Friday, April 10, 2009

State Dept Press Briefings
and Gay Iraqi Murders

Over the last seven days, we've seen numerous wire stories, reports on CNN, gay protests, Italian and Arab news coverage, a front-page article in the New York Times and a handful of gay blog posts about an epidemic of murder of gay men in Iraq.

It's abundantly clear gays are targeted by many social and political forces in the US-occupied country, and that media interest and global gay community concerns are increasing.

Yet, the matter of any US government concern about the gay Iraqis and the killings didn't come up once during any daily press briefing at the State Department.

No related questions were raised at last Friday's briefing. Same thing at the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday briefings with department spokespersons.

If we had our professional community organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, IGLHRC, HRC, NGLTF or GLAAD, raising a ruckus about the murders and pressing State Department reporters to pose questions about the deaths and the US response to them, and how we intend to help gay Iraqis, we might have the reporters asking questions at the briefings, thereby forcing the department to go on record about the murders.

I really don't understand why we have these advocacy organizations, and allow them to maintain silence about the murdered gay Iraqis and making no visible push to have the US government recognize the killings and raise objections, maybe even investigate the killings.

It's going to take a lot more than this blogger to persuade the State Department to say something, anything, about the dozens of dead gay bodies turning up in Baghdad in recent months.

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