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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Iran criminalizes same-sex relationships

Under the legislation, individuals engaged in same-sex relationships could face imprisonment ranging from 10 to 15 years.

Iraq’s parliament recently passed a sweeping anti-LGBTQ law, sparking international condemnation and concerns about human rights violations in the country. The legislation criminalizes same-sex relationships and imposes harsh penalties on LGBTQ individuals, further marginalizing a community already facing discrimination and violence.

Legislation Overview

The new law, titled the Law on Combating Prostitution and Homosexuality, aims to uphold Iraq’s religious values by prohibiting same-sex relations and promoting what lawmakers describe as moral integrity. Under the legislation, individuals engaged in same-sex relationships could face imprisonment ranging from 10 to 15 years. Additionally, those found guilty of promoting homosexuality or prostitution could be sentenced to at least seven years behind bars.

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Amendments and Opposition

An earlier version of the bill included a provision for the death penalty for same-sex acts, but this was removed following opposition from the United States and European nations. However, the amended law still imposes severe penalties on LGBTQ individuals, including imprisonment for those who change their biological gender or exhibit effeminate behavior.

Despite widespread international condemnation and concerns raised by human rights groups, the legislation received staunch support from conservative Shia Muslim parties, which hold significant power in Iraq’s parliament. This support highlights the challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals in a deeply conservative society where homosexuality is considered taboo.

Impact on LGBTQ Community

Iraq’s LGBTQ community has long faced persecution and violence, with individuals frequently targeted for kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder. The passage of this law further marginalizes LGBTQ individuals, forcing them into the shadows and exacerbating their vulnerability to discrimination and abuse.

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The international community has strongly condemned Iraq’s anti-LGBTQ legislation, with the United States State Department expressing deep concern over its implications for human rights and free expression. Human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have denounced the law as a serious violation of fundamental human rights and a setback for LGBTQ rights in Iraq.