Tunisian LGBTQ organisation Shams reported that Tunisia just became the first Muslim-majority nation to recognise same-sex marriage. According to Shams’ Facebook post, Tunisian authorities recognised the marriage of a Tunisian man and a French citizen, and noted so in the Tunisian man’s birth certificate.
This move by the Tunisian authorities isn’t reflective of the country’s general attitude towards the queer community. Homosexuality remains illegal in Tunisia and is punishable by up to three years in prison. Arrests of men suspected of being gay reportedly continue, as do anal tests to 'prove' homosexuality.
No. Tunisia still doesn’t perform same-sex marriages, as homosexuality remains unlawful there and the general public isn’t supportive of the community on the whole. Shams chose to not to expose the identities of the men whose marriage was recognised.
While the road to true equality for queer Tunisians remains long, the government’s recent move indicates a glimmer of hope. Shams regarded the step as a significant achievement for the LGBTQ community in Tunisia, emphasising the fact that it is the first gay marriage to be recognised in the Arab world.
In other Muslim-majority countries, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens generally have limited or highly restrictive rights and are open to hostility in others. Homosexuality is illegal in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Libya and can also be punishable by death in specific countries.