Huffpost Gay Voices

Should The U.S. Get Involved In The Gay 'Emo' Killings In Iraq? (POLL)

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Every week we present a new Poll Position question dealing with some hot topic involving the LGBT community.

This week we're asking you to sound off on the LGBT murders occurring in Iraq.

Officials and human rights groups estimate that as many as 58 Iraqis who are either gay or perceived to be gay have been killed in the last six months. What's more, the militias responsible for the murders are also targeting so-called "emos" (teens or young adults who listen to Western music, dress in black, wear tattoos and style their hair). Some have theorized that the "emos" are being murdered because the militiamen mistakenly believe them to be gay and don't understand that the two groups are not necessarily connected.

HuffPost Gay Voices Editor-at-Large Michelangelo Signorile recently spoke to Ali Hili, leader of the London-based LGBT Iraqi, about the atrocities taking place in the country. He said these killings are part of a larger pattern of killing and violence carried out by Islamic militias against gay men for the past six years.

“There’s a lack of knowledge in the militias," Hili said. 'To them anyone who has adopted a certain Western style, a certain appearance -- anyone that appears different, it’s a homosexual phenomenon, period.”

Hili also expressed his anger with the Obama Administration -- and the world at large -- for not intervening.

“They have been looking the other way... And it’s shame on the world community that this genocide is happening under the eyes of the world -- and the gay community in particular. No one is doing anything to help their brothers and sisters in Iraq.”

Hili has urged Americans to contact the U.S. State Department and Hillary Clinton to demand action.

“There has been nothing from the State Department," he said. “We haven’t heard anything.”

After we ran our interview with Hili a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department sent us the following statement:

"We strongly condemn the recent violence and killings in Iraq by groups who appear to be targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or personal expression. These acts of intolerance have no place in democratic societies. We are monitoring this situation closely on the ground and in Washington, and have expressed our concern to the Government of Iraq. As Secretary Clinton said, “Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human… It is a violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave.”

So, tell us -- do you think that the U.S. government and/or other countries should step in and offer support to the LGBT people and "emo" young adults being targeted in Iraq?

Quick Poll

Should the U.S. and/or other countries offer support to the LGBT people and "emo" young adults of Iraq?

VOTE

Now that you've voted, continue the conversation by sounding off on why you voted the way you did in the comments section below.

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