Rainbows, drag shows, movies: Lebanon’s leaders go after perceived symbols of the LGBTQ+ community



In Lebanon, there has been a disturbing rise in anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, driven by a coalition of political figures and religious leaders. This campaign, which mirrors culture wars seen in other countries, portrays LGBTQ+ rights as a threat to society and links them to Western attacks on Islamic values, particularly in the context of Quran burnings in Europe. This anti-LGBTQ+ movement includes calls for severe penalties for same-sex acts and efforts to suppress LGBTQ+ organizations and expression. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah even called for the death penalty for those engaged in same-sex acts, labeling homosexuality as a “clear and present danger.”


Questions for Discussion:

  1. How does the intersection of religion, particularly Islam, and homophobia manifest in Lebanon’s recent anti-LGBTQ+ campaign, and what are the broader implications for LGBTQ+ rights in the region?
  2. What role do political leaders and religious figures play in perpetuating or challenging Islam-based homophobia, and how does this impact the LGBTQ+ community’s safety and rights?
  3. How can international organizations and activists support LGBTQ+ rights in countries like Lebanon, where anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is on the rise?