Middle East




Reasons to be gay… not

The J.Spot a blog about women’s rights, human dignity, secularism and sexual freedom in the Arab world As I follow the ongoing debates about gay marriage in the US, and read the wave of criticism that hit actress Jodie Foster’s ‘reticent’ way of coming out during her speech at the recent Golden Globes ceremony (she… Read more »

The Cultural & Religious Debates on HIV/AIDS in the Muslim World

On December 8, 2012, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) hosted a Red Gala Dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in Cairo, Egypt to raise awareness about the virus and how it affects the lives of over three hundred thousand people across the Arab world. The by-invitation-only event featured high-profile celebrity attendees, including satirical… Read more »

Kuwait arrests young trans woman and her mother

Kuwait continues with ‘morality’ campaigns that also target LGBT people, and in particular the trans community, with at least 16 transgender women now imprisoned A young transgender woman described as ‘mutashabeh’ (‘boy in women clothing’) was spotted and then arrested along with her mother by a police patrol in Salmiya, Kuwait city. A security source… Read more »

Activists slam Emirates depiction of LGBT rights as ‘evil’ and ‘diseases’

Gay activists criticize the Emirates attempt to ‘pick and choose’ what constitutes human rights The United Arab Emirates was elected last month to a seat in the UN Human Rights Council despite criticism from the UAE LGBT rights group. The group called upon the UAE to respect the universality of human rights of which LGBT… Read more »

Palestinian gay couple killed by Israeli Gaza bombing

Two gay Palestinians who lived in Gaza and were in a relationship were killed when an Israeli bomb directly hit their apartment building A gay Palestinian couple was killed by an Israeli bomb that directly hit their apartment building. The two men, one aged 21 the other 31 years-old, were spending time in their apartment… Read more »

Kuwait arrests two trans women

Kuwait continues with ‘morality’ campaigns that also target LGBT people, and in particular the trans community, with at least 13 transgender women now imprisoned Two transgender women were arrested this weekend in Kuwait. The two are the latest to be arrested in a continuous ‘morality’ campaign that had in just over two months imprisoned 13… Read more »

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood Decries Halloween Party As Homosexual

Islamists in Jordan have condemned a Halloween party held in an Amman cafe, decrying it as homosexual and Satanic. The Muslim Brotherhood blasted the celebration held Friday in a statement on its website the following day. “We watched with disgust and shame last night homosexual and Satanic rituals in an Amman cafe,” the Brotherhood is… Read more »

Hope For Trafficked Gay, Bisexual Men Lured Into Sex Slavery In Arab Gulf As Law Signed By Kibaki

A New law signed into law by President Kibaki promises to offer support and compensation to victims of trafficking including university gay men and bisexuals who were lured into sex slavery to Arab countries with promises of jobs. The Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act, which was signed into law by the President more than 18 months… Read more »

Tel Aviv is proud to present the first gay guest house!

Established specifically for gay singles or couples, the gay owned and operated Pink House is proud to make his guests feel at home. Pink House is located in the most exciting city of Israel – Tel Aviv. We offer gay travelers the perfect home away from home experience, whether you want to relax and unwind… Read more »

Twice Divided

For gay Palestinians, Tel Aviv is a precarious and complicated sanctuary. Ra’ed, a soft-spoken Israeli-Palestinian man in his forties, lives in south Tel Aviv with Ahmad, his devilishly handsome boyfriend. They are both from small Arab villages in the north of the country. In Tel Aviv, Ra’ed, Ahmad, and their friends live an ordinary life… Read more »

Gay Lebanese Singer Hamed Sinno Navigates Middle Eastern Taboos Through Music

In the West, bands with openly gay members are increasingly common. But in the Arab world, where an admission of homosexuality can lead to grave consequences, Hamed Sinno’s unapologetic gay swag as front man for the Lebanese indie band Mashrou Leila is a symbol of the cultural crosswinds sweeping the Middle East. Part Freddie Mercury,… Read more »

Public hanging film to highlight plight of gay Iranians

Trailer released for film based on the true story of two gay teenagers publicly hung in Iran A film based on the shocking true story of an Iranian teenager, hung in public with his partner for being gay aims to highlight the hardships faced by people in Iran. The movie, called Sin – Based On… Read more »

Iraqi police behind anti-gay killings, says TV documentary

A BBC World Service programme has revealed that law enforcement agencies in Iraq are involved in the sustained systematic persecution of the country’s LGBT community. Campaigners say hundreds of gay men, and some women, have died in targeted killings in Iraq in recent years – with an upsurge in homophobic violence since the 2003 removal… Read more »

