The Gay-less Countries
Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visited Columbia University on Monday. When pressed by a student about Iran’s treatment of gays, Ahmadinejad had this to say:
In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have this.
While the comment elicited derisive laughter from the audience, I found the words chilling. Iran executes homosexuals. A television report produced by the CBC in February detailed a few of the stories coming out of Iran, and the horror is unimaginable.
Iran isn’t the only country to persecute gays by law and then deny they exist, either. When Canada’s own Coalition gaie et lesbienne du Québec first attempted to gain Observer Status at the UN so they could officially report on human rights attrocities around the world, Egypt voted against admittance, saying they “don’t have a gay problem in [Egypt] because there are no gays there.” Egypt actively entraps and tortures homosexuals.
Really, one only needs to look at traveler warnings to see the extent of persecution faced by gays worldwide. Misinformation and denial about homosexuality is widespread and troublesome, and this is reflected in the cruel laws of many countries.
Remedying this won’t be easy. Given Canada’s own denial of the dangers faced by gay refugees, a local start isn’t too far back.