What Protests Mean for LGBT Egyptians
BY Advocate.com Editors
February 04 2011 12:20 PM ET
Michelangelo Signorile talks with activist and scholar Rasha Moumneh about the protests in Egypt and what they mean for LGBT rights throughout the country.
Moumneh, a researcher with Human Rights Watch who focuses on LGBT and women’s rights, says that while there have been crackdowns in Egypt — most notably in 2001, when 52 men were arrested on board a floating gay nightclub called the Queen Boat — Egypt’s laws against homosexuality are vague.
“Egypt does not have an antisodomy law,” she says. “What they do have is a sort of generalized debauchery law. The problem with that law is that the interpretation is less to individual judges — it’s an extremely elastic law. So you have all sorts of quote-unquote moral crimes being prosecuted under that law.”
She says in Egypt, she doesn’t think there’s a concerted effort to target gay people — what happens to LGBT people in Egypt is indicative of what’s happening all over the region.
“These crackdowns usually happen ... when the government wants to flex its moral muscle. When they want to show they’re still in control, that they’re still the savior of Egyptian society.”
She says it’s very difficult to tell how these protests will affect LGBT rights in the country moving forward. She said there is a growing attitude among young people to “open up more space toward personal freedoms.”
- WATCH: Ben Affleck and SNL Crew Go To Ex-Gay Camp
- Nintendo Will 'Fix' Bug That Allows Same-Sex Couples to Marry in Video Game
- Florida Teen Facing Sex Offender Charge For Consensual Same-Sex Relationship
- The South's Longer Wait for Equality
- WATCH: The Cure for Gay Wedding-Related Depression
- Same-Sex Kiss in Comic Inspired by Real-World Controversy
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Television WATCH: Gay Character in Peril in New Teen Wolf Season 3 Trailer 33 min 51 sec ago
- Commentary Stop Acting Like I'm Dead Because I Have HIV 47 min 52 sec ago
- Entertainment News 'Turn Back Time' For Cher's Birthday 1 hour 17 sec ago
- Women Texas Judge Says Lesbian Mom Can't Live With Partner and Keep Custody of Kids 1 hour 5 min ago
- Women Bullies in California Chop Off Teen Lesbian's Hair in Possible Hate Crime 1 hour 6 min ago
- Art Dept More Photos From Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Advocate Cover Shoot 1 hour 15 min ago
- Women AMC's Cult Fave The Killing Adds Scrappy Lesbian Character to its Roster 1 hour 22 min ago