Friday, May 15, 2009
L.A. City Council Adopts Resolution to End Torture of Gays in Iraq: Republic of L.A. Interviews Rosendahl
In an impassioned presentation, which included the testimony of Hossein Alizadeh, from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, L.A. City Council Member Bill Rosendahl (pictured to the right), introduced a measure to urge President Barak Obama to demand action from the Iraqi government to do more to stop the systematic torture and murder of gay men in that country.
“I was extremely gratified with the vote, which was unanimous with 12 members present,” Rosendahl told Republic Of L.A. “And I want to give special recognition those members who spoke with great passion: Council members [Wendy ] Greuel, [Herb] Wesson, [Tom] LaBonge, [Tony] Cardenas, and [Richard] Alarçon.”
Rosendahl said the entire council chambers was moved by the information presented by Alizadeh, who is Persian (from Iran).
Iran’s torture, mutilation and murder of gays is institutionalized by court sentences of execution as punishment for homosexuality. There, executions are carried out en masse in soccer (football, for the rest of the world) stadiums filled with jeering spectators.
One assumes the same would be happening in Iraq without American funding and the presence of U.S. media. For now, it’s all unofficial—carried out by civilians, or police in plain clothes.
“The IGLHRC has more than 600 documented cases of murder of gays,” Rosendahl said before the vote, which created an official Resolution issued by the City of Los Angeles condemning the Iraqi situation, and demanding action to protects gays in the Muslim nation.
“Some folks misinterpret the Koran,” said Rosendahl, who insists his research shows no condemnation of gays by the prophet Muhammad. “They believe they have to kill their own child if they are suspected of being gay.”
Rosendahl’s measure went beyond the condemnation of some Iraqis’ behavior.
“I went further on this and amended my motion, saying we need to get our president up to snuff, by saying our president needs to make a statement condemning the inaction by the Iraqi government to stop the torture and murder of gay men.”
According to Rosendahl, tough-looking labor union leaders present in the gallery of the council’s stately chambers we’re seen to be clearly moved, some with tears in their eyes as practices, such as the stitching up of the anuses of gay Iraqi men, who are then filled with liquids and solids until their internal organs literally explode.
“I asked for a show of hands from the audience, and everyone showed their support for the resolution,” said Rosendahl.
Asked why a local resolution matters, Rosendahl said this:
“We are the second largest city in the United States of America. We unite and speak up for something, believe me, Washington listens—and so does the rest of the world.”
Past City of Los Angeles resolutions include support for the recognition by Turkey and the world community of Armenian genocide, and opposition to the invasion of Iraq.