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State Dept. condemns anti-gay killings in Iraq that advocates say are sponsored by Iraqi govt

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Following criticism from an Iraqi human rights advocate, the US State Department has condemned a series of anti-gay anti-"emo" killings in Iraq that have taken place recently.   Here's the statement that State gave to Mike Signorile last night:

We strongly condemn the recent violence and killings in Iraq by groups who appear to be targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or personal expression. These acts of intolerance have no place in democratic societies.

We are monitoring this situation closely on the ground and in Washington, and have expressed our concern to the Government of Iraq.

As Secretary Clinton said, “Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human… It is a violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave.”
Mike has more on the killings:
Media organizations have labeled the new reports of murders as “emo killings” since the recent targets have been youth associated with the "emo" movement -- young men who listen to Western music, dress in black, wear tattoos and style their hair. Many are not gay, but Ali Hili, speaking on my radio program on SiriusXM, said that they are considered gay to many Islamic fundamentalists in Iraq. He said these killings are part of a larger pattern of killing and violence carried out by Islamic militias against gay men for the past six years.

“There’s a lack of knowledge in the militias," Hili said. 'To them anyone who has adopted a certain Western style, a certain appearance -- anyone that appears different, it’s a homosexual phenomenon, period.”

Hili emphasized that an agenda demanding conformity is being carried out from within the Interior Ministry of the Iraqi government, which he believes has not only ignored the killings but, as media organizations have also reported, has sent its Social Police into the streets of Baghdad to enforce religious doctrine.

“It’s the miltias with the support of the Iraqi government,” he said. “The goverment has declared war on sexual minorities. It’s worse than [Saudi Arabia].

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