Christian extremists leave three injured after attack on LGBTQ+ march in Beirut

A protestor waves a Pride flag during an anti-homophobia rally in Beirut on 30 April 2013

At least three people were injured after an LGBTQ+ march in Beirut, Lebanon was reportedly attacked by a group of Christian extremists. 

A march passing through central Beirut on Saturday, 30 September was stopped by a group of men, reportedly members of the far-right Christian group Soldiers of God, The Canberra Times reported.

According to the newspaper, the men chanted slogans against “any kind and form of homosexuality in the streets of Beirut” and sparked clashes at the march, with social justice organisation Legal Agenda explaining on Twitter hat the group had thrown stones at LGBTQ+ activists and journalists. 

“The assailants were able to reach Riad Al-Solh Square and attacked the journalists and activists present there,” the organisation said.

“They also attacked the military vehicles of the security forces that were trying to remove them, forcing the security forces to use tear gas to disperse them.”

Legal Agenda added that the LGBTQ+ march had to become a “sit-in” due to the ongoing “aggression”. 

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A protester waves a rainbow-coloured Lebanese flag (JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images)

This attack is the most recent of rising LGBTQ+ hate incidents in Lebanon with an attack at a queer bar by the Soldiers of God in August leaving several victims “unsure they would make it out alive”. 

The country has seen a violent crackdown on the LGBTQ+ community in recent months, in part due to increased anti-LGBTQ+ hostility from politicians, religious extremists, and fringe groups. 

According to Equaldex, Lebanon ranks at 32 out of 100 on its LGBTQ+ rights index, with no access to same-sex marriage, and no legal protection from discrimination.

According to the equality index, 85 per cent of people in Lebanon answered “no” to the question, “should society accept homosexuality?”

Amal, whose name has been changed, told PinkNews in September that she felt “heartbreak” for members of the LGBTQ+ community who are “being beaten up just for existing” by those “trying to eradicate us”. 

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