LGBT rights in Tunisia

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Tunisia face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Tunisia and there is no organised LGBT-rights movement. Culturally, traditional religious values tend to view homosexuality and cross-dressing as signs of foreign decadence and immorality. In recent years Tunisian society has grown more and more tolerant of LGBT people, especially among the jeneusse of the country. Many people are starting to become conscious and more understanding of LGBT issues, however, larger society remains mainly homophobic. During a TV interview in 2012 the Tunisian Minister for Human Rights, Samir Dilou, stated that 'freedom of speech has its limits', homosexuality is 'perversion' and that gay people needed to be 'treated medically'. His comments were condemned by many in Tunisian society who posted pro-LGBT pictures on social networking sites. The party currently with the most seats in parliament, Ennada, has stated that if they were to lead the post-revolution nation, they would decriminalise homosexuality. However, in June 2012, the Tunisian Minister for Human Rights rejected the decriminalisation of homosexuality, stating it was a Western orientation and not specific to an Muslim-majority nation like Tunisia.

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