Backlash in Iran after academic calls for ‘removing gays’ from Tehran


Activists launched a petition against an Iranian academic and theatre director who was slammed for making homophobic remarks in an outrageous rant against the Iran’s LGBTQ+ community. Last month, Ghotboddin Sadegh told Online Art that the neighbourhood around Tehran City Theater had become “very shameful” because “turned into a place for thugs, offenders, and homosexuals who do not observe the cultural sanctity of this place”. In his homophobic rant, he called for the area “to be cordoned off” so it is “not corrupted”, Iran Wire reported. A group of 70 activists launched a petition against Sadegh’s remarks, saying he’s perpetuating the demonisation of Iran’s oppressed LGBTQ+ community. “Ghotboddin Sadeghi’s stance is a continuation of a policy that criminalises the life of homosexuals, treats the bisexual society as sick and targets trans people with a call to stigmatise, marginalise and even eliminate this group from society,” the activists said in a statement. It went on to describe how the perpetuation of taboos and so-called scandals “link every issue and problem, from coronavirus to the vaccine and the insecure urban environment” to the LGBTQ community.

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