The growing need to break the silence
It really does say it all, doesn’t it, when the municipal chief of Dekwaneh cites his personal beliefs to justify the crime of violating the rights of Lebanese citizens, of human beings. For that’s what he did. He simply cited his personal beliefs. He couldn’t really give any other reasons simply because there are none.
It says even more when the same pink-wearing, flowers-sitting-next-to-him “Man of Men” justifies the criminal humiliation of individuals based on the clothes they were wearing and the emotions they chose to express to each other. He illegally closed down a pub, illegally abused citizens. Illegal.
4 men were detained, forced to strip. They were treated like trash by a man who deserves to be prosecuted for crimes against our nation’s citizens. He cited, apparently, the civil war – how himself and others “defended our land and honor” – making an unbelievable and non-existent link between a Gay club and the period of horror that inflicted our nations for 15 years, killing 120,000 human beings.
This is outrageous. It is disgusting and shameful. It feels like a parody of the lowest, extreme right-wing reactionaries that feed on hatred, ignorance, lies and deceit to maintain an image of security and strength. An elected official just used the words Lawat (faggots) and Noss rjel (Half-men) – the same words that educated men and women try to avoid, that even teenagers these days increasingly find unacceptable.
An event is being planned tomorrow by Helem Lebanon, the great Lebanese NGO working on improving the legal and social status of LGBT citizens of Lebanon. I urge all those who can attend to do so. We simply cannot accept something like that to happen without repercussions. We simply can’t.
Ps: I will cover this story for GlobalVoicesOnline in a few days
Update 30th of April 2013
Helem just released a few pics of today’s sit in.
Update 3rd of May 2013
Solidarity with Demands for Justice Against the Abuse and Degradation of Non-heteronormative bodies by the Municipality of Dekwaneh, Lebanon
Update 4th of May 2013
Great video report by NTV. Marwan Charbel, the minister of interior and municipality, joins Dekwaneh’s Antoine Chakhtoura, in calling homosexuals “faggots”. Marwan Charbel asks “if two Gay people got married in France and decided to have their honeymoon in Lebanon, should we allow them to enter?”
Yes, let’s also attack our own tourism industry. Israel, Syria and our armed political parties are not doing an effective job.
In Lebanon, being Gay is illegal. Killing people, not so much. You can watch the video report here (Arabic):