October 5, 2014 – Reported by VoacaTiV.com – Following recent anti-gay crackdowns by police, Egyptian activists have launched a social media campaign to draw international attention to the surveillance and persecution of the LGBT community there.
Using the hashtags #StandForEgyptLGBT and #SolidarityWithEgyptLGBT, organizers are asking people to voice their support ahead of coordinated protests outside Egyptian embassies worldwide, planned for Oct. 18 (#18Oct_EgyLGBT)…
The call to arms comes in the wake of several incidents that highlight the dangers that LGBT citizens face in Egypt. Though sex between people of the same gender in a private setting is not technically illegal, workaround morality laws mean that individuals can be imprisoned for up to 17 years. Anti-discrimination laws pertaining to LGBT individuals are nonexistent.
This harsh reality was clearly demonstrated when a video depicting two men exchanging rings on a boat in the Nile, surrounded by cheering friends, was posted online. Described as Egypt’s first gay marriage (even though same-sex marriage is not legal in the country), the event is said to have taken place in April but went viral in late August and has led to widespread debate.