Originally published on Hummus For Thought on August 1st 2012.
It is with great disgust that I learned today that 36 gay men have been forced to endure anal exams after being arrested in a police raid last Saturday. Their crime? being gay.
For those wondering, there was no police abuse. The law has not been violated. On the contrary, it has been applied. Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code states that “sexual intercourse contrary to nature” is punishable for up to one year in prison. This makes any gay man who engages in sex at all a criminal by legal definition.
We shall put aside the inherent irony that is in the law itself. The sentence “contrary to nature” suggests that somehow Mother Nature has a set of rules and principles that we have to follow. That’s apprently true, but I doubt society would survive if the law of the fittest is applied. It certainly wouldn’t be civilized in any way by definition. The law also suggests that homosexuality does not exist in the non-human world. It does. In fact, that was one the main arguments used to officially remove ‘sodomy’ as a criminal offense in Texas in 2003, making homosexual acts legal in all states of the USA (See Lawrence vs Texas). Sarcastic Note: and the whole human beings are free nonsense.
Of course, by ‘nature’ they mean God’s Law, or more precisely ‘the way in which we have interpreted the Bible and Koran and want to impose our views on the real world despite having no contact with reality at any point in time’.
Now whether being Gay is immoral or not is a question to the morally feeble-minded. It does not take great intellectual courage to realize that who and what one is cannot be a crime because crimes are supposed to prevent harm from being done. If who and what one is does cause harm, then it should be prevented. A psychopath can fall under that definition. Here, the law ensures that harm is done when no harm was done in the first place. I talk not only of physical harm but, and especially, of psychological harm. I cannot begin to imagine what these 36 men have gone through. The public humiliation, the disbelief, the powerlessness in the face of organized barbarity and brutality.
If the reader wonders how he or she should react to this, I answer: Anything less than utter disgust and anger will fail in supporting the victims of our barbaric laws. We have to let them know that they are not alone. That things will get better. Things have to get better.
Because there was no police brutality or any ‘illegal’ act, the suffering of these 36 men is now on us. We are deciding right now to keep the law if we choose to remain silent. How to change things? Start by doing this.
Also, this video has gone viral in recent hours.