It’s not easy to be gay in the Islamic Republic of Iran. A recent United Nations report decried ”harassment, persecution, cruel punishment and even the death penalty.” Because Islamic law requires four adult male witnesses to prosecute sodomy, Iranian police typically seek confessions, often through torture. Women, easier to convict, are given 100 lashes for each case. Outside of the legal system, LGBT Iranians face widespread and socially accepted discrimination, bullying, and an elevated risk of suicide, according to a UK-based study. “Loneliness is killing me,” a 27-year-old man from Qazvin told researchers.
So it was an act of special significance when a small group of young people gathered in a hilly park overlooking Tehran to show, for a few brief but public moments, their support for Iranian gay rights. It was far from the biggest LGBT rights rally on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia commemorating the World Health Organization’s 1990 decision to remove homosexuality from its catalog of mental diseases, but it carried its own significance.
Read more. [Images: fa.news.joopea.com]