Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Being Gay in Iran Can Be Fatal

From the Times of London:

Homosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, The Times has learnt.

Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality after a spate of reports that gay youths were being hanged.

President Ahmadinejad, questioned by students in New York two months ago about the executions, dodged the issue by suggesting that there were no gays in his country.

[…]

A series of reported executions of gays, including two underage boys whose public hanging was posted on the internet, has alarmed human rights campaigners.

The Pet Shop Boys dedicated Fundamental, their Grammy-nominated album, to Mahmoud Asqari and Ayad Marhouni, who were hanged in Justice Square in Mashhad in 2005. Graphic photographs of the execution of the youths, who were under 18 when arrested, were released by the Iranian Students News Agency.

[…]

Minutes taken by an official describe a meeting between British and Iranian MPs at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a peace body, in May. When the Britons raised the hangings of Asqari and Marhouni, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Mr Yahyavi, a member of his parliament’s energy committee, was unflinching. He “explained that according to Islam gays and lesbianism were not permitted”, the record states. “He said that if homosexual activity is in private there is no problem, but those in overt activity should be executed [he initially said tortured but changed it to executed]. He argued that homosexuality is against human nature and that humans are here to reproduce. Homosexuals do not reproduce.”

Once again religion rears its ugly head. I’ve heard several prominent Christianists make the same suggestion, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a Jesus-freak or Islamofascist: killing queers in the name of God is acceptable to some of these nutballs.

It makes you wonder if the chicken hawks will use this as another reason to rattle the saber to go to war in Iran; after all, they’d be saving the queers, and that goes against their nature to to anything that might be considered gay-friendly.