ON THE JESUIT-MARONITE PROVENANCE OF LEBANON'S CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Ivan Strenski
2020 The Journal of Law and Religion  
Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, effectively, criminalizes homosexual practices. Most commentators have claimed that its existence in modern Lebanon is a "colonial relic," specifically of the French Mandate, 1920–1946. But since 1791, French penal codes have not criminalized same-sex relations. I argue, instead, that Article 534 was the product of native religious, legal, and moral thinking among the Maronites, reinforced by the Thomistic and post-Tridentine moral theology taught in
more » ... on by the Jesuit missions. Thomistic and post-Tridentine moral theology classified same-sex relations as worthy of condemnation as "unnatural acts"—the same language used in Article 534. Therefore, as a product of Lebanese political and religious sectarianism, Article 534 is a specific case of a congenial collaboration of Jesuit moral theology and a conservative Maronite ethical and legal koine.
doi:10.1017/jlr.2019.42 fatcat:vlgqz7wefzhzvjj7lwphln7try