The latest anti-gay terrorism in Iraq -- is gluing shut the anuses of homosexuals, while forcing the victims to ingest a form of Ex-Lax. The special glue can only be removed by surgery -- thus often leading to a painful death.
It is challenging to know if such information is accurate. But, confirming the latest form of torture is beside the point, really. What we do know is that the news from overseas is rarely encouraging.
For example, in March "tens of thousands" of people from Burundi demonstrated to outlaw homosexuality. This destitute nation is the kind of place that you may have seen in late night infomercials where flies buzz around the lips of starving children. Eighty percent of Burundi's population lives in poverty. Famines and food shortages have occurred and the World Food Program reports that 56.8-percent of children under age five suffer from chronic malnutrition. Yet, the good citizens of Burundi have time to chant and hold signs demanding the imprisonment of homosexuals.
Back to Iraq -- our tax dollars are now overseeing the wanton murder of gay Iraqis. The New York Times reported this month that "the bodies of 25 boys and men suspected of being gay have turned up in the huge Shiite enclave of Sadr City..."
In Nigeria, lawmakers are debating a bill that would imprison gay people who live together and jail anyone who doesn't rat out the gay couples. In July 2008, London's Independent wrote a story about a 26-year-old gay man in Turkey, Ahmet Yildiz, saying that his own family may have killed him. "They wanted him to see a doctor who could cure him, and get married," a friend explained.
Box Turtle Bulletin reported that a Ugandan newspaper this week published an article under the banner headline, "Top Homos In Uganda Named." This outrage -- that jeopardizes the lives of gay people - follows a recent anti-gay conference in Uganda featuring a board member from the American "ex-gay" organization Exodus International.
In Moscow, mayor Yuri Luzhkov has rejected calls for a gay pride march to be held during an upcoming European music festival. He has called pride parades, "gay propaganda" and "satanic acts", according to the New York Times.
What we are seeing in front of our eyes is the globalization of gay bashing. The United States has exported marketing techniques and church structures to culturally homophobic countries. The sexual minorities caught in these nations' do not have the same freedoms that we enjoy in the west, so they can't fight back. They are essentially voiceless and fearful -- allowing insidious myths and stereotypes to go unchallenged. With gay people effectively demonized and hatred promoted by civic and religious leaders, hysteria on gay issues ensues.
"U.S. religious right sponsored programs blossomed under the Bush administration," explained Christina Engela of the GLBT group SAGLAAD in South Africa, noting the rise of such groups in her country. "Suddenly these people are using us as scapegoats to unite and build their power bases."
Unfortunately, the GLBT community is not currently up to meeting the new global challenges. Passive and overly cautious bureaucrats staff some of our leading human rights organizations. They are good at reporting violence, but not very effective at countering it.
Even more disturbing, they sometimes serve as apologists in the name of cultural and religious sensitivity. Exhibit A is Scott Long, director of the GLBT program at Human Rights Watch. In the publication "Contemporary Politics" he lashed out at some of the world's top gay activists and chided them for demanding that Muslims actually respect the right of GLBT people to exist.
"The incessant insistence that Muslim communities accede to the political agenda of LGBT identities actually forecloses politics altogether," Long wrote. "It fences off the arena of shared interests..."
So, in other words, GLBT people should put their human rights on the backburner to assuage the grievances of religious people. We should also not act on our own behalf until all of the world's problems are solved.
Fortunately, there are a growing number of GLBT activists who will no longer allow culture, history or religion to be employed as a rationalization for homophobia. We do not believe that a state's sovereignty enables it to brutalize and marginalize gay people within its borders.
The world is shrinking even faster than our community's leadership on global issues. It is time for groups, such as Human Rights Watch, to show us their comprehensive strategy for creating a new paradigm. The bloody status quo has brought us few victories and an abundance of ruddy reports that shock the senses. Many of us are tired of the elitist sophistry that tells us the world is too sophisticated to take action.
In the absence of leadership, there are those who will fill the vacuum -- as some of us have done in our efforts to boycott Jamaica. But, the tired excuses from human rights groups have got to end. An unmistakable message must be sent that there is a steep price to pay for homophobia.
It is fair to say that I have officially driven the so-called "ex-gay" industry to distraction. The proof is in the pudding.
The group, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), is now trying to discredit me by making false accusations about an alleged incident in Orlando. A couple of years ago, I organized a protest in this city against the "Ex-Gay Educators Caucus," which hosted a booth inside a convention hall at the National Education Association's annual meeting.
Following our protest, I wandered in to the hall and approached the ex-gay booth. I did not think twice about doing so, since I had been to dozens of ex-gay meetings, booths and conferences over the years without incident.
Once at the booth, I asked one question: How many ex-gay educators were in the so-called "ex-gay caucus?" I asked, because all I saw were professional anti-gay activists posing as legitimate educators.
Before I got an answer, I was verbally and physically accosted by anti-gay activist Greg Quinlan. I told him in no uncertain terms to back off. I do not apologize for this - as it is my right to basic self-defense. I'd do it again without hesitation.
In a bizarre twist, after deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation, Mr. Quinlan called the "mall cops" to play victim - even though he was the aggressor. It was the most bizarre thing I had seen in my 20 years of activism. The incident was as pathetic, as it was perplexing.
Of course, the outcome of the non-incident was that I peacefully walked away with the mall cops and immediately went to a meeting with the GLBT educators caucus. I gave a short speech. There was no police report - not even questioning - of the alleged "incident." No time in the cell block at the big house. Indeed, no one in the hall really noticed that anything had happened - because it really hadn't.
Yet, PFOX is now sending out a surreal press release that exaggerates the truth and is pure fiction. Why? Because PFOX is on a pathological campaign to create fake "hate crimes" out of thin air against ex-gays. The group's goal is to get "ex-gays" included in the hate crime bill in Congress. With no real hate crimes against so-called ex-gays - PFOX had decided to invent them. Thus, if you approach a booth, they call the cops and make false charges allegations.
Indeed, they did this last year at a state fair in Virginia. They blew an incident out of proportion and claimed to be victims. Interestingly, once again, there was no police report. The police did confirm that something happened - and that PFOX complained - but, again, there were no arrests and no charges filed.
A few weeks later at the Falls Church fair, Mr. Quinlan tried to create another fake hate crime. Unfortunately, he threatened to call the police on Nick Benton, publisher of the Falls Church News Press. Thus, his agenda was exposed in the meia and his credibility shattered.
A disturbing pattern has emerged from PFOX.
1) They buy a booth at a local fair. 2) They provoke a confrontation 3) They call the cops, even as they have no evidence, thus there are no arrests, nor police reports. 4) They send out propaganda to the media blowing these non-events - that they provoked - out of proportion. Or they embellish or simply make things up.
In light of this creepy trend, I would strongly advise all GLBT people and their allies to stay away from PFOX booths. They are looking to create trouble because it is an organization that relies on fakery and trickery to disguise the emptiness of its mean-spirited agenda.
I'm not mad, really. At this point, I just feel sorry for these folks. They can't accept their gayness and refuse to love their gay children. Instead, they have created a poisonous house of cards designed to harm their own families. PFOX and their allies are losing this battle and they have become desperate and outlandish. I just hope those involved in this organization seek the help they need - before they self-destruct in anger and bitterness.