Iranians and Gay Marriage
Persian Version متن فارسی
Ali Larijani, head of Iran's parliament, recently said that gay relationships
are "today's modern savagery of the West." Before him, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
Iran's president, during a trip to New York said that in Iran “we don’t have
homosexuals.” In the meantime, Islamic Republic of Iran's criminal law
prescribes heavy sentences, even execution, for practicing same-sex relations.
The discussions currently under way in the West, including in the United States, in support or opposition to same-sex marriage, are not the subject of this essay, particularly since in the United States, both presidential candidates and also the Democratic and Republican parties have clearly expressed their views on the issue.
But it seems that in Iranian circles, among gay marriage supporters and detractors alike, the main question that is asked is whether Iranian society is ready to enter such discussions. Some even believe that entering such discussions will hurt the pro-democracy movement of Iran.
Scientific research has shown that those who identify themselves as gay, though not necessarily ‘practicing’ it, are at higher risk for suicide than the rest of the population (1). And in Iran, not only does this implicit danger exist in society, but also the right to life for gay individuals is under threat by the government (2).
In other words, while in the United States the right to gay marriage is being discussed, in Iran the right to life for gay people is the main subject for debate and the government itself is actively involved on one side of the fence. In this situation, wouldn’t the evasion of this discussion by Iranian circles be more of a cause for isolation and distancing from the general populace?
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
Oct 31, 2012