Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Iraq criminalizes homosexual relations

Published 1 May 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Iraqi lawmakers say the ban is about protecting young people and the country's values.

Over the weekend, the country’s parliament passed a new law making it a crime to have sex with someone of the same sex. Anyone caught doing so could be jailed for between 10 and 15 years – while those who “promote” homosexuality or prostitution could face seven years in prison.

It will also be a crime to “deliberately dress in a feminine manner” or undergo a so-called “sex change” – the country’s rulers justify the harsh laws by saying they want to “uphold religious values and protect Iraqi society from the incitement to homosexuality that has swept the world”, Reuters reports.

As in much of the non-Western world, homosexuality has historically been socially unacceptable in Iraq, but there has been no legislation banning the practice – until now, in the form of an amendment to the existing anti-prostitution law.

Notably, organizations deemed to be promoting “sexual deviance” are also banned and risk a fine of around €8,500.

Wants to expel US ambassador

An early draft of the bill proposed the death penalty for homosexuality, but the proposal was revised after pressure from the US and several human rights groups, among others.

According to the speaker of parliament, Mohsen Al-Mandalawi, the law is “a necessary step to protect the value structure of society” and “to protect our children from incitement to moral depravity and homosexuality”.

It is also noteworthy that a group of Iraqi politicians launched a campaign to expel US Ambassador Alina Romanowski, accusing her of trying to interfere in the nation’s internal affairs and influence Iraqi politics after she condemned the law.

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