Results for Category: Family Law and Minorities
This last judgment shows us that it’s clear that judges are willing to interpret unnatural sex acts as excluding consensual sex between same-sex partners. But the parliament needs to reform the Penal Code in order to remove Article 534 [which states that homosexual acts are punishable by up to a year in prison]. As long as it exists, LGBT people will continue to be prosecuted.
A serious dialogue on proposals that could contribute to more legitimacy and institutional trust seems to be out of reach as long as gender and sexuality remain central to the debate and the experience of identity, reinforced by media and foreign (formal) colonial powers, who still tend to consider those issues as critically important indicators for progress and democracy. Given the current economic and political crisis, the Colibe recommendations could serve as an excellent opportunity to reinvigorate the identity discourse and develop a more practical approach to establishing a sustainable and democratic rule of law.
Whether the President reacts positively or not, the issue is now in the public sphere and the COLIBE’s recommendations for a better Tunisia are out in the open. If it was to be adopted and the article 230 abolished, it would be a first step towards decriminalizing homosexuality and a unique example in the MENA region for other countries to follow.
Two camps have emerged in the debate over how to view and discuss homosexuality. Those who accept homosexuality generally call for universal human rights to be upheld; those who reject homosexuality regard it as a threat to Moroccan society. Between these two camps, the Moroccan state is faced with the challenge of meeting its obligations to the international community while preserving the shared values that ensure social cohesion among its citizens.
The extremely rare public display of support for gay rights was followed by calls in the media for the government and religious authorities to come to the rescue of a society dangerously poised on the brink of the moral abyss by legislating against homosexuality or invoking religion to condemn the deviants (al-shawath), the pejorative term used to describe homosexuals in Egypt and other Arabic-speaking societies.