Judge Naji Dahdah has become the second Lebanese judge to interpret Lebanon’s notorious Article 534 in the Lebanese penal code which states “sexual acts against nature” can be punished by up to a year in prison, in the right way.
As a biologist, the fact that homosexuality is natural is a no-brainer. Virtually every animal species exhibits homosexual behavior in individuals of both genders. So, it is not in fact “against nature” and thus, judges that are fair and were born after the First World War will rule accordingly.
The first such victory in court was in Batroun a couple of years back, and Lebanon has the Beirut-based, pan-Arab NGO Legal Agenda to thank for this feat, which comes after a string of victories in the civil rights movement for Lebanon’s LGBT community. First, with the ban of the absurd “anal virginity tests” after a recommendation from the syndicates of both lawyers and medical doctors in Lebanon. Second, with the Batroun not guilty verdict setting a precedent. And third, with the Lebanese Psychiatric Society reiterating that homosexuality is not a disease.
Judge Dahdah dismissed a case filed against a transgender woman, accusing her of “having same sex relationships with another man”
To everyone still not ok with all of this, please, just remember, who the fuck are you to have a say in other people’s lives when it doesn’t affect you? Mind your own business and stop worrying what gays, lesbians, transgender and other gender minorities do with their lives, their bodies and who they choose to love.
Also, massive as this step is, Lebanon still has a long way to go. Judge Dahdah might have been a reasonable man, but as we all know, many if not most of Lebanon’s judges are inept and corrupt. And unfortunately, our outdated judiciary system doesn’t take legal precedents into account, and handles issues case-by-case. So, next time a similar case is filed, the judge might choose to rule differently, regardless of the two brilliant legal precedents set in Batroun and Jdeideh.