Something struck me late last month when I read the title of the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) press release faulting the Bush Administration for voting “to deny United Nations consultative status ” to two LGBT groups. HRC headlined its release “UNITED NATIONS: U.S. ALIGNED WITH IRAN IN ANTI-GAY VOTE.” With such a headline, it would seem that HRC routinely addresses the persecution of gays in the Islamic Republic. And although I receive HRC’s press releases via a list-serve and check their web-site regularly, I don’t recall reading much HRC criticism of this oppressive anti-American regime.
Indeed, a search for “Iran” on their site yields only 10 hits — exactly as many as a search for “Alito.” And there have been documented cases of anti-gay policies and actions in Iran for years before President Bush tapped that good man for the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s not just that. Only one of those documents, a July 22, 2005 press release on the execution of two teens in Iran, directly addresses the anti-gay actions of that oppressive regime. Interestingly, the primary purpose of that release was to publicize a letter HRC President Joe Solmonese had sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking the State Department to condemn the atrocity.
It thus seems that the only way to get HRC to condemn anti-gay abuses in an anti-American regime is to find a way to do so by questioning or criticizing the Bush Administration. More often than not, HRC focuses its venom, not on the worst oppressors of gays in the world but on President Bush and Republicans. And they’re not the only gay group to do so. Other gay groups also seem more interested in promoting a leftist agenda than in addressing gay concerns. And some are even worse on this score than HRC.
Last week, The Malcontent‘s adorable Robbie noted how the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) prefers the anti-gay Palestinian culture to “a liberal Israel that protects gay rights.” In a January 9 e-mail to members of its International Advisory Committee (IAC), IGLHRC Executive Director Paula Ettelbrick and her board liaison for IAC, Adrian Coman, explained why they thought the group should not participate in a LGBT World Pride celebration to take place this summer in Jerusalem:
While IGLHRC sees as its mandate the promotion of human rights everywhere, and would typically wish to support local organizations and activists, and participate in any world conference where the discussions and goals included LGBT rights, as a human rights organization, we do not feel it is appropriate to participate in a ‘world pride’ event in the middle of an occupation and in a location were our colleagues from the region could not travel to Israel to participate.
(This from an excellent piece by Richard Rosendall on FrontPagemag.com which Robbie references in his post and to which David Horowitz alerted me when I saw him last week at the Wednesday Morning Club luncheon.) While wanting to steer clear of the capital of one of the few democracies in the Middle East, IGLHRC, however, did not find Beijing and Havana, capitals of oppressive regimes, off-limits for its representatives.
The only reason thier colleagues couldn’t travel to Israel is because some Muslim governments ban entry (in into their nations) of “people with Israeli stamps in their passports.” Ms. Ettelbrick and IGLHRC are thus blaming Israel for the policies of nations opposed to its existence.