Chronicle of the Middle East and North Africa

LGBTQ Rights in the Middle East & North Africa

Twenty-year-old Lebanese transgender model, Sasha, poses during a photo shoot in an art studio in a popular neighbourhood of Beirut on January 16, 2016. Transgender people are heavily stigmitized in Lebanon but on January 16, 2016, Lebanon’s Court of Appeals granted a transgender man the right to change his sex in the civil registry on account of his own gender identification, marking a step toward granting transpeople legal recognition for their status. Patrick BAZ / AFP


The Middle East and North Africa is one of the most homophobic regions in the world.

Most of the countries in the region do not recognise the existence and the rights of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) group. In addition, they criminalise same sex acts, whether they apply Sharia law or whether their criminal law draws from European codes inherited during the colonial period.

In countries with some space for civil society, non-governmental organisations (NGOs)  striving for the recognition of the rights of this group, gradually emerge.

Fanack’s LGBTQ file presents an overview of the status of LGBTQ rights in the region and gives an account of success and or failures of the struggle of LGBTQ activists.

Our mission is to offer a worthwhile contribution to the publication of balanced background up-to-date information on the topic from an Arab perspective.

Latest Articles

Below are the latest articles related to LGBTQ rights. Please check the side navigation menu to learn more about specific Middle-Eastern and North-African files related to social justice.