US Condemns Anti-Gay Violence in Iraq

11 06 2009

It’s a start, I suppose. It’s not “we’re out there stopping it from happening,” but nice to know the government is aware of the problem, right?

From the Times of India:

“In general, we absolutely condemn acts of violence and human rights violations committed against individuals in Iraq because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

“This is an issue that we’ve been following very closely since we have been made aware of these allegations, and we are aware of the allegations,” Kelly told reporters when asked about anti-gay violence in Iraq.

“Our training for Iraqi security forces includes instruction on the proper observance of human rights,” Kelly said.

“Human rights training is also a very important part of our and other international donors’ civilian capacity-building efforts in Iraq,” the spokesman said.

“And the US embassy in Baghdad has raised, and will continue to raise, the issue with senior officials from the government of Iraq, and has urged them to respond appropriately to all credible reports of violence against gay and lesbian Iraqis,” Kelly said.

The US Government has been under pressure to address the issue of violence against LGBT individuals in Iraq, which has been gaining bloggie- and mainstream news attention for the past several months, especially after the US embassy in Baghdad announced it would be celebrating Pride month.

Again, I’ll point this out … it’s the State Department. Hillary Clinton. I know, a lot of people said, when I made this connection before, that it’s still Obama’s administration and is done at his behest, likely — but whose name is getting attached to all this? Is it “Obama has directed the State Department” or “White House Press Secretary today said?” No. It’s “Hillary Clinton is doing” and “the State Department is saying.” Granted, still “Obama administration,” but she will come off with the PR win on these little gains, I believe. And Obama doesn’t sully his hands with the gays.

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