By Guest Dan Littauer, 9.01.2012
The secretary-general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights described homosexuality as a western ”disease,” and said that same-sex marriage was “immoral,” according to a report of Radio Free Europe.
General Mohammad Javad Larijani allegedly made these remarks in Tehran during a visit by German Tom Koenigs, who chairs the human rights committee in Germany’s parliament.
“The West says that the marriage of homosexuals should be allowed under the human rights charter, however, we think it is sexual immorality and a disease,” he was quoted as stating to his German counterpart, in Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency.
This statement is consistent with the harsh sentences and treatment of LGBT people in Iran that enforces and enacts the death penalty for same-sex acts. In 2007, during a visit to Columbia University, USA, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded to reports of human rights abuses of LGBT people that “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” he said. “In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who has told you we have that.”
Speaking with Gay Middle East, Gorji Marzban, Chairperson Oriental Queer Organisation (ORQOA), stated: “The Iranian High Council for Human Rights is a governmental body and part of the Ministry of Justice in Iran. So in this context, Larijani is trying to separate LGBT rights as being part and parcel of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His offensive views clearly reflect the homophobic attitudes of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
“At any rate,” Marzban adds “it seems that Mr. Larijani accepts for the first time officially that homosexuals exist as a ‘disease’. Here he contradicts not only the official logic of the president but also the point for punishment by law: sickness cannot be immoral or punishable by death. Yet Iranian LGBT people exist everywhere, we are not sick or sinners nor is the issue of our Human rights one of disease!”