Suddenly there are all these stories in the news about violence in Iraq against gay people -- by all accounts, this violence dramatically escalated -- guess when? Oh, I know -- after the US occupation!
That's what disgusts me so much about a sign like this, displayed by and for the gays in the Great White Gayborhood (in this case, San Francisco's legendary Castro district) without any context at all -- as if somehow violence against gay people in Iraq can be separated from the endless US brutalization of an entire country in order to pave the way for more oil industry profiteering. Worse than that, this sign, and the protests around this issue, actually legitimize the US occupation by pointing to anti-gay hysteria in Iraq as proof of the savagery of an entire country, when instead they should be pointing to US militarism as the impetus.
It's well documented that when people are deprived of the basic abilities to live, love, eat, sleep, fuck, dream or create family, meaning or culture without the daily threat of a US firing squad entering their homes or US-funded militias terrorizing their neighborhoods, guess what? People lash out at whoever is the most vulnerable -- women, young people, old people, people with disabilities, sexual deviants, homos, immigrants, etc.
Even something as simple as a statement starting with, "end the US occupation" would do so much to shift the blame to its rightful center. Instead, these kinds of messages end up implying that the same kind of homophobia -- furthered by religious fundamentalists, centering in families of origin, carried out by the armed instruments of the state -- doesn't exist here.
Iraq: stop killing gays?!
What about -- US: STOP KILLING EVERYONE!!! That would be a better start.