By Richard Ammon
February 13, 2011
Well, after eighteen days of protest and demonstration to bring down a corrupt dictator and allow free and fair elections, what will this mean for the LGBT (gay) citizens who were certainly present in Tahrir Square?
There was plenty of talk in the media about repression, corruption. imprisonment, beatings and killings of individuals politically and philosophically opposed to the regime. A great cry of relief went up when Mubarak quit. The talk turned to hope and freedom.
The constitution has been suspended and parliament dissolved. There is a great cheer and much hope for a democratic future. But will that relief and freedom extend to sexual minorities in Egypt?
Will homosexuality be decriminalized in the new constitution?
Will freedom to love be permitted?
I doubt it.
This was a political revolution not a religious one. No one protested against religious oppression or the tyranny of Islamic dogma that inhibits personal freedom of expression or freedom from the confines of the Muslim faith. No one remotely suggests suspending the Koran (or the Bible) until a revision has been written. These books that are 1500 years old, and older, are used to define modern virtuous behavior as well as condemn what it considers variant behavior based on ancient culture and society.
No one is suggesting a single word of change in these antique books that are filled with mythology and have been usurped by militants to kill, and misinterpreted by homophobes to punish and condemn homosexually oriented people.
How odd that a nation can cry ‘freedom’ in politics, law and government and yet subscribe to outdated scripture that inhibits freedom, that denies life, liberty and the rightful pursuit of love for millions of LGBT citizens who are as much Egyptian and Arab as anyone else.
Unfortunately, we cannot expect any change in attitude or law for gay people in Egypt anytime soon.
A great day of liberation is not really great as long as any segment of the society remains repressed and condemned.
A great day to laugh and cry in Egypt.