This dissertation is an ethnography that focuses on competing discourses and practices of secularity in contemporary Lebanon. It is situated at the intersections of legal anthropology, theories of secularism and religion, and interdisciplinary studies of the state and sexual/gendered citizenship. I focus on two phenomena. One is the Lebanese state’s regulation of religious conversion, a practice the state and its courts consider proof of their secularity. The state actively protects the rights of citizens to change their religions or their sects, often to the consternation of religious leaders and personal status courts. The second phenomenon is a broad youth-led social movement calling for a sixteenth secular personal status law, an addition that would effectively produce a secular sect with political, legal, and sexual rights that are different from other sectarian communities. This social movement considers secularism to have...

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