Consensual gay sex in any form is punishable by death in the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to the website Age of Consent, which monitors such laws around the world, in Iran “Homosexuality is illegal, those charged with love-making Irangay_teens_2 are given a choice of four deathstyles: being hanged, stoned, halved by a sword, or dropped from the highest perch.
According to Article 152, if two men not related by blood are discovered naked under one cover without good reason, both will be punished at a judge’s discretion. Gay teens (Article 144) are also punished at a judge’s discretion. Rubbing one’s penis between the thighs without penetration (tafheed) shall be punished by 100 lashes for each offender. This act, known to the English-speaking world as frottage,’ is punishable by death if the ‘offender’ is a non-Muslim. If frottage is thrice repeated and penalty-lashes have failed to stop such repetitions, upon the fourth ‘offense’ both men will be put to death.
According to Article 156, a person who repents and confesses his gay behavior prior to his identification by four witnesses, may be pardoned. Even kissing ‘with lust’ (Article 155) is forbidden. This bizarre law works to eliminate old Persian male-bonding customs, including common kissing and holding hands in public.” And Outrage, in its release about the gay teens’ execution, noted that, “according to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979. Last August, a 16-year-old girl was hanged for ‘acts incompatible with chastity.’”
According to Outrage:
They admitted to having gay sex (probably under torture) but claimed in their defence that most young boys had sex with each other and that they were not aware that homosexuality was punishable by death. Prior to their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months and severely beaten with 228 lashes. Their length of detention suggests that they committed the so-called offences more than a year earlier, when they were possibly around the age of 16.
One of the comments at TalkLeft says:
What I’d like to see from conservatives and, indeed, the Bush Administration is the condemnation and repudiation of the following:
1. The indiscriminant use of the death penalty
2. The use of torture as a means of punishment and interrogation
3. The barbaric practice of executing minors
4. Criminal statutes that punish individuals based on their sexual orientation or consensual homosexual sexual acts
That’s very good, I think. If conservatives don’t condemn this, then by implication they at least tolerate (if not support) the actions of the Iranian government. If they do condemn this, they by implication they also condemn many of the actions of the Bush administration. It’s a curious predicament to be caught in, but it’s important to understand that it’s simply not acceptable to use brutal and immoral methods against people we don’t like while also condemning others who use the same methods.
Bush has claimed off and on that the invasion of Iraq was necessary to save its citizens from a brutal government, but is there any chance that he would invade Iran to save gay people from the brutal government in that nation? Probably not — I doubt that his Christian base of supporters would also support such an action.