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Lebanon court acquits 'gay soldiers', ruling homosexuality not a crime Open in fullscreen

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Lebanon court acquits 'gay soldiers', ruling homosexuality not a crime

Despite Lebanon's relatively liberal outlook on social issues, there remains restrictions on gay rights [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 March, 2019

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Lebanon's top military prosecutor has ruled that homosexuality is not a crime, local newspaper The Daily Star reported.

Lebanon's top military prosecutor has ruled that homosexuality is not a crime, local newspaper The Daily Star reported.

Judge Peter Germanos on Saturday chose to not to prosecute four soldiers dismissed from their posts in a "sodomy" case.

"Sodomy is not punishable by law," Germanos was quoted as saying.

He added that a controversial article of the Lebanese penal code failed to determine what sexual acts are "against nature".

People charged with homosexuality in the country have been punished under an article that outlaws "unnatural relations" with up to one year in prison.

The move comes after an appeals court last year upheld a 2017 acquittal of nine people prosecuted over being gay.

Despite Lebanon's relatively liberal outlook on social issues, there remains restrictions on gay rights.

Last year, Beirut partially blocked the gay dating app Grindr, one of the few safe spaces for the country's LTBTQ+ community.

Authorities have also attempted to shut down gay rights conferences and events.

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