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Journalist Lisa Daftari sheds light on LGBT abuses in Iran

by Karmel Melamed

April 4, 2011 | 7:41 pm

Iranian American journalist Lisa Daftari

Last week I had the opportunity to hear my friend and talented fellow Iranian American journalist Lisa Daftari discuss her expertise on the human rights abuses gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders encounter today in Iran at the hands of that regime’s radical fundamentalist Islamic leaders. Daftari spoke to the LGBT political group the Stonewall Democrats Club based in West Hollywood about the the lack of freedoms that homosexuals face in Iran and elsewhere in the Islamic world. Daftari is a seasoned journalist and Iran expert having appeared on CBS, NBC, PBS and Fox News television programs. She’s also a frequent contributor to the Washington Post and Front Magazine online. She discussed the reality that many individuals living in the West are unaware that Iran’s current fundamentalist Shiite Islamic laws consider homosexuality to be a disease. (Her interesting article about the Gulag for Gays in Iran can be found here). Gays, lesbians and transgenders live secret lives in Iran and are often harrassed, beaten and imprisoned if their sexual identity is discovered by the Iranian authorities. Over the past three decades dozens of men have been promptly executed for the “crime of homosexuality” in Iran. In fact Iran’s current laws require men who are publicly discovered to be gay, to have sex change surgeries so that these indivduals can “live normally in Iran’s society as women” and the government will even pay for such surgical procedures.

Kudos to the Stonewall Democrats Club for engaging the local LGBT community on the issue of abuses that homosexuals face everyday in Iran. Andrew Lachman, the past president of Democrats for Israel group in L.A. who is also on the Stonewall’s board, shed light on the LGBT community’s interest on the topic of human rights abuses in Iran. “There is a natural alliance between the LGBT community and the Iranian community here in Los Angeles in opposing the current regime in Iran,” Lachman said. “This kind of outreach really helps everyone find out just how much they share a revulsion to a regime that locks up and executes gays and political dissidents alike, merely for being who they are.” On an interesting side note, Daftari also explained how Israel was the only country in the Middle East that has provided LGBT with significant equal rights and freedom to live their lives as they wish without fear of abuse. In fact Israel every year has a “Gay Pride” parade in the captial city of Jerusalem unlike the other countries in the Middle East that kill or torture individuals who are LGBT.

Here is video I captured of Iranian American journalist Lisa Daftari exposing the extent of abuse LGBT encounter at the hands of Iran’s fundamentalist Islamic regime…

Photo
Andrew Lachman
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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