Lebanese court ruling signals progress, but doesn’t codify protections for LGBT+ people

Lebanon is one of 73 remaining countries with laws criminalizing LGBT+ sexuality; Lebanon’s, a relic of French rule, bans “sexual intercourse contrary to nature.” This past July, an appeals court upheld a ruling that consensual same-sex relationships do not constitute an “unnatural offense.”

While this is a clear sign of progress for Lebanese LGBT+ rights, the Lebanese justice system does not operate on a precedent basis, and the ruling provides only a “moral authority.” Only the Lebanese parliament can truly repeal the law. If it did, similarly vague, broadly written laws against indecency and so-called unnatural behavior could continue to be enforced against LGBT+ people.

Nonetheless, the ruling’s progress through he courts lends hope to the fight for LGBT+ rights in Lebanon, and demonstrates the efficacy of the country’s human rights legal advocacy groups.

Read more at Thomson Reuters