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Gay Air France Stewards Revolt Over Flights to Iran

Gay Air France Stewards Revolt Over Flights to Iran

Air France

French flight attendants want the opportunity to opt out of travel to Tehran, where homosexuality is punishable by death.

Citing the dangerously homophobic environment in Iran, gay Air France employees are urging the airline to let them opt out of new flights between Paris and Tehran.

With service between the two cities beginning on Sunday, a flight attendant identified as Mr. Laurent started a petition asking Air France's CEO to let gay employees avoid the route without losing their jobs. In the petition -- written in French -- Laurent points out that homosexuality remains illegal in Iran, with gay relations punishable by 74 lashes for a minor and the death penalty for adults; an image of gay men about to be publicly executed is above the text.

"It is inconceivable to force someone to go to a country where his kind are condemned for who they are," the petition reads.

The petition also points out that female flight attendants were recently allowed to refuse Iranian flights. After Air France told its stewardesses they must don head scarves and wide pants once they land in Tehran, an outcry ensued, and the airliner allowed women who disagree with the policy to avoid the route.

With a goal of attracting 25,000 signatures, the petition has already received over 15,000 in less than a week.

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