Middle East

 

 

 

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 »

Being gay in Syria

When Syrian rebels took Racca last March, one would have thought that the capture of this northern city that was previously controlled by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad would suffice them. They do not get involved in the private lives of citizens by Amir, a Syrian from the city. This quiet period did not… Read more »

Israeli President Shimon Peres says he supports same-sex marriage

Shimon Peres has told Israeli news agency YNet that he supports same-sex marriage because all human beings should have the same rights, during a state visit to Mexico Israeli President Shimon Peres has become the highest ranking Israeli politician to announce their support for same-sex couples having the right to marry – although his role… Read more »

Lebanon’s gay-friendly reputation challenged by abuses

Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, comes alive under darkness. Its narrow alleyways meander into streets full of bars. The locals, many dressed in designer clothing generously splashed with expensive fragrances, sit on the verandas drinking cocktails till dawn. The city’s liberal demeanour really does make it like no other place in a deeply conservative region. But Beirut… Read more »

Iran: Still hostile to gays

Rouhani’s so-called moderation has changed precious little on the ground for the Islamic Republic’s LGBT community A reformer? Really? The expectation that the election of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would curtail persecution of minorities has proved a bitter disappointment for his country’s struggling gay community. Sadly, human rights under the so-called “moderate” Rouhani presidency… Read more »

Denied Identity: Human Rights Abuses Against Iran’s LGBT Community

Since its inception, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) has discriminated, in law and in practice, against its lesbian and gay population. While transgender Iranians are legally protected if they start the sex-change process, there is significant concern that gay and lesbian individuals could be unnecessarily encouraged to undergo sex-reassignment surgery. In addition, LGBT (lesbian,… Read more »

Being Gay in Tel Aviv, the Manhattan of the Middle East

My mom is a gay civil rights activist. Let’s get down to it: The reason I support Israel is that I found a different cause from my mom’s. Yet I remain deeply invested in gay civil rights. I cried when gay marriage was legalized in New York on June 24, 2011. New Yorkers, gay and… Read more »

Dare Lebanon show sexplicit gay film tonight?

Reports say Beirut International Film Festival faces censor disapproval on decision to include award-winning French thriller ‘Stranger by the lake’ Will they, won’t they? That’s what gay and other rights activists are wondering about the Beirut International Film Festival as it gets ready for tonight’s screening. The film chosen in the Panorama section for the… Read more »

Lebanon censors French film depicting gay love story

A French film featuring a gay love story has been blocked by Lebanese censors, the Beirut International Film Festival has said. The festival said it had been informed by censors that the film L’inconnu du lac, or Stranger by the Lake, was not suitable for viewing, and did not meet the criteria needed to be… Read more »

Comment: With all eyes on anti-gay Russia, there are three countries with a shocking need for coverage

Paul Canning looks critically at media coverage of the LGBT situation in Russia, highlighting other areas around the globe where hate crimes and violence have also soared, yet where media coverage is still minimal. It’s Russia, Russia, Russia when it comes to ‘foreign gay news’ these days. But it’s a much bigger and badder gay… Read more »

Lebanon on course to legalize homosexuality

Psychologists agree to be expert witnesses in court to say homosexuality is natural, and so laws against ‘unnatural’ sex acts do not apply Lebanon is closer to making gay sex legal after psychiatrists and psychologists in the country stated homosexuality was ‘natural’, GSN can reveal. The statements are a huge breakthrough because law 534, used… Read more »

Israel to honour gay Holocaust victims with first monument

Israel has announced that it is to erect a monument in the honour of gay victims of the Holocaust, the first of its kind in the country. The memorial is to be completed in Meir Park, Tel Aviv later this year, and the first of its kind in Israel. Like other monuments around the world,… Read more »

No Place for Gays in Yemen

Sana’a (IPS) – As he gets ready to go to a café in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, Husam tucks his long tresses inside a hood before getting into the back of his friend’s car. “Still problematic,” his friend tells him, assessing him in the rear view mirror. Husam pushes his hair further inside. A short drive… Read more »

Syria Gay Activists Launch First Magazine

The magazine hopes to highlight threats against homosexuals, especially in wartime Syrian homosexuals marched through the center of Istanbul on Thursday, raising both Syrian revolution and regime flags. The controversial rally, which took place the central Istiklal Street was organized by Mawaleh (salty nuts), Syria’s first gay magazine. In an interview with Zaman al-Wasl, the… Read more »

HIV Prevalence and Related Risk Behaviors in Men Who Have Sex with Men, Yemen 2011.

Source Regional Knowledge Hub, and WHO Collaborating Centre for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran, ali.mirzazadeh@hivhub.ir. Abstract Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at growing risk of HIV infection in many parts of the world; however, the epidemic has not been well explored among… Read more »