A senior judge resigned Friday after a video emerged allegedly depicting him engaging in sexual acts with an unidentified man. “Across the media and social media there is a news item stating that there is a video depicting a judge in a compromising position,” the Higher Judicial Council said in a statement. “The Higher Judicial Council’s media office would like to clarify that regardless of the accuracy of the content, the concerned person ... is no longer a judge.”
The video was said to be circulated via messaging services and online, sparking reactions on social media. It allegedly depicts a sexually explicit encounter between the judge and an unidentified man while in a car parked by the side of a road.
Homosexuality is not strictly illegal in Lebanon, however Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code has been used to prosecute members of the LGBT community as it prohibits “sexual intercourse against the order of nature.”
However, Lebanon is making small yet steady strides toward entirely decriminalizing nonheterosexual relations, though social taboos still remain.
A Jan. 26 ruling by Judge Rabih Maalouf set a new precedent for court cases against LGBT individuals. Maalouf’s decision invoked the court’s role in protecting individual freedoms and safeguarding human rights. At the time he invoked Article 183 of the Penal Code, which states that “the act committed is not considered to be a crime if exercised as a right without exceeding its limits.”