Lesbiangaybisexual and transgender citizens generally have limited or highly restrictive rights in most parts of the Middle Eastand open to hostility in others. Homosexuality is illegal in 10 of the 18 countries that make up the region; and punishable by death in six of these.
The rights and freedoms of LGBT citizens are strongly influenced by the prevailing cultural traditions and religious mores of people living in the region - particularly Islam. Arab views on homosexuality in christianity homosexuality is legal in the Palestinian territories and Kuwait ; however female homosexuality is unclear in Egypt . Even though female homosexuality is less strict, few of these countries recognise legal rights and provisions.
Male homosexuality is illegal and punishable by imprisonment in KuwaitEgyptOmanQatarand Syria. In Yemen or the Palestinian territories the punishment might defer between death and imprisonment depending the act committed.
Several Middle Eastern countries have received strong international criticism for persecuting homosexuality and transsexuals by fines, imprisonment and death. Evidence of homosexuality in the Middle East can be traced back at least until the time of Ancient Egypt  and Mesopotamia. More recently in the medieval period and the early modern age, Middle Eastern societies saw a flourishing of homo-erotic literature. Shusha Guppy of the Times Higher Education Supplement has argued that "It has long been assumed that the Arab-Islamic societies have always been less tolerant of homosexuality than the West.
Not least strengthened by the fact that there was significant sex segregation between men and women, which made heterosexual encounters outside marriage more difficult. According to Guppy, "In the pre-modern era, Western travellers were amazed to find Islam "a sex-positive religion" and men openly expressing their love for young boys in words and gestures.
Forsterand Jean Genet made pilgrimages in the 19th and 20th centuries from homophobic Europe to Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, and various other Arab countries, where homosexual sex was not only met without any discrimination or subcultural ghettoization whatsoever, but rather, additionally as a result of rigid segregation of the sexes, seemed to be available on every corner.
In IranSaudi ArabiaQatarthe United Arab Emiratesand Yementhe laws state that if a person is found of engaging in same gender sexual behavior, the death penalty would be applied. Furthermore, reports of official and social discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation remains unclear because of strong social pressure of not to discuss LGBT matters. JordanBahrainand Iraq are the only Arab countries where homosexuality is legal;  however, there is some stigma in the Iraqi society Arab views on homosexuality in christianity sometimes leads to vigilante executions.
For example, the Iranian government has approved sex change operations under medical approval. The Syrian government has allowed approved similar operation back in  In some other Middle Eastern nations, like Turkeychanges in social attitudes and laws have slowly come about, as a part of a larger campaign for greater tolerance, pluralist democracy and respect for human rights. In Lebanon, changes have been slow and recent crackdown on LGBT oriented events have raised concerns about the freedom of association and expression of LGBT people and organizations.
Israel is a notable exception, being the most progressive concerning LGBT rights, recognizing unregistered cohabitation, and having a wide support for same-sex marriage and recognizing and registering same-sex marriages performed in other countries. However, there are different legal systems in occupied Palestinian Territory. A report of Human Rights Watch in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity in the Middle East notes:.
In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Jordanian Penal Code of applies, and does not contain provisions prohibiting adult consensual conduct.
Arab and Muslim views of homosexuality as a purely "Western" creation have been explored in the film Dangerous Living: Coming Out in the Developing World. The starting line of the dialogue spoken by an as yet unseen gay Egyptian man stating "I was accused of being Westernized. In a few places, like Egypt and Moroccosexual orientation and gender identity issues have begun to enter the agendas of some mainstream human rights movements. Now, unlike in earlier years, there are lawyers to defend people when "Arab views on homosexuality in christianity" are arrested, and voices to speak up in the press.
These vital developments were not won through identity politics. Rather, the mainstreaming was won largely by framing the situations of LGBT or otherwise-identified people in terms of the rights violations, and protections, that existing human rights movements understand. Human Rights Watchp.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. MRZineMonthly Review. Previous version appeared in Phase 2 No. Also published as the first chapter of Die Vertreibung aus dem Serail: Europa und die Heteronormalisierung der islamischen Welt Berlin: Retrieved on June 26, Mooney; David Knox; Caroline Schacht.
Understanding Social Problems, 8th ed.
Cleric saves transsexual " ". Lebanese officials try to shut gender conference". Angus Reid Public Opinion. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity". Human rights in the Middle East.