Lebanon this week becomes the first Arab country to celebrate gay pride but the opening event in a landmark run of festivities was canceled after Islamists threatened violence.
Proud Lebanon, a non-profit group promoting equal rights, was due to host a cultural event last Sunday as a kickoff to the entire week, but said it was dropped by the venue after threats from the Association of Muslim Scholars in Lebanon, a Salafist group.
Bertho Makso, director of Proud Lebanon, said the week marked a watershed in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender life, despite the threatened violence and some local opposition.
“It’s really amazing. It’s a big achievement. It’s a bigger exposure,” Makso told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.