Homosexuality Fears Over Gender Equality in Iraqi Kurdistan

Published: December 20, 2010

ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan: The passing of a new law in Iraqi Kurdistan guaranteeing “gender equality” has deeply outraged the local religious community, including the minister of endowments and religious affairs and prominent imams, who interpret the phrase as legitimizing homosexuality in Kurdistan.

The law, which was recently passed by the Parliament of the semiautonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan to facilitate the work of the Ministry of Culture and Youth, says that the ministry “is promoting gender equality.”

Kamil Haji Ali, the minister of endowments and religious affairs, said the new law would “spread immorality” and “distort” Kurdish society.

“The phrase ‘gender equality’ has so many meanings,” said Ali, a Political Bureau member of the Kurdistan Islamic Movement. “According to the information we have gathered about it, the term means that women can marry women, and men can marry men as well. This does not suit our Muslim society. That’s why we can never agree with this phrase.”

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