The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Anti-LGBTQ backlash grows across Middle East, echoing U.S. culture wars

By Mohamad El Chamaa

03 Aug 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. Anti-LGBTQ discourse is becoming more common in the Middle East, with authorities in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon cracking down on these communities. Activists believe that the moral panic over LGBTQ people is a deflection strategy to shift attention away from the region’s economic troubles, political stasis, and climate woes.

BEIRUT - When Turkish activists announced they would hold their annual Pride parade in Istanbul's main square last month, authorities put the city on lockdown. Subways and highways were closed. The square was cordoned off by police.

It had all been a ruse. With police distracted, LGBTQ people agreed to meet up in other parts of the city. It was still a celebration, if a more subdued one.

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