Homosexuality in the Middle East

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Homosexuality in Modern Day Middle East

Abstract

Homosexual marriage is a public concept that should be acknowledged in the Middle East. Yet the idea can’t be acknowledged without a few key phases. The government is one of the main reasons why gay marriage is not permitted in the Middle East. Most Arab people abide by the law, and religion, and hence do not approve of homosexuality. If the rules and regulations were to change, there may be a change in how people view homosexuals. Moreover, the regime is greatly influenced by religion. Religion can’t be altered, but marriage can. If all marriages were to become civil, out of religious jurisdiction, there may be a possibility for gay marriage to occur. All these steps can slowly lead up to a strong likelihood that gay marriage may be recognized in the Middle East.

Struggle for Unity:
Modern Day Middle East

Homosexuality lacks respect in the Middle East. It is considered to be an immense scandal. Nowadays, the idea of gay marriage is completely disregarded. They don’t display it on Arabic television. The media is controlled by the government, and hence they are not allowed to air or publish such ‘dishonors’. Therefore, most Arabs remain unaware and ignorant. There are undoubtedly many homosexuals in the Middle East who hope to get married. However, the chief problem is that it’s against the law. The Middle Eastern governments have placed rules and regulations against homosexuals. If they were to alter their rules, the Arab community may begin to accept the gay community. Furthermore, another chief problem is that the government is heavily influenced by religion. All prevalent religions do not approve of gay marriage. Hence, if marriage were to become civil, gay marriage might be permitted in the future. But in order for all these actions to take place, the Arab community must unite and try to make a change. Gay marriage should become an acknowledged concept in the Middle Eastern society. The Arab governments are one of the principal obstacles that are preventing gay marriage from happening. They decree many rules and regulations that are against homosexuals. One such example of these laws is Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, a result of French colonialism, in consideration of diehard religious groups and sects. Article 534 states that: “sexual intercourse contrary to nature" is punishable for up to 1 year in prison”. This article, in essence, deprives a large Lebanese demographic from partaking in ordinary civil life, and restricts their civil liberties. By restricting civil liberties, this so-called “law” prevents the democratic process from occurring smoothly for all citizens, and is an obvious black mark on the face of the supposedly “free” Lebanese democracy. This article also prevents Lebanese homosexuals from being properly integrated into society, and they therefore seek other Western societies, that are more open to homosexuality, and emigrate in search of a better life. Article 534 includes “the act of Sodomy, or any sexual intercourse between two men, which includes penetration”. The article, theoretically and legally, does not concern intercourse that does not include penetration, and does not include sexual acts between two women. The execution of this article has been scarce in modern day Lebanon, and so a conclusion can be made that it is used instead to prevent any debate on sexuality from occurring. One Helem article cites that “The association of unnatural acts with homosexuality contradicts modern scientific foundations, especially psychological and medical studies and research that removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses, something recognized by the World Health Organization on 17 May 1992, a date that was announced as ‘the international day against homophobia’.” (Helem) (Helem is the first LGBT organization in Lebanon). In Islam,...
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