(Beirut) Lebanon’s Culture Minister announced on Wednesday that he had called for the film Barbie to be banned, saying it “promoted homosexuality”, amid growing anti-LGBT rhetoric in one of the world’s more liberal in the Middle East.

In a statement, Mohammad Mourtada said the film, which surpassed $1 billion at the global box office and was set to screen in Lebanon from August 31, “goes against moral and religious values ​​in Lebanon.” .

Barbie “promotes homosexuality and gender reassignment, supports the rejection of fatherhood, undermines and ridicules the role of motherhood, and questions the necessity of marriage and family formation added the minister.

American director Greta Gerwig’s comedy, starring Hollywood stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, features the iconic Mattel doll, venturing all in pink alongside her clumsy boyfriend Ken.

The minister’s decision comes as an anti-LGBT campaign intensifies in the country, led by the powerful pro-Iranian Hezbollah.

In July, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that according to Islamic law every homosexual “should be killed” and called for a boycott of all rainbow products.

Lebanon is considered to be more “tolerant” than other Arab states of homosexuality. But religious institutions continue to exert a major influence on social and cultural affairs, and homosexuality remains sanctioned by law.

Nine MPs introduced a bill in parliament last month to decriminalize homosexuality but have been the target of a campaign of criticism.

Lebanon has repeatedly canceled activities of the LGBT community in recent years, particularly under pressure from religious authorities.

Last year, the animated film Buzz Lightyear, featuring a lesbian couple, was banned there.