Friday, July 25, 2008

Surge Not Working For Iraqi LGBT

One [Iraqi] man said he considers gays no different from "criminals and terrorists." Another claimed that homosexuality was "illegal under Islamic law, and [they] should be punished by law like criminals." Welcome to George Bush's post liberation Iraq for gays.

No one knows how many gays have been killed in Iraq since we found Saddam Hussein threatening America from a hole in the ground, one thing is certain though, conditions have deteriorated dramatically for gays and lesbians in Iraq since then.

In a dramatic look CNN introduces us to two young gay Iraqi men Rami, 21, and also Kamal, 18, who spoke through tears about the abduction and rape that has haunted him the past three years. He was abducted off the street at 16, and his captors realizing he was gay because his chest had been shaved, raped him for 15 days until his parents paid ransom.

Both men paint a picture of an extremely hostile society, where no public display of their sexuality can be expressed, and armed militias threaten families with death to turn over children suspected of being gay -- where the worse fear is of family finding out.

Rami and Kamal find solace only in their friendship and on the Internet in Baghdad cafes, surfing gay chat rooms and facing death for any contact with other gays, while at the same time an Iraqi LGBT website shows a photo of three men dead in the street with blood pouring from their heads, titled "Gay Iraqi victims of the police and death squads."

While a recent U.N report backs up Rami and Kamal's reality, and Baghdad refuses to acknowledge the situation, you'd think everything was fine for LGBT individuals in Iraq if you only listened to good 'ole W's take on things, after all gays and lesbians in Iraq "got democracy" now, what more could they want?