Iran’s Ahmadinejad gives shout out to gays… for voting against him

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Mahmoud AhmadinejadDespite the growing turmoil in Iran over recent elections, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took time out from suppressing the will of the Iranian people by giving a shout out not only to gays, but to thieves and scumbags as well. From UK Gay News:

In his latest broadside against the pro-democracy protesters in Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused his political opponents of ‘officially recognising thieves, homosexuals and scumbags’ in order to win their votes.

The remarks were made in a televised victory speech – the speech was quickly given the “dirt and dust” tag.

“The old tyrant has let the cat of the bag,” the human rights activist Peter Tatchell told UK Gay News this morning. “Gay people exist in Iran and they voted against him.”

Almost two years ago, President Ahmadinejad insisted in a now-famous speech, at Columbia University in New York, that there were “no gays” in Iran.

On a more serious note, things are likely to get uglier, and stay ugly, as the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has now endorsed the victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called an end to the protests, and for the deaths of the U.S. and the U.K. Britain’s Channel 4 below:

While I have not posted on the recent Iranian elections and their aftermath, I, like many of you, have watched the events unfold over the past several days, with a growing sense of both dread and hope. These brave Iranians are struggling for the soul for their nation, which at first glance, may make our fight for civil rights and LGBT equality seem less significant. Be we are both fighting for the same things. For the freedom to be heard. For the freedom to be who we are. Without repercussion. Without judgement.

Nico Pitney at the Huffington Post has been doing an incredible  job of covering the events as they develop, which is made infinitely more difficult by the media crackdown now in force in Iran. In this moving passage from Pitney’s updates which nearly brought me to tears, an Iranian woman wonders if she will survive the days ahead.

4:16 PM ET — “Maybe I will be one of the people who is going to get killed.” A blog post in Persian, translated by the NIAC.

“I will participate in the demonstrations tomorrow. Maybe they will turn violent. Maybe I will be one of the people who is going to get killed. I’m listening to all my favorite music. I even want to dance to a few songs. I always wanted to have very narrow eyebrows. Yes, maybe I will go to the salon before I go tomorrow! There are a few great movie scenes that I also have to see. I should drop by the library, too. It’s worth to read the poems of Forough and Shamloo again. All family pictures have to be reviewed, too. I have to call my friends as well to say goodbye. All I have are two bookshelves which I told my family who should receive them. I’m two units away from getting my bachelors degree but who cares about that. My mind is very chaotic. I wrote these random sentences for the next generation so they know we were not just emotional and under peer pressure. So they know that we did everything we could to create a better future for them. So they know that our ancestors surrendered to Arabs and Mongols but did not surrender to despotism. This note is dedicated to tomorrow’s children…”

I hope she lives, so that she will know freedom.

Post by ILO on 06/19/09 at 4:17 pm