Lebanon rules that gay sex is not a crime

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A court in Lebanon has ruled that the country’s law does not forbid people to be gay. The decision to uphold the acquittal of nine people prosecuted for being gay in 2017 has been celebrated by activists. Though homosexuality is not fully decriminalized in the country, now it is quite likely to happen. The July 12 ruling was handed down by a Mount Lebanon appeals court, the highest judicial authority to find in favour of equality so far, AFP reports. It rejected an appeal to overturn a lower court’s ruling in January last year that if Lebanese citizens wanted to have gay sex, it was “a practice of their fundamental rights.” The nine people acquitted in that decision had been charged under Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which bans sexual acts which “contradict the laws of nature,” that are punished with imprisonment. Karim Nammour of Legal Agenda, an activist group fighting for LGBT equality, said that the decision means “homosexual relations are not a crime, as long as they are between two adults and do not occur in a public space.”

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