LGBT+ in Iran: Challenges, Punishments, and Achievements

On November 22nd, in a recent interview with Katya Parente for the “Gionata Project “, Shadi Amin the head of the 6rang Network discussed the unequal conditions faced by the LGBT+ community in Iran, shedding light on the challenges and threats they encounter. She highlighted the severe censorship and fear surrounding sexual orientations, contributing to the spread of social taboos and government-driven hate speech.

Addressing the issue of homophobic sentiments rooted in religion, particularly the use of religious texts to condemn same-sex relationships, Amin emphasised the crucial role traditional narratives play in shaping the legal framework and its enforcement within Islamic governance.

In Iran, the Islamic Penal Code prescribes the death penalty for Gay men, creating a climate of fear for those seeking exemption from military service based on their sexual orientation. While there is limited information on the situation of lesbian women, repeated arrests for their sexual orientation pose the risk of execution.

Amin concluded the conversation by highlighting the efforts and accomplishments of the LGBT+ network over the past 14 years, emphasising a focus on information dissemination and cultural awareness in the face of government censorship. The aim is to empower the young Iranian LGBT+ community to articulate their demands in domestic politics. Additionally, she mentioned Gionata, a voluntary cultural project in Italy since 2007 dedicated to understanding and embracing the experiences of LGBT+ Christians, drawing parallels to the daily challenges faced by the LGBT+ community in Iran.

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