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This Lebanese hotel featured LGBTQ+ women in its Valentine's Day ad and people are elated Open in fullscreen

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This Lebanese hotel featured LGBTQ+ women in its Valentine's Day ad and people are elated

The Phoenicia Hotel Beirut advertisement was greeted with celebration [Facebook]

Date of publication: 13 February, 2018

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Phoenicia Hotel Beirut's 'Define Love' advertisement campaign included two LGBTQ+ women exchanging glances and it was met largely with excitement by the Lebanese community.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, thousands of companies across the world are investing in advertisement campaigns for couples celebrating their love. But one particular advertisement in Lebanon caught global attention after it celebrated love not only between straight couples, but LGBTQ+ couples too.

Phoenicia Hotel Beirut launched a Define Love campaign with a short, yet powerful minute long video.

The ad begins by asking what love is, then going on to showing the different types of love; love for food, love between pets and humans, between parent and child and romantic lovers. But one scene in particular caught the attention of many, two girls exchanging flirtatious glances.

People were elated. A group so underrepresented, with their love being deemed sinful and unnatural is finally not only being recognised, but celebrated.

It was branded as "iconic". Not only is this ad something that endorses the LGBTQ+ community, but it does so in a climate where LGBTQ+ activism is institutionally shut down.
Last summer, organisers of Lebanon's first gay pride festival vowed to proceed with the celebration, despite religious figures forcing the closure of pro-LGBT events.

But Proud Lebanon Director Bertho Makso said that Beirut Pride - which kicked off in May with an exhibition on gender fluidity in fashion - would go ahead in spite of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Lebanon declaring "war on homosexuality".

Before that, organisers had to cancel a seminar on discrimination against the LGBT community for "security reasons" after Islamists threatened to hold demonstrations outside the event.

The ultra-conservative Salafist group posted what it called "the last warning" on its Facebook page on Sunday, and demanded police ban the conference which it labelled a "crime against virtue".


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