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No free speech for gays, Tunisia's human rights minister says

(Editor's note: This story first ran in Pink News in the United Kingdom. Dan Littauer, a frequent contributor to SDGLN, is Executive Editor of Gay Middle East.)

TUNIS, Tunisia -- Tunisia’s human rights minister has attacked an online gay magazine while being interviewed by homophobic TV presenter Samir El-Wafi.

Minister Samir Dilou said "freedom of expression has its limits" and agreed homosexuality was a "perversion" which needed to be ‘treated medically’.

The attack on Gayday magazine, whose editor has faced religiously inspired hatred and death threats, comes after a month of scandals which has brought gay issues to the fore in Tunisia.

But there has been a long build-up to the current situation.

The post-revolutionary electoral campaigns used homosexuality as a political weapon between the various groups vying for power in the new Tunisia.

Supporters of the now ruling Ennahda party used ‘homosexual panic’ tactics to allege that liberal and secular parties would legalise gay rights and marriage if they were to win, they mockingly likened these other parties’ rallies to gay pride parades.

It put the spotlight on Tunisia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community who were used to being overlooked rather than the focus of public debate.

To read the full story, click HERE.