An Egyptian court on Saturday convicted
eight men who appeared in a 1-minute video which claims to be from
Egypt's first gay wedding.
According to the AP, the men were
sentenced to three years in prison for “inciting debauchery.”
The video, released over the summer,
created controversy when it went viral on social media. In the clip, two
grooms and their wedding party celebrate the couple's nuptials aboard
a boat on the Nile. Dressed in dark suits, the grooms kiss and hug
after they exchange rings.
The prosecution described the video as
showing “a devilish shameless party” that “would anger God.”
Daily News Egypt reported that
the defendants were subjected to medical tests to determine whether
they were “habitual” homosexuals. The tests, condemned by human
rights groups, included a rectal exam. A spokesman
told the outlet that based on the results of the tests the men
are “not homosexuals.”
While consensual gay sex is not illegal
in Egypt, authorities have used other laws to prosecute gay men.
In April, officials accused four men of
“practicing debauchery” and an Egyptian court sentenced each to
eight years in prison.
In a highly publicized case from 2001,
police arrested 52 men aboard the Queen Boat, a floating gay
nightclub moored on the Nile in Cairo. The men – referred to as
the Cairo 52 – were charged with “habitual debauchery” and
defaming Islam. Twenty-one men were given 3-year jail sentences.