Biden must condemn abuses vs Iran’s LGBTQ community

A member of Iran’s persecuted Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community appealed to US president Joe Biden to confront the Islamic Republic over its severe repression of sexual minorities.

“How can President Biden, who claims to be supportive of gay rights and has just nominated a gay man like [Pete] Buttigieg and also nominated a transgender like Dr. Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of HHS, say absolutely nothing about the mullahs’ horrific human rights abuses toward us gay and lesbian in Iran?” a gay Iranian in Iran told Karmel Melamed, an Iranian American internationally published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Melamed published on Monday his interviews with members of Iran’s LGBTQ community as a part of an opinion article in Newsweek titled “Biden Must Speak Up for Iran’s Suffering LGBTQ.”

After The Jerusalem Post first reported in February on Iranian Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, who wrote on his Telegram social-media that consumers of COVID-19 vaccines will become gay, members of Iran’s LGBTQ community contacted Melamed, who wrote “they were surprised no one from the Biden administration condemned Tabrizian or openly criticized the Iranian regime for their homophobic comments.”

Melamed added that “Others asked how the Biden administration has been pursuing a new Iran deal without raising LGBTQ and other human rights abuses the regime is responsible for. I had no response to give.”

Melamed told the Post he withheld the names of Iran-based LGBTQ people “for safety purposes.”

Iran’s regime has executed 4,000-6000 gays and lesbians since the 1979 Islamic revolution, according to a 2008 British WikiLeaks cable. The clerical regime in Tehran proscribes the death penalty for same-sex relations.

Melamed quoted Roya Boroumand, co-founder of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, a Washington, DC- based non-profit which monitors human rights violations by the Iranian regime, who said: “The LGBT community has in fact been driven underground as forced to hide their identity and live in fear.”

According to Melamed, “Perhaps the most painful messages I receive come from young Iranians who are part of Iran’s secretive LGBTQ community. They fear for their lives, especially if the government or neighbors discover their sexual orientation.”

Source » jpost

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