October 10, 2014 – Reported by USA Today – CAIRO — As the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way this week for the legalization of gay marriage in several states, gays and lesbians thousands of miles away feared renewed backlash.
In a nation where they often keep their sexual identities concealed, LGBT Egyptians remain on society’s fringes, dreading neglect and imprisonment.
“It’s like having a secret life — two lives: A life that you share with your family and friends, and a life that you have to your own, that you can’t share,” said Marwa Ali, 20, an Egyptian lesbian.
The Egyptian public largely rejects — and even demonizes — homosexuality. The state does, too: Same-sex relations are not specifically criminalized here, but authorities have arrested people suspected of being homosexual on other charges such as “debauchery,” while same-sex marriage is far from legal.
“Over the years, Egyptian authorities have repeatedly arrested, tortured and detained men suspected of consensual homosexual conduct,” said Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch, in a statement…