We have just received word that an Egyptian member of parliament — along with 14 other members — has just proposed a new anti-gay law in the African nation. We’ve been told the language of the homophobic Egyptian law itself is rather derogatory as well, labeling gays and lesbians as “perverts” in Arabic.
One month ago, on Sept. 25 in Cairo, seven people were arrested for raising a rainbow flag at a concert by the Lebanese group Mashrou’ Leila (the lead singer of which is openly gay). The people detained were charged with “promoting sexual deviancy” after being caught on camera with the flag. Since then many more have been arrested as part of an Egyptian crackdown on gay and transgender people.
Currently, homosexuality isn’t illegal by name in Egypt, though it’s still common for gays to be arrested and charged with vague crimes like “debauchery,” “immorality” and “blasphemy.”
Earlier today we reported that French President Emmanuel Macron failed to discuss ongoing human rights violations with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is currently visiting France, despite speaking about LGBTQ persecution in Chechnya with Russian President Vladimir Putin back in May.
Macron said he “wouldn’t lecture” Sisi. This despite several non-governmental organizations asking Macron to denounce the Egyptian president’s rule as “the worst crisis in human rights Egypt has faced in decades.”
Below is the text of the proposed homophobic Egyptian law, translated from Arabic:
This law defines homosexuality as every sexual relation between two people of the same gender, meaning two or more males or two or more females.
Any two or more individuals, male or female, who engage in perverted sexual relations in any public or private place will be sentenced to jail for a period no less than one year and no more than three years. In the case of reoccurrence, the sentence will be five years.
Individuals that incite homosexual relations, either by inciting, facilitating, hosting or inviting it, even if they don’t perform the act itself, will be sentenced to jail for no less than one year and no more than three years, and the venue will be shut down. In the case of reoccurrence, the penalty shall be five years.
Publicity and advertising for homosexual parties or gatherings are strictly prohibited on visual, audio and social medias. In cases of violation, the host and promoter will be sentenced to jail for three years. In the case of holding a party or a gathering, the organizers and all participants will be sentenced to three years of prison, even if they are normal individuals (not homosexuals). If the host was an entity, their legal representative will be put in prison, and the entity and venue will be shut down.
It is strictly prohibited to carry any symbol or sign of the homosexual community, and it is prohibited to produce, sell, market or promote such products. Violators will be sentenced to prison for a period no less than one year and no more than three years.
Those who do time for any of the above crimes will be observed for an equal amount of time following imprisonment.
Any punishment for the above crimes will be published in at least two widespread daily journals.
Tourism is of course a significant source of revenue for Egypt, crucial to the nation’s economy. About 12% of Egypt’s workforce serves approximately 14.7 million visitors, and provides revenue of nearly $12.5 billion. As one government reported, Egypt may now face travel warnings specific to LGBT tourism.
Featured image via Reuters