July 15, 2015 at 12:12 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay GOP group blasts ‘bad’ Iran nuclear deal

Iran, gay news, Washington Blade

Log Cabin Republicans on July 14, 2015, blasted the deal the U.S. and five other countries reached with Iran over its nuclear program. (Image public domain)

Log Cabin Republicans on Tuesday sharply criticized the deal that the U.S. and five other countries reached with Iran over its nuclear program.

“Log Cabin Republicans has long held the position that any deal with Iran that does not include consideration of human rights abuses against women, religious minorities and gays is a bad deal,” said Gregory T. Angelo, the group’s executive director. “This is a bad deal.”

Angelo issued his statement hours after Secretary of State John Kerry and other negotiators from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China announced in Vienna they had reached an agreement with the Iranian government over its nuclear program.

The Associated Press reported that Iran must dismantle the majority of its nuclear program in exchange for a reduction in sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy. The news agency said Tehran agreed to allow a U.N. arms embargo to continue for up to five more years and restrictions on ballistic missiles for up to eight years.

“This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change,” said President Obama on Tuesday during a statement he delivered from the White House.

Iran is among the countries in which homosexuality remains punishable by death.

The State Department in its 2014 Human Rights Report notes Iranian authorities over the last year harassed and arrested “individuals they suspected of being gay.” Advocates also reported that officials sometimes required LGBT Iranians to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in order to avoid what the report describes as “legal and social consequences due to their gender identity ambiguity.”

A senior administration official told the Washington Blade on Tuesday the White House was “careful to make clear that these negotiations” that took place over 20 months “were about Iran’s nuclear program — nothing more, nothing less.” The senior administration official said the U.S. still has “profound differences” with Tehran over its human rights record and other issues.

“We’ve made those grave concerns known on the sidelines of the talks, but these discussions have always been about ensuring Iran could not gain access to a nuclear weapon,” the official told the Blade. “And with this deal, we’ll continue to do what we can where we can to protect and promote human rights in Iran.”

Log Cabin Republicans in March ran a full-page ad in Roll Call that urged Kerry not to broker a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. The spot featured a silhouette of what appears to be a dead man hanging from a rope attached to a gallows and two legs hanging in the air.

Log Cabin Republicans, Iran, gay news, Washington Blade

Roll Call in March ran an ad from Log Cabin Republicans that urged Secretary of State John Kerry not to sign a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jimmy LaSalvia, former executive director of GOProud, are among those who also criticized the deal.

“Log Cabin Republicans shares the grave concerns about this deal expressed by our allies in Congress, and will continue to stand in solidarity with our gay brethren in Iran and Israel — even if the Obama administration will not,” said Angelo.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Log Cabin Republicans don’t exactly have a good record on aligning themselves with politicians who make good policy and advocacy decisions on gay rights either nationally or internationally. I’m not sure why anyone would listen to them on this…

    However, lets parse this out… At the present moment, anti-gay Kenyans are organizing to stage a 100,000 protest to greet Obama’s arrival in Nairobi very shortly. Their plan is to all strip naked to “show Obama what a man and woman is.” They join the majority of other Sub-Saharran African countries in supporting violently anti-gay persecution.

    So… why have they done this so far in advance of Obama’s arrival?…
    Easy answer to that: his recent strong support and record of strong support for human rights *including* gay rights, which he has not shied away from discussing even in the most hostile countries.

    The comparison to the situation in Iran should be obvious to even the least savy of the Log Cabin Republicans:

    1) Obama’s record on including gay rights in his international diplomacy, exceeds that of any of his predecessors by miles and miles. The suggestion that it would not be part of his attitude towards the situation in Iran is disingenuous at best – stupid at worst.

    2) Obama and the USA can not even hope to have any effect on influencing the repressive domestic policies of countries like Iran if we do not have any diplomatic relationship with them! The more open the diplomatic channels, the more chance we have at long-term improvement of the situation there.

    It is hard for me to believe that the Log Cabiners are really being serious in this critique. Since there really is no hope of changing Iran on the political standing of its own GLBT citizens in the present diplomatic situation, their objection can’t really be based on that. Instead, it is quite clear that they are offering possible propaganda to the republican party to use – which strikes me as a form of begging for acceptance from our national party of irrational and self-centered bigots.

    Really, the Log Cabin Republicans should rename themselves the Uncle Tom Republicans, already.

  • Gregory Angelo says, “Log Cabin Republicans shares the grave concerns about this deal expressed by our allies in Congress.” Really? Your allies? The loudest critics in Congress, who condemned the agreement reflexively without bothering to read it, included Speaker Boehner, the quasi-treasonous Sen. Tom Cotton, and the revolting closet case Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose relentless and reckless warmongering seems driven by a need to prove he is a real man. Fine company you are keeping.

    The notion that nothing should be done until and unless everything can be done is just as foolish coming from Log Cabin as it was coming from the leftists in 2009 who demanded a single, comprehensive LGBT equality bill immediately–which showed no understanding for the structure and politics of Congress with its multiple committees and power centers, or the different degrees of ripeness of different efforts; nor did it show respect for the many hard-working activists who labor year-in and year-out laying the groundwork for progress. Just “Give us everything right now!” like a baby screaming in a high chair. To suggest that a complex and difficult multilateral nuclear agreement should be halted unless every other concern is simultaneously resolved is sabotage, not serious advocacy.

    President Obama is far and away the most pro-gay president in American history. By contrast, his Republican predecessor in 2004 endorsed the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. On May 9, 2012, after Obama publicly endorsed marriage equality, Log Cabin could not pause from its petty partisan sniping for an hour to celebrate the historic breakthrough of the President of the United States taking such a step. Instead, demonstrating that LGBT equality always comes second for Log Cabin, they belittled the president and boasted of how former Vice President Cheney was ahead of him–despite Cheney and his gay daughter having worked to re-elect President Bush after his call for us to be written out of the Constitution. At least Ken Mehlman has apologized for his role in that, and worked on pro-gay Supreme Court briefs.

    Notwithstanding Mehlman’s efforts, the GOP remains overwhelmingly homophobic. Instead of throwing stones in its glass house, Log Cabin should be working harder to get its so-called allies in Congress to support pro-LGBT measures here at home, and should be battling the virulent bigotry coming from its party’s clown car of presidential candidates. And instead of insulting our intelligence with its pinkwashing stance beside the cynical and extreme Bibi Netanyahu, it should demand that he replace his ambassador to Washington with a serious diplomat.

    Finally, I would like to note that the fictional Uncle Tom, while no Nat Turner, sacrificed his own life to help a slave girl escape to freedom. While I sympathize with others who criticize Log Cabin, there is no need to insult Uncle Tom by comparing him to moral cowards.

    • Okay. Point taken on my Uncle Tom reference. I rescind.

      Doubly so, because after i posted that, i realized that Barney Frank beat me to that particular reference years ago. So, I wasn’t even being original.

  • No Log Cabin type has any moral authority to criticize this administration when it comes to human rights for glbt or women. In this particular case Log Cabin castigating the administration on the treaty is not even news.

  • dumb-this is about weaponry-not about rights. what do you expect from a bunch of religious self hating celibate gays?

  • LOL!!!! The only gays the GOP purports to care about are Middle Eastern ones who make good props for warmongering. LCR didn’t give a damn about American gay rights when it fell all over itself to endorse that bigot Romney.

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