Does anyone else remember this?
That's right. That's the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, telling a crowd of Ivy-league students, reporters and diplomats that Iran doesn't have gay people. Naturally, they laughed in his face.
So why is it that three men were just executed in his country for "Hadd," which translates to sodomy? From Iran Human Rights:
According to the reports from Iran, six people were hanged in the Karoun prison of Ahvaz (southwest of Iran) early Sunday morning September 4th.
The state run Iranian news agency ISNA reported that three of those executed were sentenced to death by the Ahvaz revolution court, convicted of "unlawful" acts and acts against Sharia, based on the articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian Islamic penal code. Articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian Islamic Penal code are part of the chapter covering the punishment of "Hadd" for "sodomy". Article 108 says: "Sodomy (or Lavat) is sexual intercourse between men”, and article 110 says:”Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing".While I am naturally very angry over this, it's nothing new. Those laws have been on the books (and have reportedly been enforced) for years. While many are angry over Uganda's pending legislation to begin executing citizens for homosexuality, the ongoing government mandated murder of Iranian gay men begs the question: what's being done to stop it?
The quick answer is not much. One recourse is available to Iranian gays seeking to avoid death: seeking asylum elsewhere. However, deportation laws in the UK, Europe, and here in the US have prevented many from finding asylum, dooming the thousands of gay Iranians to a seemingly hopeless situation.