Supreme Court decision brings Lebanon a step closer to decriminalising consensual same-sex sexual conduct
31 January 2017
In a landmark case, a judge in Lebanon has brought the country a step closer to decriminalising consensual same-sex sexual conduct. Currently - as stated under Article 534 of the Pencode - sex acts “contrary to nature” are punishable by up to one year in prison, with gay and bisexual men being the most vulnerable to being charged.
Judge Rabih Maalouf of the Supreme Court has declared that, “homosexuality is a personal choice, and not a punishable offence”, in a ruling that interprets the current legislative provision. Judge Maalouf cited Article 183 that states, “an act undertaken in exercise of a right without abuse shall not be regarded as an offense."
Although Article 534 still remains on the statute books in Lebanon, the ruling could set a precedent for future trials and help pave way for progress on LGBT rights.
See: SBS, Lebanon is a step closer to decriminalising homosexuality, 30 January 2017