Gays in Iraq are not debating marriage (updated… again)

 Posted by on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 am
Mar 282009

Update #3
August 14, 2009

After months of delay, Iraqi LGBT has finally published a financial accounting for funds raised and spent. Michael Petrelis has been far more active than me in following this matter, so once again I’ll just refer interested readers to his report here.

It’s a relief to know that donations requested to rescue desperate Iraqis isn’t being used to coddle exiles in London with luxuries.  Still, the arrogance and attitude exhibited by the only visible leader of the group, Ali Hili is disturbing, to say the least.

Personally, I am considering future donations to HRC, or other internationally recognized groups.


Update  #2
July 10, 2009

After reading this report, I’m compelled to urge readers to do due diligence before donating to Iraqi LGBT.  Despite assurances I received more than three months ago that the group would provide public accounting of its finances, that has not been the case.  No one knows how much of the donated funds actually get to Iraq.

I’d like to think that no one is personally benefiting from the abuse and torture of  our brothers in Iraq, but the fact that the group has responded to reasonable requests for financial reports by slamming the door on all communications, as has been done with Michael Petrelis, does not look good.

Note to Ali Hili:  The people who are being hurt the most by your arrogance are the gays being targeted for torture and murder in Iraq.


Update #1
March 31, 2009:

After posting this I became concerned about the lack of public financial accountability of Iraqi LGBT, a group of Iraqis living in exile who claim to be raising money to pay for safe houses for gays, lesbians and transgendered people in Iraq.

I have subsequently had contact with Ali, spokesperson for Iraqi LGBT; Josh Botham, an attorney representing the group in London; and David Grey, the producer of the video below. I am satisfied that this organization is worthy of my personal support and encourage others to contribute as well.

I cannot afford to send much, but what I can do, I will.  Those with a PayPal account can also send a donation to their account at


I monitor numerous sites for news of interest to gays and lesbians. Those feeds are flooded with stories about the gay marriage debate, the Pope and condoms, and upbeat reports about gay pride advances in Serbia and elsewhere.

Nearly lost in this flood, buried and often overlooked, is the news about terror campaigns specifically targeting sexual minorities. There is no question that they aren’t easy to read or watch.

Right now, an unknown number death row prisoners are being readied for execution, 20 at a time, by hanging in Iraq, solely because they are gay.

Officials in Jamaica, a popular tourist destination, are sanctioning violence against gays and transgendered persons.

Zambian vice president declares existing laws are sufficient to “punish” homosexuals and urges: “If you have information about such people, report them to the law enforcement agencies…”

Meanwhile Entertainment Tonight-like stories of Melissa, Ellen and others opening their bank accounts to finance political campaigns in California, Vermont and other states dominate the gay news headlines.

Apparently, we American queers don’t want to acknowledge, let alone focus our awesome organizational powers to oppose scenes like this:

Two gay teens executed in Iran in 2005

Or this:

Or this:


Or this:

Public lynching of a transsexual in Jamaica

I’ll ask again:  Where is our outrage? Where are the marches? What the fuck is wrong with us?!

Pontificating for gay marriage rights while relegating these kind of horrors to the back page is the height of arrogance and selfishness on the part of all American gays and lesbians.

None of us are free until all of us are free.


  3 Responses to “Gays in Iraq are not debating marriage (updated… again)”


    Pontificating for gay marriage rights while relegating these kind of horrors to the back page is the height of arrogance and selfishness on the part of all American gays and lesbians.

    Good post about perspective.

    I think the gay marriage issue is an incredible luxury considering the perspective you give here. But it isn’t just a luxury, it’s a diversion.

    I’ll bring this back to the main topic of your blog. If we (gays) spent as much energy, time and money on questioning the AIDS debacle (rather than just submitting our bodies and minds to the medical establishment)as we do on gay marriage, we could empower ourselves like we’ve never been empowered before.

    We could release ourselves from the deep victim-psychology that has been fueling us for decades. We could OWN our sexuality. Currently, we don’t own our sexuality as long as we believe in the AIDS scam.

    It’s an upside-down world for gays as we equate being victims with being powerful.

    Now, if we were unshackled from the AIDS belief system, thereby being truly empowered, the horrors that are relegated to the back page might get the attention and energy they deserve. But we’re still mucking about in our own collective self-pity and victim mentality.


      Thanks for that contribution. One could pretty easily suggest that government sanctioned hanging of homosexuals isn’t all that far off from the current US government strategy of trying to push ARVs down our throats. The big difference is that, so far at least, those of us who choose to can still walk away from that gallow. Oh wait…. gallow, Gallo. Hmmm.


    I wonder if the Aids mess is why American gays relegate such horrible stories to the back pages. Maybe they are too similar. Taking action to draw attention to organized gay-hating and murder and “round-ups” might really bring up too many similarities to the situation gays are in here in the US. Aren’t we used to hearing threats that we are going to die if we don’t act right? Aren’t we used to hearing that gays caused aids and that we deserve to die? Aren’t we used to hearing that we should report our lovers if we are diagnosed positive? What is reporting lovers if not turning in other gays and sentencing them to “certain” death?

    I agree with Dan that the gay marriage issue, as meritorious as it is, acts a diversion to our real suppression and allows us to overlook gay hatred disguised as concern for our health. But I think that American gays want this distraction. This is not something forced on us, but an issue we choose. If nothing else, it gives us something–other than aids–to talk about. If we were to face the most important challenges facing gays in America: the aids scam; we would realize that we really are not much different from the executed gays on the gallows in Iraq.

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