5.6.2. A policy of non-discrimination for transgender people

Lebanese University promotes Gender equality for the sake of enhancing Students' performance and the way of not having discrimination of transgender people is through the adoption of the laws of Lebanon regarding that, in addition to following the rights that these people have.

  1. In this sense, the policy at Lebanese University is non-discriminatory in all aspects, the core values of the as a public free access institution, include equality of all, regardless of ethnicity, religion, disability or gender.

  1. In Lebanon, there are forty universities, including just one public university, the Lebanese University. The rest are licensed private universities that operate all over the Lebanese territory, the majority is culturally and administratively linked to religious confessions such as the Saint Joseph University, the Islamic University, Jinan University of Lebanon, the oldest of them is the American University of Beirut. As for the Lebanese University that was established after a long struggle of the 50’s generation, it is the only public institution for higher education, it is the largest and has branches in all of the Lebanese regions which lead to diversity in the students that belong to various social and confessional backgrounds.

Those with a homosexual sexual identity are one of the social groups present in the Lebanese universities, they find it hard to be totally integrated in psychological and other groups, in some cases due to the lack of acceptance of the Lebanese society in general towards their tendencies, in other cases, they suffer from a discrimination that gets to the point of rejection, marginalization, physical and psychological abuse, as well as article 534 of the Lebanese penal code that clearly criminalizes the un-natural relations that are exclusively interpreted by the legislators as homosexual relations. The level of acceptance towards them varies from a university to another and from faculty to another, and this is not only due to the variety of the cultures of their students and their projects, and their various religious beliefs that all agree on prohibiting the homosexual relations, as well as their various educational approaches.

It goes without saying that they are institutions to produce and re-produce knowledge, thus disseminate them, either through books, researches and publications or through graduating frames especially in matters of human sciences like social and psychological sciences, who in turn will work on disseminating the knowledge and cultures that they have acquired as well as produced throughout their university path. From here stems the motive to study the way universities deal with homosexuality either through their academic curricula or through positive and negative discriminatory practices towards people that have a homosexual identity within their university life.

According to this study, the Lebanese University (LU) that has campuses all over the Lebanese areas which creates a diversity in the students that belong to various confessions, but also the majority of students are from the middle class and below, especially from the rural environments that bring with them their habits and culture that is based on a limited or no expression of intimate things such as sexual tendencies. Most of the branches of the LU are in buildings that are almost residential and lack not only yards but they have a bare minimum of standards that would turn it into educational buildings, the cafeterias for instance if available are overcrowded and burdened and filled with political discussions. The two central compounds of the LU in the suburbs of Beirut, Fanar in the Northern suburb, and Hadath in the Southern suburb, they seem to be distinct, two confessional forts, one for the Christian confessions and another for the Muslim ones. Despite the big size of the buildings and the number of courts especially in Hadath but there is no real communication between the students of the various faculties, added to this is the despotism of the confessional political parties (that have a position against homosexuality), the Lebanese Forces and the Free Patriotic Movement at the Fanar compound and Amal and Hezbollah in the Hadath compound, in both compounds, that limit the discussions and devote all the expression tools at the university whether journals, forums, gatherings and students’ committees to their political tensions .

After the touring of the Lebanese universities, we find that the institutional education system in Lebanon reflects the Lebanese society with all its contradictions and plurality. Universities are at the service of the interests and values of those who have the power in it, and these are the religious confessions at the universities with religious affiliations, and the confessional parties in universities and branches where they play the role of “de facto authority” and that is the case of the Lebanese university.

  1. LGBT rights in Lebanon

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons living in Lebanon may face difficulties not experienced by non-LGBT residents, however, they are considerably more free than in other parts of the Arabic-speaking world. Various courts have ruled that Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which prohibits having sexual relations that "contradict the laws of nature", should not be used to arrest LGBT people. Nonetheless, the law is still being used to harass and persecute LGBT people, through occasional police arrests.

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2007 showed that 79% of Lebanese believed that "homosexuality should be rejected by society", as opposed to 18% who believed "homosexuality should be accepted by society".

Moreover, Lebanon, despite before having a reputation for being more socially liberal than its neighbors, underwent a 2019 survey done by the Arab barometer which concluded that only 6% of Lebanese people accept homosexuality, much less than Algeria (26%) and Morocco (21%).

Members of the LGBT Lebanese community began to publicly campaign for LGBT rights in 2002, with the creation of a political association called Hurriyyat Khassa ("Private Liberties" in English). The group focused its efforts on reforming Article 534 of the Criminal Code so that private sex acts between consenting adults would no longer be a crime. Another LGBT rights organization in Lebanon is called Helem (Arabic: حلم‎, meaning "Dream" in Arabic). These organizations have staged public demonstrations, lectures and fundraisers for HIV/AIDS education [4].

In 2006, Helem celebrated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in Monroe Hotel Downtown in Beirut [4]

Correlates of Homophobic Attitudes in Lebanon

  1. Dissatisfied with the establishment

The traditional political class, activists argue, has sunk the country into deeper debt, failing infrastructure and a rapidly swelling unemployment rate.

"What we say very simply is that we are against discrimination between Lebanese, between male Lebanese and female Lebanese, between any Lebanese community and any other Lebanese community," said candidate Rania Masri, who is part of the independent Kollouna Watani list.

"We want to end all discriminatory policies. So naturally that includes the LGBTQ community," said Masri.

Kollouna Watani ("We are all our nation" in English) is the country's largest coalition of civil-society members, with 66 candidates. Along with improved women's rights and economic rights, it has made decriminalizing homosexuality part of its election platform.

LGBTQ rights have growing support in Lebanon

A year ago, Lebanon's capital city – Beirut – hosted its first-ever large-scale pride week. The events included workshops, exhibitions, and even a drag show, as well as various parties throughout the city.

"Upcoming generations are empowered, are strong, are consistent, they know what they want, and we are getting to a place where people want to be on good terms with every other person," Hadi Damien, the lead organizer behind the event, told StepFeed last May.

"We need to start somewhere – we have a wonderful momentum and we are surfing on a very good wave," he added.