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Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003
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Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003 - File 010. 2003-04-18. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/16682/show/16662.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2003-04-18). Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003 - File 010. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/16682/show/16662

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003 - File 010, 2003-04-18, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/16682/show/16662.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
Publisher Window Media
Date April 18, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 010
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE www.houston voice.com APRIL 18, 2003 ■&■ !; 00 K yyy 09 m I; S IE" MM May be too soon to address gay issues in Iraq GAYS IN IRAQ, continued from Page 8 official position on gay rights in Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Bush administration believe a democratic government in Iraq will lead to human rights protections for "all people," according to State Department spokesperson Jo Anne Prokopowicz. "The State Department will monitor the new Iraqi government's record on human rights along with the human rights records of countries around the globe," Prokopowica said, as part of the department's Congressional mandate to prepare annual human rights reports for countries receiving U.S. foreign aid. Too soon for gay rights An official with the Iraqi National Congress, a U.S.-backed Iraqi exile group that hopes to play a key role in a future government in Iraq, said his organization is urging international human rights groups such as Amnesty International to come to Iraq to monitor human rights issues. But the official, Mazin Youssef, the IRC's U.S. West Coast representative, said his organization has no position on gay rights in Iraq. "That becomes more of a touchy situation," he said. "It will take a few more years before we can address that question." Youssef said Hussein decreed a law in the early 1970s that made both homosexual acts and incest capital offenses punishable by death. He said he doesn't know if anyone was actually executed in Iraq under the law. The Iraqi National Congress, Youssef said, is calling for a democratic, secular government for Iraq. The INC and other Iraqi exile groups have said a secular state is needed to prevent radical Shiite clerics from forming a repressive religious state like Iran, where gays and other minorities are persecuted. "We feel religion should be respected but not integrated into the state," Youssef said. Zakharia said many Iraqis view the INC as a "stooge" of the U.S. government and would never support the organization or its leader, Ahmad Chalabi, whom the U.S. brought to Iraq last week on a military transport plane. "Unfortunately, for gays, I don't see much change coming in Iraq," Zakharia said. "Change must occur through a truly grass roots democracy, not from a top-down government imposed by the United States." Gay journalist and Arab American Mubarak Dahir, who writes commentaries for the gay press, said he shares Zakahaia's pessimism over the prospects for meaningful improvements for gays in Iraq. "To think any government change in the short term will secure the rights of gays and lesbians in Iraq is unbelievably naive," Dahir said. "In the Middle East, it's the family unit that dictates the direction of a country" Dahir, who travels frequently to the Middle East, said families and tribal communities in Arab countries have widely differing views about democracy and indi: vidual rights. He said the U.S. lacks credibility among pro-democracy Arabs who see the U.S. backing repressive regimes in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which openly persecute gays, while claiming to favor democracy in Iraq. "They think all of this talk of the U.S. being the big democratizer of the Middle East is a lot of baloney," Dahir said. Youssef, of the Iraqi National Congress, disputes Dahir and Zakharia's assessment of the Iraqi people. He said a large portion of the Iraqi population viewed the U.S. invasion as a necessary evil to rid the country of Saddam and his despised Baath Party henchmen, who were responsible for the imprisonment and murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. "You can't say for a fact that all Iraqis oppose our group," Youssef said. "People who are happy with the liberation of Iraq would rather see someone close to the U.S. be in charge. We lobbied the U.S. to help liberate Iraq." Moore, of the IGLHRC, said the group's longstanding policy has been to become involved in gay issues in a country after gay residents seek the group's help. "We put out action alerts only after someone on the ground informs us of a problem," she said. Moore said IGLHRC has not received any requests from gay Iraqis, although it routinely receives requests for help from gays in other Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt. Most of the requests come via e-mail, she said. One of the group's greatest concerns, Moore said, is that it not impose a "Western import" of sexual orientation on gays with cultures that differ greatly from that of the U.S. and other Western nations. "Our top priority is not to seem like we are importing Western values on indigenous peoples," she said. But Moore added, "It is everyone's hope that we can help to establish a representative democracy in a country like Iraq, which has never had this before." ft MORE INFO IGLHRC 1375 Sutter St, Suite 222 San Francisco, CA 94109 415-561-0633 www.iglhrc.org iOth AHUPERSARY PR< THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL BY HORTON FOOTE APRIL 11 - MAY 10 LARGE STAGE WWW.ALLEYTHEATRE.ORG 713.228.8421 MAY 18 ^US STAGE *** __j . MetroNational Stanford Financial grou Deloitte Continental f &Touche Airlines §
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