A global gay
rights group is calling for the United States to investigate
reports coming out of Iraq that gay people there are
increasingly being kidnapped, attacked, murdered, and
otherwise threatened solely because of their sexual
orientation. The New York City-based International
Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has sent a
letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, asking
the Bush administration to look into the predicament
of gay Iraqis and make sure they are protected.
"We call on the United States, political leaders
around the world, and Iraqi authorities to take
responsibility for speaking out and stemming the
targeting of gay people for kidnapping and murder, and
seeing that those committing these crimes are punished,"
Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of IGLHRC, said
in a statement.
"The acts of violence within the Iraqi community
are part of a larger pattern of violence that has
arisen out of the current war and sectarian tensions,"
she added. "We believe it is the responsibility and
obligation of the United States, considering its present
involvement in Iraq, to protect and support the most
vulnerable and marginalized populations being targeted
for this violence."
A recent report by the United Nations Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated such
antigay violence is on the rise. (The Advocate)