A judge in Lebanon has declared invalid
a law criminalizing gay sex.
The ruling is being hailed as a
milestone by activists in Lebanon.
According to the English language The
Daily Star, Judge Naji al-Dahdah ruled Article 534 of
Lebanon's penal code to be invalid in clearing a transsexual woman of
having a same-sex relationship with a man.
Georges Azzi, co-founder of Helem, a
group opposed to the law, called the ruling a “big step.”
“It shows we're moving in the right
direction,” he said.
“The more we have decisions like
this, the more Article 534 becomes irrelevant,” Azzi told the
outlet. “Any legal change takes a lot of time but at least this
article might stop being used to persecute gay and transgender people
The woman at the center of the case had
undergone surgery but was listed as male on her personal status
In clearing the woman, Dahdah pointed
to a 2009 ruling which stated that consensual gay sex was not against
nature and therefore could not be prosecuted under Article 534, which
criminalizes “unnatural sexual intercourse.”