Gay Rescue

Saving Iraqi homosexuals

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In Sadr City and Karada, Iraqi gays are being abducted, raped, tortured, and killed, their mangled bodies left in the streets as a caution to others. No formal initiative was announced, no fatwa issued. The violence simply started to pick up last February, as various ethnic and religious factions rode a wave of anti-homosexual sentiment to gain a local reputation as guardians of morality.

After hearing reports of worsening anti-gay violence and making contact with victims in Iraq, Scott Long and Rasha Moumneh of Human Rights Watch decided to take action. According to an October 4 story in New York magazine, the international nongovernmental organization did not go through official government channels—a strategy that has been disappointing and mostly ineffectual in the past, with the U.S. refusing to recognize homosexuality in asylum applications and American officials unwilling to push too hard for gay rights when there are so many other pressing priorities in war-torn Iraq.

Instead, Human Rights Watch offered direct aid to gay men in dangerous cities. Long and his colleagues placed ads on Manjam, an international gay networking site, did their best to verify the applicants' stories, and then wired money for plane tickets.

So far they have helped two dozen men flee the violent hot spots and even gotten a few out of the country entirely. Long continues to agitate for government support, but he knew better than to depend on a policy change to save the men who were in immediate danger. 

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  1. The NGO “did not go through official government channels?a strategy that has been disappointing and mostly ineffectual in the past, with the U.S. refusing to recognize homosexuality in asylum applications and American officials unwilling to push too hard for gay rights when there are so many other pressing priorities in war-torn Iraq.” Sad but so true. Yet one thing the American people can do here is to recognize the rights of gays to marry and to serve openly in the military.

  2. If you want to support Iraqi gays this group is doing heroic work http://iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com/

  3. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on

  4. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books.

  5. Human Rights Watch decided to take action. According to an October 4 story in New Yor

  6. New York magazine, the international nongovernmental organization did not go

  7. en in dangerous cities. Long and his colleagues placed ads on Manjam, an international gay networking site, did their best to verify the applicants’ stories, and then wired mone

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