Lebanon LGBT Laws

Censorship, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Religion, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 28 May 2019, it was reported that access to the app Grindr was blocked by Ogero on the orders of the public prosecutor’s office, and that it would soon be blocked by all internet service providers. No explanation for the ban has been given [R1.1].

R1.1 Independent: Lebanon blocks Grindr in latest attack on LGBT+ community 29 MAY 19
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual
[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 15 January 2016, it was reported that Judge Jeanette Hanna for the Court of Appeal issued a narrow verdict (number 1123/2015) on 03 September granting a transgender man the right to change his sex in the civil registry on account of his own gender identification, saying there is a civil right to sex reassignment to relieve a person from psychological and social suffering. She also underlined the right to privacy. Under Lebanese law, trans persons must complete gender reassignment surgery to petition for a change in status [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.2 Decision (in Arabic, not verified): 1123/2015 03 SEP 15
R1.1 TheDailyStar (Subscription): Lebanese judge grants trans man right to change gender 15 JAN 16
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [GENDER IDENTITY]
1. National

On 11 July 2013, the Lebanese Psychiatric Society stated that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and does not need to be treated, ruling that “conversion therapy” (Ex-Gay), seeking to “convert” gays into straights has no scientific backing. [R1.1].

R1.1 HuffPostGayVoices: Doctors ban anal exam used to charge men with homosexuality 12 JUL 13
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HEALTH, MEDICAL]
1. National

Under the Penal Code of 1943, as amended in 2003 –

Article 534. “All sexual intercourses contradicting to nature are punished from 3 months up to 1 year, additionally to a penalty between 200 and 1,000,000 Lebanese Liras” [R1.4].

The law is applicable to all same-sex sexual activity, irrespective of whether the activity is between consenting adults and in private [R1.3].


On 01 September 2012, justice minister Shakib Qortbawi, demanded an end to the use of anal probe exams used find out if men are gay [R1.2].

On 07 August 2012, the Order of Physicians issued a circular telling doctors they will face disciplinary measures if they carry out anal examinations ordered by the judiciary intended to provide evidence of homosexuality [R1.1].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 30 March 2019, top military prosecutor Judge Peter Germanos reportedly decided not to charge four military personnel with or issue arrest warrants for violating Penal Code Article 534, which states that ”any sexual act contrary to nature is punishable by imprisonment of one year”. Germanos ruled ”sodomy is not punishable by law”, as Article 534 is not explicit in terms of what kind of relationship can be considered ”contrary to nature” and does not distinguish between male and female [R2.4].

On 12 July 2018, a Mount Lebanon appeals court reportedly upheld the acquittal of nine people prosecuted for being gay in 2017, ruling that the country’s law does not ban homosexuality. The nine people had been charged under Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which bans sexual acts which ”contradict the laws of nature”, making them liable to be punished with one year in prison [R2.3].

On 29 January 2017, it was reported that Judge Rabih Maalouf declared that ”homosexuality is a personal choice, and not a punishable offence” in a ruling which referenced Article 183 that states ”An act undertaken in exercise of a right without abuse shall not be regarded as an offence”. The ruling contradicts Article 534 under which homosexuality is unlawful prohibiting sexual relations that ”contradict the laws of nature” [R2.2].

In January 2014, Judge Naji al-Dahdah cleared a transsexual woman of having a same-sex relationship with a man, ruling that Article 534, which criminalizes “unnatural sexual intercourse” is not valid and did not provide a clear interpretation of what was considered unnatural [R2.1].

R1.4 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF MAY 08
R1.3 Lebanese Daily Star: Two lesbians arrested for ‘unnatural’ sex 23 AUG 02
R1.2 GayStarNews: Lebanon justice minister says anal probe exams must end 01 SEP 12
R1.1 The Daily Star: Doctors ban anal exam used to charge men with homosexuality 08 AUG 12
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.4 TheDailyStar: Top military prosecutor rules homosexuality not a crime in landmark decision 30 MAR 19
R2.3 PinkNews: Lebanon court rules that gay sex is not a crime 17 JUL 18
R2.2 PinkNews: Lebanon is getting closer to decriminalising homosexuality 29 JAN 17
R2.1 TheDailyStar: Landmark ruling rubbishes anti-gay law in Lebanon 05 MAR 14
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 30 March 2019, top military prosecutor Judge Peter Germanos reportedly decided not to charge four military personnel with or issue arrest warrants for violating Penal Code Article 534, which states that ”any sexual act contrary to nature is punishable by imprisonment of one year”. Germanos ruled ”sodomy is not punishable by law”, as Article 534 is not explicit in terms of what kind of relationship can be considered ”contrary to nature” and does not distinguish between male and female [R1.1].

R1.1 TheDailyStar: Top military prosecutor rules homosexuality not a crime in landmark decision 30 MAR 19