Thursday, July 19, 2007

BAR: Amnesty on Gay Iranians & My Pix from City Hall Vigil

(Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, left, lights candle of hope for LGBT Iranians, held by Supervisor Bevan Dufty.)

(Gay and human rights advocates at San Francisco City Hall, standing in solidarity with LGBT Iranians and gays everywhere.)

In the third year of showing San Francisco's solidarity with gay people's struggle worldwide, and especially in Iran where two gay teenagers were hanged on July 19, 2005, more than a dozen gay and human rights advocates and politicians put aside differences over local budgetary matters today and stood united for LGBT international solidarity.
We gathered in Iranian-American Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi's City Hall office to light candles of hope for LGBT Iranians, oppose the death penalty and executing of children, and to remember the two hanged gay teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni.

Brief remarks were made by Mirkarimi, Gay-American Supervisor Bevan Dufty, Pastor Robert Goldstein of St. Francis Lutheran Church, and speaking on behalf their bosses, Alex Randolph, representing Mayor Gavin Newsom, and Maxwell Huffman from state Sen. Carole Migden's office, shared their concerns for gay Iranians.
Three candles, one red, another green and the last one white, symbolizing the colors of the Iranian flag were lit, and after photos were snapped, the activists and politicians reaffirmed to each other their commitments to international LGBT organizing, ending capital punishment and expressed strong support for the August 4 Global Gay Solidarity Day actions happening around the world. Click here for more info.
Many thanks to all who attended today's event for gay Iranians at San Francisco's seat of government.
And don't overlook an excellent story by Heather Cassell in the Bay Area Report today about different perspectives, especially from Amnesty International, and the myriad complexities when American gays grapple with Iranian politics and that country's gay population.

From the BAR:

Mirkarimi, an Iranian American, told the Bay Area Reporter that the execution of the young men was "prehistoric and unacceptable" and that they "should not go unnoticed."
The vigil follows news reports last week in the International Herald Tribune that a man was executed earlier this month and that 20 more executions were scheduled within "coming days" based on "morality violations." Morality violations include "rape, insulting religious sanctities and laws, and homosexuality," and are punishable by death, the article stated. The article further confirmed Iran's morality crackdown by reporting the arrests of about 1,000 individuals in May and public executions being carried out.
The vigil, organized by gay activist and blogger Michael Petrelis, will be in conjunction with similar events in Cologne, Germany; Moscow; and Warsaw, Poland, Petrelis said . . .

"If this were 1941 Germany ... I would not be silent, as a homosexual Jewish American," said Petrelis.

Mirkarimi added, regarding the execution of the two young men, "I don't think that we can tiptoe. It's important to be strategic ... but we can't tiptoe around something that is a blatant horrific action such as this." . . .


SERENDIP said...

Thank you for remembering.

¿ Ask Y ? said...

Vigil to recall executions
by Heather Cassell
Bay Area Reporter (BAR)

You listed in the incorrect URL link in your story.

Anonymous said...

Their execution was an abomination and absolutely unacceptable. I hate the Iranian regime. But to call the two boys "gay" is a serious misnomer, and doesn't help at all in the struggle for human rights - including the right to freedom of sexuality - in Iran.

The Nation has done an excellent job looking at this issue: