Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gays Should Care More About Iraq Than Iowa

In the last couple hours I've gotten several messages on Facebook about Friday's impending Iowa Supreme Court ruling on Gay Marriage. Several of the activists groups I loosely belong to are planning a "celebration or protest" rally Friday evening in New York's Union Square from 6:30-7:30PM. The ruling is important, but it's likely to fall short of the full marriage rights that we're hoping for.

On the other side of the world, the idea of gay marriage is a total fantasy. In Iraq, over 100 gays have been scheduled for execution. They will be murdered by their government for being born homosexual.

Anyone brave enough to be a gay activist in Iraq is hunted down and murdered. One such activist group, Iraqi-LGBT, says:

“Raids by the Iraqi police and Ministry of Interior forces cost our group [to the extent of] disappearing and killing of 17 members working for Iraqi-LGBT since 2005.

“The death penalty has been increasing at an alarming rate in Iraq since the new Iraqi regime reintroduced it in August 2004.

“In 2008, at least 285 people were sentenced to death, and at least 34 executed. In 2007 at least 199 people were sentenced to death and 33 were executed, while in 2006 at least 65 people were put to death.

There isn't anything wrong with caring about gay marriage, it's certainly something we should work toward. But scheduling a rally to protest (or celebrate) the decision of Iowa's Supreme Court in the face of gay genocide in Iraq, rising HIV rates among young gays, and the increase in gay youth homelessness seems fairly trite to me.

Bottom line: It's time for the gay civil rights movement to expand it's agenda.


  1. wow. this is something I'm ashamed to admit that I knew nothing about. It made me sick to read it. so upsetting.

  2. The pics are Iranian.Murder and rape of Iraqi GLBT is not a new story.I do not see why I should consider a celebration or a protest on Iowas supreme court ruling trite. Trite?Iowans are denied access to the courts if they are in a same gender relationship in the United States OF America.Horrific as the story from Iraq is , Iowa is a few hundred miles.

  3. March 30th 2009 is a pretty new story! -

  4. Expand it's agenda? Because we're so good at multi-tasking? As a community we have been VERY bad at focusing the tasks at hand and with constant naysayers like you always speaking up saying "I have a better idea!" and complaining about how things are happening, but offering NO plausible solutions will NEVER MOVE US FORWARD.

    Ryan, if you're concerned about what you're concerned about, then how about YOU schedule a rally for it? You're all about bitching when someone cares about something that you don't care about. Why don't you make something happen instead of writing about it?

    You say the bottom line is that we need to "expand" our agenda, yet earlier you say we should care less about Equality in this country. What is it you want? For us to expand our agenda or to take on yours?

  5. So many people are calling for a retreat from Iraq, saying that we should be taking care of our own country and our own problems. Basically minding our own business.

    But others are calling for us to surge in, not only to Iraq, but many other countries and stop social injustices that "offend the very fabric of human decency".

    The sad thing is we can't have it both ways.

  6. New story yes, but a similar story every week and month since 2005, same u.k,sources.Not intending to offend, I just cannot accept your logic, and who is trite? These are real cases, religious zealots are crazy whether they are in control in Iraq, Iran,Oklahoma,Alaska....or the GD White House.You said we should not care about Iowa ruling rather Iraq.......Trite?

  7. "On the other side of the world, the idea of gay marriage is a total fantasy." I am in the heartland and think the entire gay rights agenda is so far off the mark and gay marriage IS a total fantasy......laws are on the books against us, in some states still LBGT can be fired,denied housing....we know all of this however we seem to think all American glbt live in NY or SF, PLease, we are in every county and state in America.The Iowa ruling is a big deal!

  8. I still like to believe that we can--and most times do--care about both issues. The issues here at home AND the issues abroad. And while it may be hard to compare marriage rights here versus death just for existing over there, both fights are rooted in the same type of "traditionalist" mind set held by other people...

    While I can appreciate the point of "death is worse than perpetually single government recognition," one does not preclude the other in terms of the mind set which created both scenarios which seek to keep LGBT persons from being recognized as the human beings they are...

  9. WTF this is horriBLe i aam like cryinq and aqqravated i alreadi posted this on mii aim mysp ace twitter and facebook soo the whole world can see what is happinq and how fucked upthe iraq qovernment is !