Iraq, Iran outraged by rainbow flags, LGBT-tolerant poster

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05/27/2020

In Iraq and Iran, politicians stirred up homophobic disputes focusing on the May 17 celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (Idahobit) and the May 15 celebration of the U.N.’s International Day of Families. In Iran, politicians and social media expressed outrage, while the conservative Mashreq News suggested that a government aide could be imprisoned for 10 years for sharing an online poster that included same-sex couples in a promotion for the International Day of Families. Iraqi political leaders have issued condemnations and called for the expulsion of diplomats following a decision by a number of foreign embassies in the country to fly the rainbow LGBT flag in honour of International Day Against Homophobia. The European Union, the World Bank and the Canadian and UK embassies all raised the flag on Sunday, a date that commemorates the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed the designation of homosexuality as a mental illness.

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