Rights group calls on Lebanon to abolish anti-LGBT law

Human Rights Watch is urging Lebanon to abolish a law criminalizing homosexuality after the top military prosecutor declined to prosecute a "sodomy" case.

The rights group called the decision, which was publicized Monday, a "positive development."

A decades-old law punishes sexual relations "contrary to nature" with up to one year in prison. But it is rarely enforced in Lebanon, which is less conservative than other countries in the region. Civilian courts have challenged the law in recent years, but this is the first such challenge from a military prosecutor.

The English-language Daily Star reported Monday that a top military prosecutor declined to charge four service members for violating the law. He told the paper the law does not explicitly criminalize "sodomy."

His office was not available for comment.