Arab world's first gay pride week marred by threats of violence

Tue. May 23, 2017 3:53 PM by Brian Troutman

Lebanon - Threats of violence forced the cancellation of the opening event for Lebanon's gay pride week, the first of its kind in the Arab world.

NBC News reported that an Islamist group made threats against Proud Lebanon as they were poised to hold an event promoting equal rights last week.

Homosexual acts are still punished with imprisonment in the country, despite a growing gay rights movement in the capital city of Beirut.

Still, Bertho Makso, director of Proud Lebanon said that the pride week was a step forward.

"Before we used to be individual NGOs, here and there, doing activities, but now it's a whole week of activities taking place around the city," he said by phone. "It will reach more people and spread more tolerance." 

Beirut is taking steps towards decriminalization, even though most of the Lebanese population rejects homosexuality. A court ruled this year that homosexuality is not a crime but personal choice.

You can read the full article on NBC Out