Not satisfied to have personally tied a noose around Jussie Smollett’s neck and poured some MAGA bleach on the gay “Empire” sort-of-a -star, Donald Trump now goes and does this:
The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it’s still illegal to be gay, U.S. officials tell NBC News, a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. 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.
“It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct,” said a U.S. official involved in organizing the event.
Although the decriminalization strategy is still being hashed out, officials say it’s likely to include working with global organizations like the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as other countries whose laws already allow for gay rights. Other U.S. embassies and diplomatic posts throughout Europe, including the U.S. Mission to the E.U., are involved, as is the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
Narrowly focused on criminalization, rather than broader LGBT issues like same-sex marriage, the campaign was conceived partly in response to the recent reported execution by hanging of a young gay man in Iran, the Trump administration’s top geopolitical foe.
Hey yeah NBC, maybe let’s just “narrowly” focus on gay people not being executed and imprisoned first, eh? Before we make sure that two Saudi blokes can exchange vows at a romantic ceremony in Mecca and all that. It’s called not putting the cart before the horse.
So NBC is disappointed, but not as much as “Out” magazine:
In Out, Matthew Rodriguez writes:
Homosexuality has been illegal in Iran since the theocratic 1979 Islamic Revolution. By at least one Guardian account, since the exit of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2013, enforcement of anti-gay laws has softened somewhat. Homosexuality, according to the writer, is an “open secret” and most queer people fear homophobic reaction from fellow citizens more than the authorities.
It takes a particularly acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome to make you jump to the defence of a regime that continues to hang gay men from construction cranes, but there you have it.
Anyway, it’s all racism:
The truth is, this is part of an old colonialist handbook. In her essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” postcolonial theorist Gayatri Spivak coined the term “White men saving brown women from brown men” to describe the racist, paternalistic process by which colonizing powers would decry the way men in power treated oppressed groups, like women, to justify attacking them. Spivak was referencing the British colonial agenda in India. But [US ambassador to Germany who happens to be gay] Grennell’s attack might be a case of white men trying to save brown gay men from brown straight men, to the same end.
Rodriguez is right: it’s far better to let brown straight men continue killing brown gay men than reveal yourself as a colonialist and a bigot. Shame on you, white men! And shame on you all you oppressed people around the world expecting the Europeans and the Americans can help you – you’re just encouraging their ugly racist and paternalistic tendencies.
Arthur Chrenkoff blogs at The Daily Chrenk, where this piece also appears.
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