Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Support for gay Iraqis


Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland
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The Reverend Don Fox, an associate pastor at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, speaks out against killings of gays in Iraq during a demonstration Sunday, May 17 in Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro. The event was part of International Day Against Homophobia and organized by Gary Virginia, Michael Petrelis, and the Rainbow World Fund. Close to $5,000 was raised for the LGBT community in Iraq. The rally drew about 100 people over the course of a couple hours, Petrelis said, on what was a blistering hot day in the city. Recent media reports have noted that gay Iraqis have been the target of genital mutilation, torture, and execution. Virginia noted that the U.S. occupation of Iraq has led to a false sense of security for minorities to express themselves more fully. LGBT Iraqis would gather in cafes, and dress and act more expressively, and be a bit more open. This decision has proved fatal, he said. Donations can still be sent to the Rainbow World Fund. For more information, visit

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