The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community around the world has been making significant progress. Whether it be marriage equality inEurope and South America, or finding basic recognition in Asia the walk to equality hasn’t always been steady, but it has been moving forward.That unsteadiness showed itself again a few weeks ago in the small country of Lebanon. Police raided a gay-friendly club called “Ghost” as ordered by the municipality’s head, Antoine Chakhtoura. As a result of the arrest, four people were arrested, forced to strip, had their pictures taken and distributed  and were emotionally and psychologically abuse while held in captivity.

One of the captives detailed that they accused them of prostitution, moral degradation, and more. For those unfamiliar with the region, Lebanon is a small but geologically important country when it comes to Middle Eastern politics.

Club raiding has happened in the past and is sometimes used by politicians to boost their own popularity. Below, Mr. Chakhtoura comments in an interview about what happened. It has been translated in English for English readers to understand.

As you can see, he believes that he can use the force of government to impose his own views on those in his community, even when that power isn’t warranted or given to him and he lacks justification to act.

It’s also quite ironic that he establishes his belief in human rights, but can’t seem to tolerate those with differing orientations than his own. As a Lebanese American, I am saddened at what happened. The country’s (and region’s) persecution of people for being who they are (no less) and for what they believe (on a broader scale) reduces the pride I feel in a country I spent much of my childhood in.

The world is progressing forward and Lebanon, often called a beacon of progress in the region, falls behind on it’s reputation. The victims in the raid were traumatized, disrespected, and humiliated – all at the expense of a man drunk on his own ego and false definition of manhood.

The ultimate measure of a country’s progressiveness is by how it treats it’s most vulnerable minority populations. By this measure, the neighborhood of Dekwaneh continues to fall behind other parts of the country and the rest of the world.

In Part 2 I’ll discuss the reaction and work to fight discrimination.

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By: Moussa Hassoun

Original Post: http://dailyvoiceofreason.blogspot.com/2013/05/dekwaneh-international-perspective.html


About DannySays

Danny is a guy with lots on his mind; he is a gay Arab man; a writer and a cheesy person most of the time.
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