LA City Council Condemns Iraqi Torture of Gay Men
Unite The Fight posted a detailed and compelling post: LA City Council Unanimously Passes Resolution Condemning Iraqi Torture of Gay Men.
On Wednesday, after hearing several emotional speeches, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution that "calls upon the government of Iraq to prevent the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and protect the right to life and the right of all its citizens to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the United States and for them to pass this resolution is anything but a token gesture of empathy. This is a demonstration of the civic population of one country exercising its political weight to alter the national and international awareness of this brutality.
"While we’re standing here in this great country, right now, in Iraq . . . We are seeing gay people rounded up and killed. As I’m standing here, our people are being murdered. Our government needs to focus on it." - Bill Rosendahl
Hossein Alizadeh from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission read a letter from a 25 year old Iraqi gay man:
I’m a 25 year old graduate student from Baghdad and my name is Ahmad. I want to thank you very much for caring about me and my problem. Finally, after many desperate years of hopelessness I found a group of people that understand and care about me.
My problem is that I’m a gay, and as a gay man I can’t live a normal life in Iraq because:
• My life is in danger. I live in continuous fear of people finding out that I’m gay.
• I can’t express my deepest emotions. I can’t love...I can’t tell those who I care about that I love them... It is like being tortured from inside.
In the past few months I have heard of many cases of violence against gay men, including killing, torturing, and public humiliation of us. The religious vigilantes (known as Maghawer) have kidnapped many men suspected of being gay. No one knows anything about the fate of those gays.
The Maghawer’s most popular method of torture for homosexuals is putting silicon glue on their anus to shot down their digestive system and then force them to take laxative drug to make them suffer.
Several council members made impassioned statements of support for the resolution prior to its unanimous approval:
"And when I say the pledge of allegiance, when it gets to the end phrase, 'with liberty and justice for all,' I always add 'someday,'" she continued. "I believe there is not justice for all at this moment, and as long as we hear stories about that on this planet I will not be able to say that there is liberty and justice for all anywhere. An injury to one is an injury to all. We pray that this type of torture will come to an end.” - Councilmember Janice Hahn
District 10 Councilmember Herb J. Wesson, Jr. adds:
"I take issue with one statement that you [Rosendahl] made when you said 'these are my people.’ That’s not true. They are human beings. They are our people. And I think we need to get away from that. People need to just start seeing people for who they are."
If you live in LA, I thank you for selecting this body as your representatives. For the rest of us, let's turn the volume up on this issue until Iraq ends this horrid, primitive and repulsive abuse. There is no god in any heaven to sanction torture and bloodshed. There is only brutality, hatred and cruelty to thank for that.