A Jerusalem Post report on the Iranian regime's public hanging of a man based on an anti-gay law led to the Trump administration's announcement on Tuesday to launch a campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality across the world.
The US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the administration's most high-profile openly gay official, told the Post on Tuesday that "71 countries criminalize homosexuality and eight will put you to death for being gay. The Trump Administration is launching a new push with our European allies to end this human rights outrage."
Grenell is spearheading the international effort to stop the persecution of the LGBT community in countries that impose criminal penalties, including the death penalty, on homosexuals.
Grenell credited the Post in a commentary he wrote for Europe's largest paper, the German-language Bild, on February 1: "The recent press reports, first carried by The Jerusalem Post that the Iranian regime publicly hanged a 31-year-old man for being gay should be a wakeup call for anyone who supports basic human rights. Politicians, the UN, democratic governments, diplomats, and good people everywhere should speak up – and loudly. "
He added, "In Iran, where children as young as nine can be sentenced to death, gay teenagers are publicly hanged in order to terrify and intimidate others from coming out. Iran’s horrific actions are on par with the brutality and savagery regularly demonstrated by ISIS."
ISIS is an abbreviation for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that is also known as the Islamic State.
NBC news reported on Tuesday that the US government initiated the campaign "in part to a reported hanging of a young gay man in Iran, Trump’s top geopolitical foe."
Grenell jumpstarted the campaign on Tuesday in Berlin. According to NBC, "The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean." The Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday that a source close to President Trump said Grenell was a potential successor to Nikki Haley as UN ambassador.
The initiative to decriminalize homosexuality is a coordinated campaign among US Western allies, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations to European governments and the US Department of State. Grenell's athletic diplomacy to stop the repression of LGBTs was on display in December 2018.
The Washington Post reported that when Grenell met in December with Kosovo President Hashim Thaci he used the meeting to convey US concerns about the repression of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities in Kosovo — a Muslim-majority country with a population of just over 1.8 million.
Muslim-majority countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia such as Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, Qatar, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and the UAE impose capital punishment on same-sex relations.
Grenell tweeted on Monday, in response to Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif stating at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, "A professor who is helping to hang gay students? criminalizing homosexuality is in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. #totalBS."
The Post reported on Sunday two assailants executed the Algerian medical student Assil Belalta in a shocking homophobic killing in February, in which the victim’s blood was smeared on a wall reading “He is Gay.”
Belalta was murdered in his student residence at the Taleb Abderrahmane campus in Ben Aknoun, a district just outside the city of Algiers.
Algeria outlawed homosexuality in 1966 based on Islamic Sharia Law. According to Article 338 of Algerian law, “Anyone guilty of a homosexual act is punishable with imprisonment of between two months and two years, and with a fine of 500 to 2000 Algerian Dinars.”
Grenell wrote in Bild that "India, Trinidad and Tobago, Angola, and Belize have recently decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual conduct. But there’s still much more work to be done.
"Reasonable people can help by speaking out when young gay men are publicly hanged in Iran or shot in Chechnya. And government officials must work harder to demand that UN Members decriminalize homosexuality."
According to a British Wikileaks dispatch, Iran's mullah regime executed “between 4,000 and 6,000 gays and lesbians” since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 was founded in Iran.
In 2016, The Post reported Iran’s regime had executed a gay adolescent, the first confirmed execution of someone convicted as a juvenile in the Islamic Republic.
After the Post's report on the clerical regime in Iran hanging the 31-year-old man, Germany's deputy foreign minister, a social democrat party politician, attended last week a celebration of Iran's 40th year anniversary of its Islamic revolution. Annen told Deutsche Welle on Tuesday that he has "no regrets" about participating in the celebration.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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