NGLTF Slams Sully;
Silent on NYT Gay Iraqis Story
The New York Times today prints a front-page above-the-fold story about the deadly problems facing Iraq's gays, as they struggle to survive against horrific odds and fatalism. High up in the piece is the statistic that gay murders are in the solid double-digits:
The relative freedom of a newly democratic Iraq and the recent improvement in security have allowed a gay subculture to flourish here. The response has been swift and deadly.
In the past two months, the bodies of as many as 25 boys and men suspected of being gay have turned up in the huge Shiite enclave of Sadr City, the police and friends of the dead say. Most have been shot, some multiple times. Several have been found with the word “pervert” in Arabic on notes attached to their bodies, the police said.
“Three of my closest friends have been killed during the past two weeks alone,” said Basim, 23, a hairdresser. “They had been planning to go to a cafe away from Sadr City because we don’t feel safe here, but they killed them on the way. I had planned to go with them, but fortunately I didn’t.”
There once was a time when professional gay advocacy organizations in the USA would read a terrifying story like this, and at minimum, put out a statement condemning the killings of gays.
Now, such a story warrants no comment whatsoever from the Human Rights Campaign and the allegedly progressive National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Both multimillion dollars organizations are too busy fighting for sugary wedding cakes and bridal showers to give a damn about dead fags in Baghdad, still under occupation by American armed forces.
On the other hand, NGLTF, a few years ago, did devote organizational staff time and resources to inveigh against gay conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan, over the, ahem, war in Iraq and the community's approaches to the invasion:
What isn't reasonable is when Andrew Sullivan attempts to bolster his argument not by articulating a rationale for why GLBT organizations should be silent on issues like the war, but by writing a scattered diatribe against NGLTF that promotes blatant falsehoods about what we are and what we do. It is interesting that Sullivan didn't write his piece about the Log Cabin Republicans, who came out in favor of the war long before NGLTF took a position, or about the numerous other national GLBT organizations that came out against the war before NGLTF did. Instead, he waited for NGLTF to take a position and attacked NGLTF alone.
To those who know Sullivan's right wing political perspective (e.g., opposing abortion rights and civil rights legislation) and long-standing bias against NGLTF, this is no surprise. To those who are just learning about Sullivan and NGLTF, here are the facts: ...
Sullivan's inaccurate, misplaced and conservative harrumphing to the contrary, NGLTF has an unprecedented and indisputable record of accomplishment on behalf of GLBT freedom, justice and equality--a thirty-year record of doing work that is relevant to the lives of millions of GLBT people and our families and which continues today. ...
Hundreds and hundreds of words trashing Sullivan, and not one word from NGLTF expressing outrage and concerns for gay Iraqis. This tells me, yet again, that the task force is rancid and has no reason for existing, other than to raise funds to keep its offices open, staff paid nicely, and put on an annual conference that gets more gay people laid than actually doing any hard organizing.
Creating change? Not for gay Iraqis or any gays beyond the USA's borders from this formerly politically vanguard group. The NGLTF leaders are too busy maintaining the all-glam all-glitz party circuit fundraisers they hold every month around the country.
How many dead fags have to turn up on the streets of Baghdad before NGLTF raises a peep?