The violence committed against LGBT Iraqis has been unbelievably violent, and it has been increasing, without direct condemnation by the United States.
Last week, after month of work by Michael Petrelis, Nancy Pelosi issued a notably anemic statementthat broadly condemned all acts of violence but never specifically mentioned the words “gay” or “LGBT.”
But, today, the United States finally officially condemned the escalating anti-LGBT violence. Speaking to reporters, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said:
“In general, we absolutely condemn acts of violence and human rights violations committed against individuals in Iraq because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“This is an issue that we’ve been following very closely since we have been made aware of these allegations, and we are aware of the allegations.”
“Our training for Iraqi security forces includes instruction on the proper observance of human rights,” Kelly said.
“Human rights training is also a very important part of our and other international donors’ civilian capacity-building efforts in Iraq,” the spokesman said.
“And the US embassy in Baghdad has raised, and will continue to raise, the issue with senior officials from the government of Iraq, and has urged them to respond appropriately to all credible reports of violence against gay and lesbian Iraqis,” Kelly said.
The US embassy in Baghdad has also raised the issue with Iraqi government officials.
Iraqi LGBT is a UK-based gay rights organization working to help all gay Iraqis. Visit their website to see what you can do to help.