Beirut LGBT protests forced to postpone after death threats
Activists and allies of the LGBT community in Lebanon had organised to meet in protest against a rising tide of homophobia from leading political and religious figures on Sunday, outside the interior ministry in Beirut.
“In order to protect the safety of demonstrators, and make space for more organisations to take part in solidarity, we have decided to postpone Sunday’s action to a new date very soon” announced LGBT advocacy organisation Helem late on Saturday.
In an open letter, minister Bassam Mawlawi claimed that “sexual perversion” was spreading in Lebanese society in contradiction to customs in the country.
According to Helem “the letter was accompanied by extensive homophobic and transphobic hate speech on conservative print media and on social media”, as well as similar statements from religious leaders.
“We strongly denounce the hatred and resentment that’s being expressed against every form of difference, and the threats and terror being used to stop us from practicing our human rights” said Helem in their statement postponing the protest.
“We place responsibility for our safety with the security forces, and will take all legal steps to fight every single threat we face… and protests will continue in the face of all oppression, violence and killing,” said Helem in defiance against the threats.