Homosexual Identity Before the Court in Contemporary Egypt
This paper analyzes the judicial practice regarding homosexuality in two countries, Egypt and Lebanon. There is not a law against homosexuality in Egypt, but male homosexuals are punished according to art. 9.c of law 10/1961, which criminalizes the habitual practice of male prostitution. On the contrary in Lebanon, art. 534 of the Penal Code clearly criminalizes «sexual acts against nature». However, homosexuality is slowly being normalized in this country. It is clear that homosexual acts are still criminalized in both countries, but the approach is quite different: while in Egypt all the actors in the legal field adhere to a dominant discourse which focuses on the assumption that homosexuality is a perversion, in Lebanon competitive discourses are emerging, thanks to Ḥelem and other groups whose members define themselves as homosexuals and have a human-rights approach, contributing to transform the discourse on homosexuality in the Middle East.