Why aren't progressives discussing gay human rights issues abroad?
by bruh21, Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 10:12:47 AM EDT
I consider myself left of center politically, but being gay and also generally concerned with human rights issues I am amazed by what I see as often a general silence in America by progressives on human rights abuse of gays abroad. I see very little discussion in the left leaning political blogsphere of this issue. And, yet, these issues havea weight on gay rights in America too- as the recent US Supreme Court decision in Lawrence shows, we do, at least in dicta, think of what the rest of the world is doing in its policies and legal analysis.
I am sure there are a lot of people who will say that this issue is being covered (if so- where?) or that it's not an important issue (if not, then why is Dafur important? All human rights abuses should be considered important).
I especially think now is a good time to discuss this given, the UN is considering giving consultancy status to gay rights groups for the first time ever.
So, what is happening internationally? Well, a lot actually. I can't cover every country, but I will give you a brief breakdown of some countries:
a) Iran, Egypt Iraq and others
This week was the anniversary of the two men hanged for being gay in Iran. Under most Islamic regimes the killing of gays is considered acceptable. Indeed, a fatwa was issued, although later rescinded, against gays. The fatewa still exists, as I understand it, against lesbians. In Egypt and other muslim countries- gays are regularly imprisoned for being gay.
b) Jamaica etc
The recent dustup over LifeBeat is only the tip of the iceberg. The artists involve are actually representative of a culture that says it is okay to kill gay people.
c) Poland and Europe
Although quantum leaps have been made in many parts of Europe, there remains dangerous hold outs. In countries like Poland, Serbia and Rusia- there remains a threat of death or imprisonment.
Gays faced death threats in Israel from voices that can come together on nothing else- from Christians to Muslim to Jewish. In fact the gay pride march had to moved due to the uproar.
e) South Africa and the rest
South Africa remains the gold standard of the world with a constitution that official protects sexual minorities. The rest of Africa however is a no man land for gays. We are regularly killed or used as political fodder in the rest of the continent.
The changes there are mixed and varied- from S Korea recently allowing gays in the military to films like brokeback mountain being banned in other parts of the Continent.
As these breakdowns, demostrate, there is a really large human rights issues with the treatment of gays abroad that goes beyond civil rights in the US. Why aren't we talking about them? Why are people like conservative writer Andrew Sullivan the only one's who have discussed what has occured in Iran? I hope that it is not because we see the enemy of our enemy as our friend? We certainly must be able to admit the evil of what is occuring with gay people in terms of their human rights abroad if we are going to remain consistent in our moral compass. If not, if it is okay to kill or jail gays- then every other group is just as 'okay' to be targeted.