Comparative LGBT advocacy
The UK government is actually doing something in the notoriously homophobic Eastern Europe. Gay.ru is reporting [WARNING: please, be careful clicking over, and DO NOT accept cookies; Russian sites are notorious for all kinds of crap that stays on your PC forever] that Leigh Turner, British Ambassador to Ukraine, and Ron Keller, Dutch Ambassador, met with members of the Ukraine's LGBT rights movement. The conversation revolved around the recent AIDS conference, issues of demonstrations for LGBT rights, attacks, and the
Einsatzgruppen police shut-down and fingerprinting of a gay club's clientelle (which occurred contrary to the laws and procedure specified in Ukrainian statutes and regulations).
The Dutch ambassador said that “Democracy is not the right of the majority to take away minority's human rights; Democracy is the respect and consideration for the interests of the whole society, especially those in the minority.”
Meanwhile, nothing of the sort occurred at any of the American embassies or ambassador's residents, despite promises of Obama's “fierce advocacy” and Hillary's to make that advocacy global. But don't fret, we are stepping up our diplomatic efforts – yesterday we heard President Obama's speech from Cairo: we are about to spread democracy to the Middle East. Again.
The question remains will the rights of Middle Eastern LGBT individuals be a part of that democracy? Or will we follow our old “Soviet” model, when we just sent in American companies without a parallel concern for the democratic and civil society institutions as long as Russia signed on to our causes? (Interestingly, no one in the US seems concerned with a tremendous amount of hate Russians nowadays feel for the West and US in particular; this is my subjective evaluation of what I come across on my livejournal blog.)
Dive below the fold.
Will there be any push/cajoling/encouragement (?) of ensuring LGBT individuals their rights in the Muslim Middle East. And so far there is no answer to that question. Well, none that I have seen published in the US. The UK seems to be a different story.
Iraq's gays (at least those not afraid to speak with the British Pinknews.co.il) find the commentary of the US Embassy in Iraq (dismissing the Iraqi gays' claims of government effort to eradicate gays) offensive – to say the least it seems – and essentially accuse the White House and the State Department of denying the truth:
Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, Ali Hili of Iraqi LGBT said: “A police office from the Ministry of Interior Intelligence told us secretly that there is a campaign of murder and violence against gays. We had to pay him $5,000 US to help release one of our members from jail.”
He added: “With all the evidence we have been presenting, including some from one of our members who was recently released from prison, we have evidence of mass arrests [of LGBT Iraqis].
“Still, the US is denying Iraqi government involvement, doing nothing to stop it and not assisting with our efforts to help gays in Iraq.”
He added that politics is preventing the US from stepping in to help, claiming that Hillary Clinton's State Department and Obama's administration will not upset the Iraqi government as they have no other allies within the country.