Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Iranian Politician Calls for Gay Execution

It perhaps comes as no surprise that an Iranian politician has expressed support for the torture and even execution of gays but this abominable declaration reportedly took place in May during a meeting with British MPs at a peace conference. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's now famous homosexuality denial during a speech at Columbia University in New York in September remains the most glaring example of the Iranian regime's views but Mohsen Yahyavi remains the highest-ranked politician to sanction capital punishment for gays.

This issue is certainly nothing new in Iran. The hanging of two reportedly gay youth in the city of Mashhad in 2005 sparked widespread outrage among human rights and LGBT organizations around the world. The European Union (and member countries) have repeatedly criticized Iran's human rights record with regards to gays and lesbians while the United States appears more concerned with the country's plan to supposedly develop nuclear weapons. This issue is most certainly one for concern. But Washington arguably should focus the same attention on Tehran's gross violation of human rights -- in this case the state-sponsored gay executions. Gay Iranians' lives literally hang in the balance.

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