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Queer marchers in Beirut, 2020 — Photo by Hassan Ammar / AP
Queer marchers in Beirut, 2020 — Photo by Hassan Ammar / AP

Three injured in attack on Queer march in Beirut
A march passing through central Beirut on Saturday was stopped by members of the far-right Christian group Soldiers of God.

According to the Canberra Times, the men chanted slogans against "any kind and form of homosexuality in the streets of Beirut" and sparked clashes at the march. The social justice organization Legal Agenda explained on X (Twitter) that the group had thrown stones at Queer activists and journalists.

"The assailants were able to reach Riad Al-Solh Square and attacked the journalists and activists present there," the organization 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 Queer march had to become a "sit-in" due to the ongoing "aggression."

The attack is the most recent of a rising number of Queer hate incidents in Lebanon, following an attack at a Queer bar by the Soldiers of God in August, which left several victims "unsure they would make it out alive."

The country has seen a violent crackdown aginst the Queer community in recent months, in part due to increased anti-Queer hostility from politicians, religious extremists, and fringe groups. According to Equaldex, Lebanon ranks 32 out of 100 on its Queer rights index, with no access to same-sex marriage and no legal protection from discrimination.

According to the equality index, 85% of people in Lebanon answered "no" to the question "Should society accept homosexuality?"

Alain Soral — Photo by Laurent Gillieron / Keystone via AP  

Swiss writer sentenced to prison for calling journalist "fat Lesbian"
On Monday, October 2, Swiss polemicist Alain Soral was sentenced to 60 days in jail for defamation, discrimination, and incitement to hatred for calling a journalist a "fat Lesbian" in a Facebook video he posted two years ago. Soral is also facing over 1,000 francs in fines. He was previously convicted and sentenced to jail in France for denying the holocaust.

Swiss LGBTQ+ groups are celebrating his sentencing as a victory for progress. His lawyer plans to appeal the case to the Swiss federal court and, if necessary, to the European Court of Human Rights.

In 2020, Swiss voters approved a measure to make it illegal to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation. While the country does grant freedom of speech and press, the judge ruled that Soral's speech violated their anti-discrimination laws. There are currently only 6,300 people actively serving prison sentences in Switzerland. To compare there are roughly 1.2 million people currently in U.S. prisons.