Tuesday, April 07, 2009

SF Wants State Dept Action for Iraqi Gays;
KGO, KTVU Videos Show Protest

Here's a mighty big shout-out to all the friends, community activists, politicians, reporters, news crews and every passerby who helped make yesterday's consecration of the Tomb of the Unknown Gay at Harvey Milk Plaza the success that it was.

We're now calling our small handful of homosexual human rights activists Gays Without Borders/SF, and we're committed to bringing visibility, attention and action to global gay issues, starting with the Jamaica boycott and the murders of gays in Baghdad. I'll let you know about upcoming planning meetings and demonstrations when plans are finalized.

Here's some follow up to yesterday's action.

The local ABC outlet, KGO TV, aired a fine lengthy story last night about the murders, the SF protest and gay Iraqis. They also published a text story about all of this on their site, separate from the newscast below:

Our local Fox affiliate, KTVU, also aired a terrific piece on problems faced by gay Iraqis and the concerns of San Francisco gays for them. Click here to see the story.

At the Board of Supervisors' weekly meeting at City Hall, Supervisor Bevan Dufty introduced this resolution for full board approval. Here's the full text of it:

Resolution calling on the US Department of State to use all diplomatic channels to work with the Iraqi Government to stop the persecution of Iraqi LGBT citizens and immediately stop the murders of Iraqi LGBT citizens.

WHEREAS, Over the past two weeks, 6 men have been murdered in Iraq for being Gay; and

WHEREAS, In the most recent attack, two men were killed in Sadr City area of Baghdad after they were disowned by relatives; and,

WHEREAS, Residents of Sadr City reported that the bodies of the two men aged 16 and 18 were found on waste ground on the outskirts of Sadr City, and that several days previously the two men had been dumped in the street with their arms and legs broken; and

WHEREAS, The shootings came after a tribal meeting was held and the tribal members decided to go kill the victims; and,

WHEREAS, On March 26, four additional men were fatally shot in Sadr city after the victims had also been disowned by their relatives; and,

WHEREAS, Two of the bodies, found on Thursday, had pieces of paper attached to them on which was written the word ‘Pervert;’ and

WHEREAS, In addition to the murders, A cafe frequented by Iraqi LGBT citizens was firebombed in hopes of intimidating Iraqi LGBT citizens; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That San Francisco Board of Supervisors call on the US Department of State to use all diplomatic channels to stop the persecution of Iraqi LGBT citizens and immediately stop the murders of Iraqi LGBT citizens ; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors forwards this resolution to the US Secretary of State and the State Department’s Iraq Desk and the Congressional Delegation that represents the City and County of San Francisco.

Again, many big thanks to all who made the action at Milk Plaza worthwhile and the local media outlets for recognizing the news value of reporting on gay Iraqis.

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