution on any judicial or legal base, and definitely no permit from any judicial authority, abused some of the attendees and arrested four, forcing them to strip naked, and taking photos of them, photos which were later leaked to online social media for more humiliation.
Breaching all these moral, judicial, legal and social rules, which place Lebanon on the list of unfriendly cities, were supported by church and religious figures, who posted posters noting that the church teaches that sexual relation should be between a male and a female only- am sure all the priests abide by this rule- proof all the scandals of child molestation, gay relations and sexual –related stories among the priest, one which lead to the resignation of the pope himself.. just recently!
however, social activists and LGBT supporters gathered today, in an event that brings back similar manifestation upon the enforcement of the shameful “egg test” of test of shame, last year.
was the gathering a success?
In a country where homosexuality is widely a taboo, and the law remains ambiguous , especially with article 534-criminal code, it takes a lot of courage for people to out themselves, and put themselves on TV, in full exposure to a community that is sinking in its hypocrisy and stigma…
however, activists from Helem, and other NGOs, and social backgrounds, gathered today infront of the palace of justice, Beirut, to shout their heart out, screaming slogans that call on the government in general and the ministry of justice in particular, to take action against the unlawful and illegal raid, arrest and assault conducted by the mayor, Chakhtoura, whose public speeches were more racist, discriminatory and hateful than his act!
How many were present?
Am sure, given better circumstances, it would ve been a lrger crowd, I mean every member of the LGBT community is affected… every mother and father of an LGBT child is affected… every citizen is affected by that breach of la and freedom…
however, with all the stigma, a brave few were there, defying the norms, the shame, the stigma and proudly shouting: Am gay and Proud! Indeed.. I am!
I had the honour to be there, among those brave few… but I have a question to drop here…
what will take for the rest of the hundreds on grinder, a gay dating app, and the thousands on manjam, to act? Til when will it be only a few dozen taking the initiative and the burden…
I put that question to the LGBT people! Do not be ashamed that you are gay, let the homophobe be ashamed of their hateful acts and thoughts instead! United we stand! And we will… whether we were 45, or 45 000… our voices shall be heard and roars echo!
last but not least, I would really like to call on the church to stop the hateful calls… people are not to judge other people, and we all know that the bible has been manipulated to protect the social patriarchal hierarchy… so did every other religious text.. and just read more, or investigate, why the pope recently resigned?? What was the scandal behind the scenes?? And til you dare answer.. til you dare look nature and the truth in the eyes.. we shall remain consistent and call for love, equality and our rights!
Long live LGBT in Lebanon!
Gay and Proud
Eli Abou merhi
Source – chakhtoura1.blogspot