Activists carry the LGBT pride flag during a protest in Beirut, Monday, May 7, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Members of Beirut's LGBTQ community vowed to keep fighting for equal rights Wednesday, despite the cancellation of the city's second-ever pride week.According to a statement released Tuesday by Beirut Pride organizer Hadi Damien, events hosted with affiliation to pride week – originally slated to take place May 12-20 – had been suspended.Before the organizer was detained, three and a half days of Beirut Pride had already been held successfully, comprising both educational and celebratory events.The cancellation of Beirut Pride is not an isolated event. Beirut's first attempt at a pride week, in 2017, was also marred with cancellations after backlash from religious groups. Previous to pride's introduction to Beirut, local organizations had long fought for LGBTQ rights while facing similarly harsh responses from security institutions. Activist and artist Dayna Ash reflected on how the two consecutive losses – Haddad's loss and pride's cancellation – had spurred a need to demonstrate against the state.For all three members of the community, the fight for LGBTQ rights is simultaneously ludicrously simple and heartbreakingly difficult.
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