Witch-hunt in Iraq

Iraqi law enforcement agencies are involved in the systematic and deadly persecution of gay men and women there, a BBC investigation has revealed. Dozens, if not hundreds, of gay people have been killed in recent years, activists say, while the Western-backed government turns a blind eye – or worse. The UN tells the BBC that… Read more »

Iran news agency: ‘Jews are spreading homosexuality in a world-takeover bid’

A state-sponsored newspaper in Iran has published a document claiming to have uncovered a secret plot by the Jewish people, particularly in the US and UK, to spread homosexuality worldwide. The document, published by Mashregh news agency, titled “Introduction to the overt and covert aspects of spreading homosexuality in the world,” details the uncovering of… Read more »

Gays join the Syrian uprising

Gay men and lesbians lead tough lives in Syria, where homosexuality is illegal. One man has taken it upon himself to bring the community together, whether or not they, like him, have joined the anti-regime opposition. The room fills with the music of Elissa, the Lebanese singer who has become a gay icon in Syria.… Read more »

Israel: High rates of suicide among country’s LGBT youth

New research published this week in Israel has examined suicide rates among LGBT youth in the country. Kipa reports that for the first time, the suicide rates among different segments of Israeli youth have been analysed in detail. According to a study of 1,134 teens, 20% of gay youngsters surveyed had undertaken suicide attempts –… Read more »

Gays of Syria, Unite!

Homosexuality is illegal in Syria, despite Assad’s promises of reform. Why some gays are joining the revolution. Mahmoud Hassino knew he was gay at age 12. He wasn’t attracted to girls, but he was very interested in his male friends. Later, as a teenager growing up in Damascus, his mother figured out his sexual orientation… Read more »

Lebanese Authorities Arrest Two Men For “Sodomy”

Lebanese security forces arrested two men Friday for indecent acts after they were allegedly found engaging in sexual activity inside a car, a police spokesperson told the National News Agency (NNA). NNA reported the men had been detained in the Beirut district of Achrafieh for “sodomy,” while a security source said the men were currently… Read more »

Police out in force for Jerusalem Gay Pride

Thousands marched in central Jerusalem on Thursday for a milestone 10th anniversary Gay Pride parade, passing by the spot where an ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed three participants in 2005. Some carried rainbow banners and others had signs proclaiming: “A decade of marching in Jerusalem,” and: “Love thy neighbour.” Opposition to such events is fiercer in Jerusalem,… Read more »

Mawaleh – Syria’s First Gay Magazine

  It took us a long time, but it is looking good and we hope it is going to be informative. I come out in this issue, check it, flip through it even if you don’t read Arabic, and you will know who I am. Mawaleh is online on issuu.com, click here to view it… Read more »

‘Outed’ by the Military, Some Gays Fleeing Iran

For at least 15 years, the Islamic Republic has quietly been offering gay Iranians exemptions from mandatory military service. But those exemptions often come with a cost. Five years ago, while speaking in New York, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad infamously declared that there are no homosexuals in his country. But for at least 15 years,… Read more »

Iranian Queers March in Toronto Pride Parade for Those Who Can Not in Iran

A group of Iranian queers in Toronto decided to march in Toronto Pride Parade 2012 (Today, July 1st), to show their existence and promote Iranian Queer Human Rights Cause. Last year, IRQR officially registered the first Iranian contingent at Pride Parade 2011 and won the Best Entry Award of ‘Dream Big’ Theme by Pride Toronto… Read more »

German court tells lesbian asylum seeker to hide identity in Iran

A German court rejected the asylum application of Samira Ghorbani Danesh, an Iranian lesbian refugee who fled Iran in 2009, with the justification that she can hide her homosexuality in Iran and avoid criminal penalties. In a telephone interview on Thursday with PinkNews.co.uk, Katayun Pirdawari, who is a German-Iranian and a member of the Lesbian… Read more »

Iran shuts publisher for ‘promoting’ gay sex and immorality

Iranian authorities have shut a famous publishing house for allegedly promoting ‘homosexuality, incest, and sexual relations between men and women outside marriage’ Iranian authorities announced last Friday, 22 June, that the reason they shut down a prominent publishing house in Tehran was due to its ‘promotion of homosexuality, incest, and sexual relations between men and… Read more »

Dubai: Scottish man jailed for public gay sex to be released

A Scottish man jailed for having gay sex in a public place in Dubai is to be released after his sentence was heavily reduced on appeal. Paul Brandt, 29, of Aberdeenshire had originally been sentenced to three years imprisonment. The Dubai Court of Appeal reduced his sentence to four months, meaning he can be released… Read more »

