First Gay Marriage in Algeria Stirs Public Backlash, Ends in Police Arrests

Published February 27th, 2020 - 01:43 GMT

In an unprecedented move, Algeria witnessed the marriage of two gay men who shared their wedding on social media. 

After the video of the marriage ceremony went viral, Algerian police opened an extensive investigation to reveal the location of the two men, and found that they had gotten married in an apartment owned by a mutual friend.

Translation: “First gay marriage in Algeria, we live in such crazy times.”

Authorities of Tebessa province, in eastern Algeria, announced the arrest of the two men, charging them with “displaying shameful images to the public, committing an act of homosexuality in public, and possession of drugs.”

Translation: “A gay marriage ceremony was held in Tebessa, and they were arrested.”

The investigative judge also ordered that the two young men be held in temporary detention and put the homeowner under judicial supervision.

Translation: “Algeria has recently witnessed gay marriage and we therefore ask the authorities to intervene urgently to put an end to this scourge and behead the two men.This is our Corona.”

People from the gay community face stigma and violence in Algeria. 

According to reports, houses in which homosexual partners live do not qualify for the same legal protection available for heterosexual couples, with several reports of a high level of discrimination and violations against gay couples. 

Translation: “Did this really happen in Algeria? Were they really about to get married before authorities arrested them? If this is true, then our country is going downhill. This is a disaster.”

Algerian law also punishes any unlawful homosexual activity according to Article 338 of the Penal Code: "Anyone who commits homosexual acts is punished with imprisonment for a period of two months to two years and a fine of 500 to 2000 Algerian dinars. If the participant's age is less than 18 years, then the sentence imposed on an older person can be increased to 3 years and a fine of 10,000 dinars."

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