An influential Iranian cleric who is entitled to issue juristic rulings according to the Sharia law, has condemned western lawmakers involved in the decriminalisation of homosexuality, saying those politicians are lower than animals.
Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, an Islamic scholar based in Iran's holy city of Qom, said in a speech among his followers that homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs, according to the news website Khabaronline.
"If a society commits a new sin, it will face a new punishment," he said while interpreting Qur'anic verses about prophet Lot whose tribe Isalmic scholars say was punished by God for sodomy. "Problems like Aids did not exist before."
Citing the Qur'an, Javadi-Amoli said politicians who pass laws in favour of homosexuals are lower than animals. "Even animals ... dogs and pigs don't engage in this disgusting act [homosexuality] but yet they [western politicians] pass laws in favour of them in their parliaments."
Homosexuality is punishable by death according to fatwas issued by almost all Iranian clerics. Until recently, Lavat (sodomy for men) was punishable by death for all individuals involved in consensual sexual intercourse.
But under new amendments approved recently in the Iranian parliament the person who played an active role will be flogged 100 times if the sex was consensual and he was not married, but the one who played a passive role will still be put to death regardless of his marriage status.
Despite the horrific punishment for homosexuals in Iran, the gay community in the country is alive underground and has won some recognition by coming out in defiance of the regime.
In September 2011, a group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Iranians launched a campaign on Facebook, highlighting the discrimination against sexual minorities in Iran where homosexuals are put to death.
Photo: Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli