The Gay Far-Left and Iran
This past week has given us a fascinating insight into the worldview of the gay far-left, which sometimes controls gay organizations. Two major human rights groups, Human Rights Watch's gay wing and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), refused to endorse or participate in the July 19 vigil for two executed gay teens in Iran. The leaders of this group believe the Tehran regime's description of the executions as punishment for an alleged rape of a 13 year-old. They don't believe the extensive reporting of Doug Ireland, and the accounts of gay activists within Iran, which strongly support the evidence that the teens were executed for having gay sex (which remains a capital offense in Iran). They went so far as to organize a competing event during the New York vigil. A decent account of the controversy can be read here. If you know the lineage of these activists, you'd understand them better. Paula Ettelbrick, at IGLHRC, was for many years a ferocious opponent of equal marriage rights for gay men and lesbians - as the gay left once was as a whole. For her and others, it is much more important to distance itself from the anti-Iran stance of the Bush administration than to reach out to persecuted gays in Iran. This despite the fact that the New York vigil was a veritable leftist love-in, including a speaker from "a revolutionary socialist organization of workers and youth." Don't laugh. They still exist. But even these people are bourgeois counter-revolutionaries to HRW and IGLHRC. Money quote from Ettelbrick:
"In the U.S. we are acculturated to stepping in and taking action. That's not how other countries do it and it certainly doesn't work when dealing with Iran. Condoleeza Rice can't just tell Iran to stop executing gay people. We know now that bringing change in human rights means being globally sensitive ... One of the things that came out of the meeting was a question: Is our intent to make ourselves feel good or to affect change? If it is to really affect change, then we need to talk to more people from Iran to understand their environment, we then, as a nation, need to look at our own policies such as the death penalty, and see how they are affecting the situation over there."
So the real problem in Iran is ... America's death penalty. You really cannot make this insanity up.