Palestine, Middle East

Palestine is a tormented and divided 'territory', not a recognized country. The topic of LGBT rights in Palestine remains one of the more taboo issues in the region. Male homosexuality is illegal in Gaza, with laws dating to the British Criminal Code Ordinance of 1936, and it is reported to be legal in the West Bank but there are conflicting reports. Palestine has no civil right laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination or harassment. The Palestinian political organizations, both secular and fundamentalist, tend to avoid the issue of LGBT-rights. Recently, a handful of LGBT-organizations have arisen to aid LGBT Arabs and Palestinians, all of which are headquartered in Israel: Jerusalem Open House, Black Laundry, Aswat ("Voices") for women. Same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships are not remotely given legal recognition in Gaza or the West Bank. Gay Palestinians frequently seek refuge in Israel fearing for their lives, especially fearing death from members of their own families. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality



Out in the World: Suspect arrested in gay Palestinian’s brutal killing

Palestinian police arrested a suspect in the brutal killing of a gay Palestinian activist last week, as fear continues to grip LGBTQ Palestinians in Israel. Police spokesman Colonel Loay Irzekat announced October 7 that authorities arrested Palestinian Abu Murkhiyeh, who is suspected of killing gay Palestinian Ahmad Hacham Hamdi Abu Marakhia, 25, reported the BBC.… 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 »

Online activists spur change in Middle East, China, world

Online LGBT activism and community-building are the focus of this week’s video in the “Quorum” series of 11 discussions of international LGBTI issues. Moderator for the latest discussion is Andre Banks, executive director of, the U.S.-based advocacy organization that has enlisted 2 million people worldwide to take action online for LGBTI rights. Panelists /… 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 »

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 Palestine News & Reports 2011

1 Palestinian LGBTs increasingly in conflict w/Israeli Arab LGBTs 6/11 June 29, 2011 – Rainbow News Russian to English translation 1 Palestinian LGBTs increasingly in conflict with the Israeli Arab LGBT organization The Palestinian LGBT groups are increasingly in conflict with the Israeli Arab (Palestinian) LGBT organization was nearly cancelled the International Conference of Youth… Read more »

Gay Palestine News & Reports

1 Gay community center reaching out to gay Arabs 6/01 2 Jerusalem pride ’03 parade delayed after suicide bomb 6/03 3 Jerusalem of pink 6/03 4 Recent film documents LGBT suffering in Palestine and Israel 6/03 5 Gay Palestinians suffer under Arafat-Commentary 9/02 6 Palestine’s oppression of gays should not be ignored-Commentary 3/03 7 Black… Read more »