Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Eight men on trial over gay marriage

Eight men accused of taking part in a marriage-like ceremony have been put on trial in Cairo, prompting fears of another crackdown on LGBT Egyptians, Guardian news reported.

Prosecutors alleged the men had participated in a gay wedding that sparked a media backlash after footage from the ceremony emerged on YouTube earlier this month. Members of Egypt’s gay community believe at least 35 other men were also seized from public places, as police mounted a dragnet operation to gather information about the identity of those in the video.

Described online as Egypt’s “first gay marriage”, the footage showed two men embracing, exchanging rings and celebrating with their friends on a small boat on the river Nile – a scene that scandalised conservative Egypt.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group ousted by Egypt’s current regime last summer, have used the footage to claim their overthrow has led to the destruction of Egyptian values. “The coup leaders have adopted the west’s agenda,” tweeted former Brotherhood MP, Azza al-Garf, who said Egypt had been turned into a “place of sin”.

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