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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 20 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 25
Actually we do have homosexuals, Iran admits. Lots of them!
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Actually we do have homosexuals, Iran admits. Lots of them!

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A report issued by Iran's Ministry of Education says that - contrary to the claims of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad - the country's high schools are hotbeds of Gay sex.

The 82-page report, which appeared in English-language media June 12, was compiled by Iranian officials based on studies done in 2007 and 2008, while Ahmedinejad was still president. In 2007, he famously told an audience at Columbia University that 'In Iran, we don't have homosexuals.'

The report, titled 'Temporary Marriage and its Impact on Lowering Illegitimate Sexual Contacts,' was based on a survey of a survey of 141,552 young men and women, and has been posted on the official website of Iran's parliament.

According to the report, nearly all Iranian high school students are breaking the country's strict sexual laws. Seventy-four percent admitted to engaging in 'heterosexual relations,' which would be adultery under Iranian law and could be punished by 100 lashes, or by death for the fourth offense.

Even more astonishing, considering Iran's record of executing young Gay men, 17.5% of high school students admitted to 'being homosexual.'

According to Hossein Alizadeh, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, 'The report is authored by a clergy man (Hojjatol-Islam Bahram Shojai), and mainly focuses on the virtues of temporary marriage as a solution to end different forms of 'sexual irregularities' within the Iranian society.'

Alizadeh translated parts of the report for the British Gay Star News.

So-called 'temporary marriage' is legal under Iranian law and Shiah Islamic jurisprudence. Legally, a temporary marriage can last for as long as 99 years, or just long enough to have sex. According to Alizadeh, 'while it is religiously sanctioned, it is disapproved of by society.'

'The author's argument,' Alizadeh explains, 'is that sex work, sex outside marriage, masturbation, and homosexuality are all the result of inability of the youth to engage in 'proper sexual relations' (i.e. marriage), given the high cost of wedding and social expectations around marriage.

'The author claims that temporary marriage, which is a low key form of marriage, can end most of these sexual ills.'

The report also contains fascinating data on prostitution in Iran. For example, it reveals that 'The average age of sex workers in Iran is now 15 years of age.'

Research by Shaheed Beheshti University and cited in the report shows that 'more sex workers are married, and 11% of them engage in sex work with their husband's consent.' Out of 2,000 sex workers surveyed, 600 of them say their chose to become sex workers, while 1,400 say they were 'tricked' into the business.

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Actually we do have homosexuals, Iran admits. Lots of them!
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