Iraq Orders Media to Refer to Homosexuality as ‘Sexual Deviance’

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Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission has ordered media outlets and social media companies that operate in the country to refer to homosexuality as “sexual deviance.”

Reuters on Tuesday reported the country’s official media regulator’s directive applies to media outlets and social media companies that operate in Iraq. Reuters notes the Communications and Media Commission has also banned phone and internet companies that it licenses from using the term “homosexuality” on their mobile apps.

Reuters said the Communications and Media Commission issued a statement that “directs media organizations … not to use the term ‘homosexuality’ and to use the correct term ‘sexual deviance.'” A government official told Reuters the directive has yet to receive final approval.

Homosexuality is legal in Iraq, but violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity remains commonplace in the country.

The U.S. in 2022 condemned the so-called honor killing of Doski Azad, a transgender woman in Iraqi Kurdistan. A source in the semi-autonomous region of northern Iraq previously told the Washington Blade that militant groups regularly target gay men. (The Islamic State publicly executed men accused of engaging in sodomy in the parts of Iraq it once controlled.)

A bill that would ban homosexuality in Iraq has been introduced in Parliament.

 Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.


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