Thursday, July 20, 2006

Protests against Iranian Attacks on Gays

The Iranian regime is the among the most homophobic in the world. In the past day or so, Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, TG people, and associated queers have organized protests around the world in connection with the judical murder of two gay Iranian teenagers a on July 19 2005.

Andrew Sullivan is keeping tabs on this, as is an old acquaintance of mine, Michael Petrelis.

See also a Washington Post article [ Pictures From An Execution Come Into Focus ] on these protests, and the state murder of these guys.


Perhaps the saddest thing about these pictures is that no major news organization outside Iran has tracked down what really happened. The final indignity of these boys' short lives was that they didn't matter enough to spark a serious investigation. And yet, even with the particular facts of the alleged crimes in dispute, the images have haunted gay people in the West and become part of a larger debate about the political alignment of gay rights groups. Should Western activists engage with gay rights issues across cultural and religious borders? And do they risk being dragged into a crude anti-Islamic fervor popular among some fundamentalist Christians (who are no friends to gay people) and right-wing political groups?

Rob Anderson, 23, organized the Dupont Circle protest of about 40 people. He is a researcher and reporter for the New Republic, and he describes himself as part of a "network of lefty friends" who have no interest in the idea of war with Iran. But when the images of the hangings went up last year on the Internet, he printed them out and put them up near his desk. He says that all the friends he's shown the pictures to have had "a shift in consciousness," a realization that they live sheltered lives, that evil exists in the world and that despite the vast cultural difference between Iran and the United States, there have to be moral absolutes. And killing children for homosexuality is one thing that is absolutely wrong.

No comments: