Out Magazine, a gay and lesbian culture publication, is accusing the Trump administration of racism over its efforts to decriminalize homosexuality internationally.
NBC News reported Tuesday that the administration is launching a push to abolish laws in countries that make it illegal to be gay. The effort is spearheaded by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who is openly gay, and was created at least partially in response to the hanging of a man in Iran on charges of homosexuality and kidnapping. (RELATED: Trump Administration Leads Global Effort To Decriminalize Homosexuality)
However, a writer for Out Magazine claims that the initiative is just “another instance of the right using queer people as a pawn to amass power and enact its own agenda” and that the Trump administration should not be applauded for its efforts.
According to Mathew Rodriguez, the administration’s focus on Iran’s mistreatment of gay people suggests that the campaign is really about Islamophobia and colonialism rather than helping LGBT individuals.
“Grennell’s attack [on Iran] might be a case of white men trying to save brown gay men from brown straight men,” Rodriguez writes.
The article also suggests that Iran isn’t the human rights violator that the Trump administration makes it out to be, claiming, “Homosexuality … is an ‘open secret’ and most queer people fear homophobic reaction from fellow citizens more than the authorities.” (RELATED: State Department Officially Calls Iran’s Forced Sex Change Surgeries ‘Confirmation’)
Human Rights Campaign senior international policy advocate Jeremy Kadden expressed similar skepticism over the administration’s campaign, saying in a statement, “If this commitment is real, we have a lot of questions about their intentions and commitments, and are eager to see what proof and action will follow.”
Grenell slammed the Out Magazine piece Wednesday, tweeting, “Ummmm? No.”
Ummmm? No. https://t.co/pn6HJFu7vE
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) February 20, 2019