Friday, 24 April 2009

Major US gay group backs action on Iraqi LGBT pogrom

By Brian Moulton, HRC’s associate counsel

Gay advocacy groups call for the end of violence against LGBT people in Iraq

Increased persecution of and violence against LGBT people, particularly gay men, in Iraq has been widely reported by the traditional media, stirring action by the LGBT community and our allies on the Hill.

Recently, openly-gay Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) travelled to Iraq and witnessed the dire situation of Iraqi’s LGBT community firsthand. He returned to raise his strong concerns with the State Department. The Council for Global Equality, of which HRC is a member organization, has been in communication with the State Department in Washington, as well as the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, calling on them to investigate this critical situation and to intervene with the Iraqi government. Our fellow Council member, the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission, has also directly called on the Iraqi Minister of Human Rights to take action. Grassroots activists have organized protests in New York and San Francisco.

Last month, the U.S. abandoned the past administration’s opposition and joined a UN resolution supporting the human rights of LGBT people. It is imperative that the State Department now put that commitment into real practice. HRC, working with the Council for Global Equality and our coalition partners, will continue to lobby the State Department to condemn the violence against LGBT people in Iraq and pressure the Iraqi government to end the persecution.



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