Following the European Union recent resolution encouraging more social and political contact between Iran and the EU Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani, who led a Friday prayer in Tehran, used his sermon to condemn the EU resolution, which he perceived as Western tolerance of same-sex relations.
“Those miserable people [i.e. European Parliament] want Iran to recognize faggots,” the Ayatollah told his audience.
But Ayatollah Kermani is not the only public leader using the new resolution to propel anti-gay hate. Conservative newspapers, websites, and politicians have registered strong condemnation of “the Europeans’ gay agenda.”
The Commander-in-Chief of the Basij morality militia, Brigadier General Nagdi, said, “The European Union is worse than grazing livestock. They demand that we recognize homosexuality, which is something even the beasts in the wilderness refuse to do to each other. ”
Naghdi’s comments were followed by those of Iran’s Army Chief, Major General Firuzabadi, who accused the EU of promoting the “unnatural act of sodomy.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Ali Lariijani, went a step further by lumping democracy, human rights, same-sex relations, gender equality and Europe all in one go.
“The European Parliament interferes in our domestic affairs by commenting on election, women’s rights, human rights, and sexually perverted ideas … Even if the European Parliament issues 100 resolutions to demand the recognition of gay marriage in Iran, they won’t harvest anything but hatred from the Iranian people … Do you want democracy in order to change people’s way of life?”
The EU resolution does not reference marriage equality or lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender rights. Article 14 condemns discrimination, and therein lies a reference to “sexual orientation.” That single phrase appears two-thirds of the way through was seen as the true purpose of the 2,459-word document.
Unfortunately this Iranian anti-homosexuality propaganda is not entirely homegrown. For example, one of the state-run religious website for Iranian college students has a section on condemnation of same-sex relations with a link to a US-based ex-gay movement’s Persian site which complements the religious homophobia with a healthy dose of US-manufactured junk-science.
Iran’s authoritarian Islamic regime consistently enforces anti-gay repression and homophobia that remain codified in law.
Iranian law criminalizes any consensual same-sex relations with punishment ranging from 100 lashes between women and the death penalty for those between two men. The Islamic Penal Code also criminalizes same-sex touching and intimate kissing, which are punishable by up to 74 lashes.