Legal status:
According to ILGA.org (International Lesbian and Gay Association), same-sex male sexual activities are "legal theoretically, in practice subject to prosecution as 'habitual debauchery'", and same-sex female sexual activities are legal in Egypt.

Explaining the in-practice part mentioned above, ILGA says that "homosexuality is not mentioned in the law … However, since the current campaign of persecution of gay men was started in 2001, laws against 'habitual debauchery' (Law 10 of 1961 on the Combat of Prostitution) have been used to arrest, prosecute and imprison gay men. Sharia law does not apply." The "campaign", though, is thought to have almost ceased early 2004.

Age of sexual consent in Egypt:
Same-sex male: 18
Same-sex female: 18
Heterosexual: 18

"Homosexual acts are not illegal. The minimum age for heterosexual, lesbian and gays sex is set at 18 (Art. 269 CC)" (Odysseus 98/99: Helmut Graupner). But see comments above on the offence of "habitual debauchery" used to prosecute and imprison gay men.

SodomyLaws.org also explains that "Egyptian laws do not explicitly outlaw homosexuality, but the practice is taboo in this conservative, mostly Muslim country … Charges will be made such as 'offences against public morals and sensitivities' or 'violating the teachings of religion and propagating depraved ideas and moral depravity'."

Anti-gay campaign:
Though homosexuality is theoretically, surprisingly, legal in Egypt, a discriminatory campaign against gay men had been taking place since May 2001, when police arrested 62 gay men at the Queen Boat discothèque, of which 52 were charged with "religious contempt" and "habitual debauchery", the latter being usually used only against prostitutes.

In a Human Rights Watch report on this issue, arrested gay men were quoted saying they were inhumanely tortured and sometimes raped in police stations or elsewhere.

"'Every place we were held, somebody beat us,' the twenty-five-year-old told Human Rights Watch. 'We asked, why is it us who are getting beaten? It was like they weren’t dealing with human beings at all. … Like we weren’t even animals, just mud or something they could kick around.'" (HRW Report In a Time of Torture: the Assault on Justice in Egypt’s Crackdown on Homosexual Conduct, found online at http://hrw.org/reports/2004/egypt0304/).

Gay Egyptian internet resources:
The internet witnessed an activism of the gay community in Egypt that hadn't before occurred in Egypt before the internet era. There are Egyptian websites, based in Egypt or elsewhere, that actually defend such causes as gay rights in Egypt, an issue especially raised since that state-supported anti-gay campaign that started in 2001.

An organization called the EIPR (Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights) was probably the first human rights organization in Egypt to stand up for gay rights. The EOHR (Egyptian Organization for Human Rights) had said they would not defend gay rights in Egypt for religious and cultural reasons.

GayEgypt.com was the first serious attempt to start an Egyptian pro-gay website on the internet. It discusses various issues including Islam and Homosexuality, along with updated gay news from Egypt and the world.

Other websites include www.GayEgypt.tk and www.GayMiddleEast.com.

Hamd:
In 1963, an Egyptian lesbian by the name of Farduz Hussein, who was then married, set up a "gathering" one night for lesbians in the country. That "gathering", later acquiring the name Hamd, developed by time to become an Egyptian lesbian social group that meets on a regular basis in one of the women's apartments, each time.

In an article about Hamd, the writer (Afdhere Jama) claims that "that night, for the first time in their lives those Arab women had the privilege to be in the company of other lesbians and not feel ashamed or scared."

Jama's article goes on like this: "of course, with a good thing like that, they had to repeat it. And repeat it. And repeat it. It became a monthly meeting and used to just be called 'the gathering' and one year after their first meeting, the women decided to make it more 'official.'" The "gathering" has since then been known with its "official name", Hamd.

LGBTQ Muslims:
It is commonly known that Islam has a firm stand against homosexuality. Gay Muslims, however, find support in the few organizations and websites that defend their rights and get them "out of the closet".

People can differ when it comes to homosexuality in religions. This also exists in Islam. Some writers believe that Islam does not discriminate against gays.

Faris Malik (from www.QueerJihad.org) wrote, in an article on queer sexuality in the Koran, that "the Koran does not prohibit using, as passive sex partners, the ancient category of men who by nature lacked desire for women, since such men were not considered 'male' as a result of their lack of arousal for women"

Most Muslim clerics, though, believe homosexuality is even punishable by death.

However, a foundation called Al-Fatiha (www.al-fatiha.org) was founded in 1998 to support Muslim homosexuals and their families and friends.

"Al-Fatiha Foundation is a member of an international grassroots network of organizations dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, those exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity, and other sexual and gender minorities" (Quoted from al-fatiha.org).

Huriyah Magazine is an online publication where LGBT Muslims write on a quarterly basis (four issues per year). You can find Huriyah Magazine at www.huriyahmag.com.

The presence of the Egyptian gay community online:
Online Egyptian gay community is a relatively vibrant one. In most of the big gay dating and befriending website there are Egyptians. Gaydar (www.GaydarGuys.com and www.GaydarGirls.com) currently has many Egyptian members (well, they call them "guests" if they're not paid members), and you can find some of them online almost all the time.

IRC: IRC is short for "Internet Relay Chat" and is an international computer network of Internet servers, using its own protocol through which individual users can hold real-time online conversations. mIRC is the program most used to access IRC servers. The IRC DALnet chat server has a chatroom under the name of #GayEgypt, where gay Egyptians (and those looking for them) get to make online friendships instantly, that could even lead to real-life dates.