Words: Steve Brown
Grindr has been outlawed in Lebanon.
The gay hook-up app was officially outlawed last week after the country’s Telecommunications Ministry issued a memo directing internet service providers to restrict access to the app by blocking the IP address.
According to the Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon, the app stopped working over the weekend on the state-run provider Ogero but other providers have yet to block the hook-up app.
Helem – an LGBTQ group – said of the ban: “It seems that the Lebanese government and in particular the Ministry of Telecommunications has no interest in safeguarding freedom of speech and association in Lebanon and has issued a memo on Friday ordering a complete and total ban of Grindr in Lebanon which will slowly start to take effect.
“This is a gross violation of personal rights and freedoms. We were not deterred by previous bans and we shall not be deterred by this one, and we shall always continue our steady and stubborn march towards equality and inclusion.”
In Lebanon, Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which prohibits having sexual relations that "contradict the laws of nature", has been ruled by various courts that it should not be used to arrest LGBT people.
But the law is still being used to harass and persecute LGBT people, through occasional police arrests.