Arsham Parsi has a story up at UK Gay News about a young gay couple who had to endure 80 lashes. After being imprisoned for six months for started a blog, Farsad, one half of this couple, became deeply depressed and was hospitalized. His stepfather found his diary, which of course had some homosexual content, and:
His step-father took him to Qom (a holly city in Iran, and a centre of Ayatollahs) to be seen by the grand ayatollahs.Farsad eventually met his boyfriend, they moved in together, hosted a party that was busted by the police, and were sentenced to 80 lashes each after being tortured into confessing.
He spent a few nights in custody and was humiliated by the security forces there. They threatened him with stoning unless he denounced his homosexuality.
Traumatized by the threats, he was then taken to see a grand ayatollah, where he signed his confession and forgiveness plea. He was then returned to Tehran, where he received 95 lashes before being released.
Not good, not good. One has to wonder, of course, about where this all came from, where people get the idea that they can beat out the gay, where they get the idea that that's even a good thing to be doing. History isn't monolithic and unidirectional; it's not as if queer people have been uniformly oppressed throughout history in all cultures and things are just changing now. I'm just wondering how much the Iranian government's policy is based on the same old idea that certain behaviors, like heterosexual attraction, are hard-wired into people, and those people who don't follow exhibit those behaviors have turned against nature, and violence will make those people turn back.