Kuwait Continues Campaign Against LGBT People In The Name Of Morality

At least ten teenagers have been arrested by the police in Kuwait for ‘satanic rituals’ as part of ‘morality’ campaigns, reports say, with LGBT people being targeted under the same umbrella of ‘vice’ and ‘immorality.’ On 8th of June, 10 adolescents, ranging from 16 to 18 years old were entrapped during a raid and the… Read more »

Gay Emiratis welcome Madonna’s pro LGBT rights show

Gays and lesbians in the Emirates have welcomed Madonna’s performance there, where she displayed strong messages of support for LGBT rights. The global pop star played stadium gigs in Abu Dhabi on 3 and 4 June as part of her MDNA album world tour. Around 25,000 attend the Madonna’s first ever performance in the Arab… Read more »

Dubai: Man jailed for gay relationship after partner dies in window fall

A 24-year-old man in Dubai has been sentenced to a year in prison and subsequent deportation after his gay relationship was discovered when his partner fell from a window. According to Emirates’ newspaper the National, the man’s lover had fallen to the ground from a fourth floor window and suffered injuries to which he was… Read more »

Kuwait: Mass arrest of people accused of “vice” and “immorality”

Kuwaiti media organisations report that almost 150 people have been arrested this weekend for “immoral” behaviour, including four gay men and two transgender women. Most reports have alleged that these men and women were engaged in “prostitution,” though others have labelled them as “fun seekers.” Emirates 24/7 reported that most of the arrested were expatriates,… Read more »

World marks IDAHO with courage and pride

Activists defy anti-gay laws in Iran and Russia to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia Activists in Iran, one of the most homophobic countries in the world, braved persecution today (17 May) by publicly unfurling a rainbow flag to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). Campaigners in the Muslim state’s… Read more »

Anti-gay Eurovision protests intensify in Iran

Homophobic Muslims take to streets of two cities in Iran, furious at rumors of a gay pride event during the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan Angry homophobes took to the streets of two Iranian cities on Friday (11 May) to protest rumors of a gay pride event during next week’s Eurovision Song Contest in neighboring… Read more »

Kuwait: Trans man arrested for ‘imitating opposite sex’

A transgender man has been arrested as Kuwait continues a campaign against ‘immorality’ which includes LGBT people among its targets. Three separate incidents were reported by Kuwaiti media yesterday all in a sensationalist manner which appears designed to stir up public feeling. In the first, an 18-year-old Kuwaiti transgender man was arrested after a fight… Read more »

Four Iranian men due to be hanged for sodomy

Iran court sentence four men from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, to death by hanging for sodomy. Four men named ‘Saadat Arefi’, ‘Vahid Akbari’, ‘Javid Akbari’ and ‘Houshmand Akbari’ are due to be executed shortly after their verdict was approved recently by high court judges, according to a report from… Read more »

LGBT Republic Of Iran: An Online Reality?

A Small Media report revealing how Iran’s LGBT communities use global communications technology in their everyday lives Full text of article available at link here Source – MSM Global Forum

International Day against Homophobia in Iran

May 17th is the international day against homophobia and transphobia. Homophobia and transphobia are social disorders that cause people to act out against homosexuals and transsexuals. LGBT rights activists have done a variety of things to memorialize this day against this disease everywhere around the world. In Iran, because of anti-homosexuality laws and oppressive conditions,… Read more »

Iran believed to have executed a ‘gangster’ for engaging in gay sexual activities

A young man described as a ‘gangster’ who is known only by the initials CH M was hanged publicly in Marwdasht, Fars Province, Iran, for allegedly engaging in ‘sodomy’ with another man. Speaking with the Iranian Fars News Agency, Gholamhossein Chamansara, the Attorney General of Marwdasht, reported that the death penalty was given to the… Read more »

Israel’s Masorti Movement will ordain gay men and lesbians as rabbis

The Masorti Movement of Judaism in Israel will ordain gay and lesbian students as Conservative rabbis in Israel from the next academic year, it has been confirmed. The word ‘masorti’ means ‘traditional’ in Hebrew, though the movement itself has nothing to do with those who define themselves as ‘masorati,’ which also means ‘traditional,’ in a… Read more »

Saudi Arabia bans ‘gays, tom-boys’ from schools

Saudi Arabia has decided to bar “gays and tom-boys” from its government schools and universities within a crackdown against the spread of this phenomenon in the conservative Moslem Gulf Kingdom, a newspaper said on Monday. The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the most feared law enforcement authority in the oil-rich… Read more »

Men from Britain and Seychelles jailed in Dubai for gay sex

British and Sychelles nationals sentenced to three years jail for drunken gay sex in Dubai. And Bangladeshi men get six months for toilet sex Dubai police arrested the men when they had sex at a petrol station. Two men have been sentenced for three years in jail for having drunken gay sex in public in… Read more »