The opening concert of Beirut gay pride week was cancelled under pressure from religious institutions in Lebanon, organizers said.
Members of the LGBT community enjoy comparatively more freedom in Lebanon than in most other Middle East countries but still have no rights and face constant harassment.
The first gay pride event in Beirut was held in 2017 but consisted mostly of conferences and workshops, whereas the opening of this year’s edition was due to be a concert at on of the capital’s best known venues.
“Religious institutions called for the cancellation of the concert, linking it to the promotion of same-sex marriage and associating it to debauchery and immorality,” Beirut Pride said in a statement late Wednesday.
Organizers said the entire schedule of events was suspended until further notice.
Beirut Pride said that the management of the theatre that had been due to host the opening party had received anonymous threats.
The former grand mufti of Lebanon, the country’s top religious official, had issued a statement urging the authorities to stop the Beirut pride events.
Last year’s edition was also suspended after one of the organizers was briefly arrested.
In July, a top Lebanese music festival cancelled a concert by Mashrou’ Leila, which is arguably the country’s best-known band and whose lead singer is openly gay.
Clerics had called for the cancellation of the concert in Byblos because some of the group’s songs were deemed offensive to Christians.
© 2019 AFP
Dr. Fauci: Trump officials are only hurting the president with their ‘bizarre’ attacks on public health experts
In an interview with The Atlantic, Fauci said it was strange to see the president's loyalists publicly attacking him and other public health experts.
Trump’s push to reopen schools appears to be blowing up in his face: polls
President Donald Trump has been adamant that schools reopen in the fall, although he has given little to no guidance for how to do so in a way that won't lead to further eruptions of the novel coronavirus.
However, Business Insider reports that the president's rush to get schools open may already be coming back to bite him.
As evidence, the publication cited several national polls that show opposition to Trump's plans.
"A Politico/Morning Consult national tracking poll released on Wednesday found that 53% of voters oppose 'fully reopening' daycares and K-12 schools, 50% oppose a full reopening of colleges and universities, and 65% oppose Trump's threats to pull federal funding from schools that don't re-open," Business Insider writes.
Scientists fear the US could be battered by a second pandemic while still fighting COVID-19: report
When health experts warn about the possibility of the United States suffering a “double whammy” with coronavirus, they are likely referring to two COVID-19 waves: the first wave (which has recently taken a turn for the worse in many Sun Belt states) followed by a possible second wave later this year in the fall and the winter. That’s how the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918/1919 behaved: it was brutal during the spring but even more brutal when a second wave killed millions in the fall and the winter. But in a July 15 article for The Atlantic, journalist Ed Yong describes a different type of double whammy scenario: one in which the U.S. continues to be battered by COVID-19 while a separate coronavirus emerges and inflicts widespread misery.