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CORRECTION: Video Determined To Be From Iraq, Victims Likely Weren’t Gay (Was: Video of Iranian Gays Thrown From Roof)

Jim Burroway

March 18th, 2009

This disturbing video comes to us via Gays Without Borders. It’s how one country deals with the “crime” of homosexuality. This video shows Iranian gay men being thrown off of a rooftop as their sentence for homosexuality.  According to Gays Without Borders, this video purported to show Iranian gay men being thrown off the roof of a building as punishment. They apparently found the video on the French-language web site, posted on Feb 21, 2009., in turn, appears to have obtained that video from IranPressNews, which published a story containing that video on Feb 20, 2009.  Gays Without Borders posted the video on March 5.

However, thanks to Steven Milerton we’ve been able to confirm that the video appeared much earlier in a 2003 CNN report, which showed troops from Iraq’s Fedayeen Saddam throwing soldiers off the roof in order to “instill discipline.”

A few hours before Steven left his comment, I posed a question asking Gays Without Borders to provide information as to the video’s authenticity. That’s how I got the two links to IRanPressNews and I am now attempting to notify Gays Without Borders about what appears to be the actual source of the video. 

Gays Without Borders has posted the video twice, once at the link where we first noticed it, and again as an introduction to a reprinted opinion piece by UK LGBT advocate Peter Tatchell. (Tatchell’s original article does not include the video.)

Meanwhile, we have removed the misidentified video from BTB. We regret the error.

Update: Gays Without Borders has now taken down the video from their web site.



March 18th, 2009 | LINK

This is the sort of thing that reminds me why I have lost respect for religion, and I’m sorry if this counts as “hate speech,” but for the Middle Eastern monotheisms in particular. The evil that has been done in their name cancels out any good that has been done in their name. Any ideology that leads people to behave in such horrible ways is undeserving of even the slightest respect, as far as I’m concerned.

March 18th, 2009 | LINK

Fundamentalism is dangerous. Thankfully in our country in this day and age Christian fundamentalism is mostly bark and little bite. But islam is an evil religion. And how anyone can think its tolerant to not speak out against such attrocities for fear of offending muslims is beyond me.

Where are the liberal and moderate muslims speaking out against these things as we liberal and moderate Christians speak out against the abuses done in the name of Christ?

March 18th, 2009 | LINK

That’s not hate speech at all, AJD. It’s the truth. These barbarians can rot, for all I care.

Jason D
March 18th, 2009 | LINK

okay, I thought I could watch, but as soon as they started to put the first guy over the ledge, I had to stop. This is just plain insane.

Hey Jim, did you notice that Obama just tossed the US Support behind that UN resolution on decriminalizing Homosexuality?

March 18th, 2009 | LINK

another powerful reason to declare oneself unashamedly an atheist. thanks gods for answering all those selfish prayers while ignoring the real outrages on this planet. you’re f**king useless as always. sorry to all those who feel compelled to defend you. what a job.

Regan DuCasse
March 18th, 2009 | LINK

I still can’t get the pictures of those teen Iranian boys being lynched in public from my mind. And I’m a crime scene photog with a VERY strong stomach and a lot else.

Gay children aren’t safe in OUR country either. The sweet faces of Freddie Martinez, Scotty Joe Weaver and Sakia Gunn and how brutally they suffered their deaths keeps up my gumption.

The religious fundamentalists who hide behind denial of human and civil rights don’t care to answer the simple question: how does the life and liberty and happiness of a gay person deny you yours?

Anyone who pretends you didn’t ask it, is a coward.
They don’t even own their own lack of courage. Yeah, it takes REAL GUTS to throw someone from a roof, stab them through the heart and lynch them…how CAN one or a few fight an armed mob after all?

March 19th, 2009 | LINK

It’s not about gay people having any personal effect on others; the issue is that the existence of gay people is offensive to God, as far as these Iranian mullahs are concerned. More specifically, Abrahamic homophobia is an outgrowth of those religions’ general aversion to any form of sexual activity not meant strictly for reproduction.

It’s really baffling: If two guys have sex with each other, it’s an unforgivable affront to all that is holy, but it’s perfectly acceptable to beat them up or kill them.

I’ve come to agree with Hitchens and others — it’s nice that there are religious moderates and liberals out there, and I appreciate that they have the wisdom to think for themselves, but the problem is that the Bible and Koran will always contain justification for fundamentalism.

I became atheist after being raised Catholic, practicing Celtic Paganism and trying Buddhism and deciding in the end that none of it ever made any sense to me. However, I admit that I have a particular animus toward Christianity and Islam (not necessarily those who practice them — I even dated a guy who was Muslim once) because they account for a disproportionate amount of religiously motivated wars, brutality, bigotry and sexual repression throughout history.

Most religions, especially the European Pagan religions and the Dharmic religions in India, have historically been tolerant of other belief systems — the Romans considered the Celtic gods to be the same as their own, just under different names, and the reason why so many religions evolved in India was because Hinduism tolerated differing interpretations. They’ve also been a lot more forgiving of human nature and natural human impulses. I’m not excusing any of these religions of their own histories of brutality, such as human sacrifice and the caste system, but they don’t even come close to the horrors that have been committed in the names of Islam and Christianity. There’s a reason why you never hear about Wiccan suicide bombers or even the angriest Tibetan Buddhist monks flying airplanes into skyscrapers in Shanghai.

For all the bliss they give those who practice them, Christianity and Islam both have something seriously broken about them. Again, I fully acknowledge that there are plenty of liberals and moderates in both faiths, but the number of crazy and violent people who do and say all sorts of horrible things in the names of those religions are too many for me to think that the Osama bin Ladens, Scott Livelys and brutal executions of innocent people as portrayed in the above video are mere anomalies.

I’m sorry to rant like this, as I’m sure a lot of people will take offense, but I had to get that off my chest.

L. Junius Brutus
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Zoroastrianism, also from Iran, is the best religion on this earth. At least, in its early form. It only had three commandments: do good deeds, say good words and think good thoughts.

Steven Milverton
March 19th, 2009 | LINK

The vid is from the CNN news of the year 2003. It shows a scene in Iraq and there is no evidence that the men thrown down from the roof are gays (nevertheless is terrible).

March 19th, 2009 | LINK

I see… However, it should be noted that one of the punishments for homosexuality in Iran is execution by being tossed from a precipice.

March 19th, 2009 | LINK

Thank you Jim for the inquiry you did about this video.
It have been removed from GWB site.

Jim Burroway
March 19th, 2009 | LINK


I’m glad I was able to be be of service.

March 20th, 2009 | LINK


I have an extreme animus towards Christianity and Islam. I am both gay and Jewish, and those religions are specifically devoted to attacks on my people. I will never forgive the Catholics for the Spanish Inquisition or its complicity in the Holocaust (for which Germany got off too lightly). Muslim anti-semitism and homophobia is in a class by itself, and enough for me to support war not only with the make-believe lands of “Afghanistan” and “Iraq”, but all Islamic “nations” whose sovereignty I do not respect. Forget about spreading “democracy” (a concept that I abhor because it is nothing but mob rule, and we all know what that means for gays) to these benighted hell holes unless they can be fully progressivized and westernized. Nor will I support even the idea of a “Palestinian” state while Islam is in the mix.

I refuse to respect the sovereignty of any nation where homosexuality is illegal. Christian and Islamic fundamentalism are scourges that must be wiped from the earth by any means necessary.

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