|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was questioned yesterday by CNN about his infamous address at Columbia University in 2007.
Asked a question in 2007 about executions for sodomy in Iran, Ahmadinejad attempted to deflect to the death penalty in the United States. But moderator Dean Coatsworth pressed him and Ahmadinejad said:
"In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country. We don't have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you that we have it."
Ahmadinejad was then booed by the audience.
Yesterday, he didn't try to deflect CNN's question, saying:
"My position hasn't changed."
"In Iran, homosexuality is looked down upon as an ugly deed. Perhaps there are those who engage in such activities and you may be in contact with them and more aware of them. But in Iranian society such activities, thoughts, and behaviors are shameful. Therefore, these are not known elements within Iranian society."
"Rest assured, this is one of the ugliest behaviors in our society. It is against divine will, divine teachings of any and every faith, and it is certainly at the detriment of humans and humanity. But as the government, I cannot go in the street and stop my population and ask them about specific orientation, so my position is clear about that."
Ahmadinejad's 2007 comments have been much mocked.and Iranian LGBT have directly answered them.
In May, Iranian gay refugees marched in Ankara carrying placards with the slogans "Ahmadinejad, we're here!" "Iranian queers will not keep silent anymore!" and "Iranian queers, we're altogether now!."
In 2008, the Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi - who this website was established to campaign for - wrote:
Last September President Ahmadinejad of Iran told an audience in New York that 'we have no homosexuals in Iran'.
This story was republished around the world and there's video below. In the comments section of the New York Sun here's is a response by Mehdi himself:
I do exist as an Iranian homosexual. I have got very surprised, very angry of this article and I do not understand really what is point of President of Iran. If Iran do not have any homosexual then I do not understand who I am then because I am an Iranian Gay and I have so many problem back my country where is Iran because of my sexual orientation, my life is in danger in Iran then what is that?
What is the piont of seeking asylum for Iranian Homosexual? They do not want to leave their country, family, friends,...... . Why is that? They put everything behind theirself to go to another country that they anything about it.
And what is the point of torturing, killing, .... of homosexual if there is not?!
My purpose of this letter is to kind of answering President Ahmadinejad and to say that I do exist as an Iranian homosexual and it does not matter where I am.