- LGBT rights in the Palestinian territories
The topic of LGBT rights in Palestine (a.k.a. The Palestinian territories) is oftentimes spoke of in the geopolitical and cultural context of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It remains one of the more taboo human rights issues in the region, and reports suggest that the Palestinian authority has supported and tolerated anti-LGBT discrimination, harassment and honor killings.
Homosexuality is technically illegal under the
sodomyprohibition originally enacted under the British Mandate[http://www.globalgayz.com/palestine-news.html#article5] . It is unclear if there are any specific prohibitions against cross-dressing or whether or not the criminal code has been updated.
Under Araft, the Palestinian Authority employed a special police force to track down LGBT Palestinians. Those people who were caught, were subjected to harassment, torture, and even murder [http://www.globalgayz.com/palestine-news.html#article5] Beyond the police, LGBT Palestinians must worry about being the victim of an
honor killing[http://www.globalgayz.com/palestine-news.html#article5] . As a of the widespread prejudice result, many LGBT Palestinians attempt to flee, often to Israel.
LGBT Palestinians who remain, are often scapegoated as being Israeli spies, or forced into prostitution due to poverty. For more information please read,
Prostitution in the Palestinian territories.
Palestine (a.k.a. Palestinian territories) has no civil right laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination or harassment. The Palestinian political organizations, both secular and fundamentalist, tend to avoid the issue of
LGBT-rights. Recently, a handful of LGBT-organizations have arisen to aid LGBT Arabs and Palestinians;
Jerusalem Open House
* Aswat ("Voices") - women [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/oct/02/israel.gayrights] .
Marriage and Family
Same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic parnterships are not given legal recognition in Palestine (a.k.a Palestinian territories). A limited form of common law marriage does have legal status in Israel, although it is difficult for an Israeli to get legal residency status for his same-sex Palestinian or Arab partner.
Some LGBT Palestinians have fled, legally or illegal, to Israel. There are some reports of LGBT Arabs and Jews having relationships, thus breaking ethnic, religious and gender-based taboos [http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=13709] . LGBT Jews and Arabs tend to be the least prejudiced people in the region, as seen by the cross-cultural relationships and the fact that gay bars are often a peaceful mixture of Arabs and Jews [http://www.globalgayz.com/g-palestine.html] .
Media & Cultural References
Several films and or television programs have dealt with the issue of LGBT Palestinians, oftentimes having relationships with LGBT Israelis.
* "Drifting" (1983) - First Israeli film to deal with
LGBTthemes features two Palestinian men, among the many people that the hero meets and interacts with while looking for love [http://www.planetout.com/pno/popcornq/db/getfilm.html?980] .
* "The Bubble (Ha-Buah)" (2007) - Two gay men, an Israeli and a Palestinian, face prejudice and other challenges while they date each other in
Zero Degrees of Separation" - Explores the challenges facing same-sex couples in Israel when one of the partners is Palestinian or Arab [http://www.globalgayz.com/g-palestine.html] .
A Palestinian National AIDS/HIV Health program was established in 1998. Dr Ezzat Gouda is the current doctor to focus on sexually transmitted diseases for the Palestinian Ministry of Health.Reports claim that very few people have become infected since 1987, and those people who are infected face prejudice and shortages of medicine [http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=62352] .
2003a report from the Palestinian Health Minister [http://www.moh.gov.ps/index.asp?deptid=3&pranchid=21&action=articles] made some references to the infections, under "communicable diseases" [http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/global?page=cr06-we-00] .
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