Lebanon’s top military prosecutor ruled yesterday that gay sex is not a crime, adding to a series of legal rulings that Lebanon’s law against sex “contrary to nature” does not apply to same-sex love.
Several lower courts in Lebanon have ruled in recent years that consensual same-sex relations are not unnatural. Last July, the Lebanon court of appeal agreed.
So far, Lebanon’s anti-sodomy law has not been overturned, but legally it’s on shaky ground.
Top military prosecutor rules homosexuality not a crime in landmark decision
BEIRUT: Lebanon’s top military prosecutor has ruled that homosexuality is not a crime, deciding not to prosecute a case of “sodomy.”
Four military personnel had been referred to the court to face the accusation, after they had been subject to disciplinary action and dismissed from their posts.
Judge Peter Germanos in the landmark decision Saturday decided not to charge them with or issue arrest warrants for violating Penal Code Article 534, which states that “any sexual act contrary to nature is punishable by imprisonment of one year.”
Germanos told The Daily Star that “sodomy is not punishable by law,” as Article 534 is not explicit in terms of what kind of relationship can be considered “contrary to nature” and does not distinguish between male and female.
He did not provide further details on the case.
A judicial source said that he expected the military would put forward an appeal to take the case to a higher court.
Those charged with homosexuality in Lebanon have largely been accused of breaking the law based on Article 534.
While judges in civilian courts have decided not to punish people for homosexuality under Article 534, this is the first time such a ruling has been issued within the military judiciary, the source said.
In July 2018, the Penal Appeal Court in Mount Lebanon upheld a decision by a Metn judge to prevent the prosecution of nine people charged with violating Article 534, after an appeal had been filed against the initial ruling.
- Lebanon: Time to savor success, then face new challenges (
- Lebanon moves closer to overturning anti-LGBT law (
- Lebanon court: Gay sex is natural; anti-gay law weakens (February 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Report: Lebanon court rejects anti-gay law (Jan. 30, 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Lebanon appeal: LGBT sexuality isn’t ‘against nature’
- Report: Lebanon targets gay men in 3 raids, 45 arrests (August 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Anti-gay Lebanon: 27 arrests in raid on Turkish bath (August 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Lebanon’s anti-LGBT law is invalid, judge rules (March 2014, 76crimes.com)