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Egypt In Talks To Criminalize Homosexuality

Visar Kryeziu/AP

Members of Parliament are allegedly "[ready] to approve it." 

The Egypt Independentreports that Egypt was in talks this week to criminalize homosexuality after Egyptian Member of Parliament Ryad Abdel Sattar introduced a five-part anti-LGBTQ law to the Speaker of Parliament Ali Abdel Aal. The law has already received approval from multiple members of Parliament who are allegedly "[ready] to approve it."

Riding on the coattails of earlier anti-LGBTQ Egyptian news, the bill follows a highly controversial incident at the Music Park Festival in Cairo last month. Festival goers were seen waving rainbow pride flags during a Mashrou Leila concert. Led by openly gay singer Hamed Sinno, the Lebanese band has been very vocal about LGBTQ issues and visibility in Egypt over the span of their career.

After images of the incident surfaced online, Egypt began a massive witch hunt against the LGBTQ community, arresting dozens of queer citizens, according to Rolling Stone.

While homosexuality isn't illegal in Egypt, the government has found loopholes when arresting its LGBTQ population. Typically charging citizens with debauchery or prostitution, everything is about to change as the world awaits the law's revision by the Speaker of the Parliament.

What do we know so far? Many details of the anti-gay law have surfaced.

The Egypt Independentreported the following about the law's five articles:

"The first article defines homosexuality as any person engaging in sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex.

The second article clarified that any person engaging in homosexuality in a public or private place should be subjected to punitive action that should be no less than one-year and not exceeding three years in jail.

It added that in case those jailed homosexual people repeated having sex after being freed, then the punitive action should be five years in jail.

The third article highlighted that any 'supporter' of homosexuality or someone who calls for the acceptance of homosexuality, even if he or she is not a 'practitioner of homosexuality,' should be jailed for no less than one year or no more than three years.

The fourth article paid attention to media coverage to parties organized by homosexual people, stipulating that any representatives of the media that 'promotes' LGBT parties would be jailed for three years.

Moreover, the article also noted that organizers or participants of such parties would be jailed for the same period.

'It is prohibited to show any sign or symbol of homosexuality or to promote it, all violators will be jailed for no less than one year and no more than three years,' the fifth article read."

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