Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Trump Administration Launches Global Push To Decriminalize Homosexuality

U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell
Deanna Wagner | 23 February, 2019, 05:43

Earlier this month, Grenell wrote an op-ed column in a German publication condemning a public hanging of a gay man by the government of Iran, calling it a "wake-up call for anyone who supports basic human rights". "Barbaric public executions are all too common in a country where consensual homosexual relationships are criminalized and punishable by flogging and death ... politicians, the United Nations, democratic governments, diplomats and good people everywhere should speak up - and loudly". "Iran's horrific actions are on par with the brutality and savagery regularly demonstrated by ISIS", Grenell noted. But NBC observes that the administration may be playing a risky game, as focusing on LGBT rights in Iran could also expose other close US allies such as Saudi Arabia to criticism and potentially hurt alliances.

Grenell jumpstarted the campaign on Tuesday in Berlin.

"I don't know which report you're talking about", Trump said.

Though officials did not reveal much about the plan, the NBC report says it will include strategic alliances with the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Grenell's athletic diplomacy to stop the repression of LGBTs was on display in December 2018. "We have many reports", he replied, before immediately moving on. The efforts will reportedly focus on the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean, where homosexuality is still illegal in certain areas.

"I think we've got some great support on the Hill", he told NBC News.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, is supporting the diplomatic effort to fight violence and discrimination against LGBT people, NBC said, citing USA officials. "And government officials must work harder to demand that UN Members decriminalize homosexuality".

Grennell's sudden interest in Iran's anti-gay laws is strikingly similar to Trump's rhetoric after the 2016 Pulse massacre in Orlando, Florida.

"The Ayatollah Khamenei himself has said, 'It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map'". The effort comes after Iran executed a man this summer over his sexual orientation. Some 70 countries prohibit LGBTQ identity or relationships in some form, and there are eight where homosexuality is actively punishable by death.

"It is unbelievable to believe that in today's world a 32-year-old man in Iran can be hanged simply for being gay".

This article has been adapted from its original source.