Jonathan Zimmerman: The Middle East's Nonexistant Gay Rights MovementRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: Islam, Middle East, Jonathan Zimmerman, gay rights, gay history, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jonathan Zimmerman is a professor of history and education at New York University. He is teaching a course this January at NYU's Abu Dhabi campus.
ABU DHABI -- "We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still," President Barack Obama declared at his inauguration last Monday, "just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall."
But does it also go through Sharjah?
That's where two dozen men were arrested and lashed in 2004 at an apparent "gay wedding" here in the United Arab Emirates, where homosexual relations are illegal. Since then, untold numbers of gays have reportedly received lashes, prison sentences, psychological "therapy" and hormone treatments to remedy the so-called "illness" of homosexuality.
President Obama received just praise for mentioning Stonewall, site of a 1969 New York police raid and riot that touched off the modern American homosexual rights movement. And to his credit, the president and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have instructed U.S. foreign aid agencies to support gay-rights efforts overseas. "Gay rights are human rights," Ms. Clinton said in 2011....
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