You can fault Michael Lucas for many things. The porn star-producer is an Islamaphobe. Palestine hater. Trash-talker. But we’ll give the guy credit for, in his own special way, raising awareness about homophobia and atrocities against gays in the Middle East. Something he says at least one leading Gay Inc. group is doing a crap job of.
After attending Monday’s International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission 20th anniversary fundraising gala in New York (disclosure: Queerty sponsored the event), Lucas walked away wholly disappointed. Sure, IGLHRC is fighting the good fight in places like Uganda, but its alleged lack of focus in Islamic countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, as well as Palestine territories, has Lucas “not just unimpressed. It left me deeply disappointed.”
“Nowhere else in the world, since the end of the Third Reich, has such systematic oppression and extermination been committed against gays and lesbians,” writes Lucas. “At the event, Amikaeyla Gaston, the Jamaican-born writer and poet, read movingly from her autobiography about being raped by two men in Jamaica. She spoke about asking her gay friend to help her. At least she had hope for help. People in Islamic countries have no hope for help. They are persecuted by their families in league with their clerics in league with their governments. They have nowhere to turn. Not even, it seems, the international LGBT community, which prefers to hold a cloak of silence over that part of the world. IGLHRC has staff assigned to this area, so the organization must know what goes on there, and for all I know, it has useful programs in the region. If it does, the group prefers to keep silent about it. So why does the region which today is most cruel toward gay and lesbian people get a free pass? Is it politically incorrect to get involved where the need is most dire? Is it once again the word “Islam” that makes criticism and, indeed, humane intervention impossible? Or are we just simply too intimidated by the Islamists and their fatwas to help those of our gay brothers and sisters who are today in most danger? I am infuriated that an organization that is actually familiar with this situation and that could at least make visible the abuse, if not stop it, chooses to keep silent. The betrayal of our brothers and sisters who are suffering under Islam is infuriating, dishonest, cowardly, and a sickness of the politically correct. IGLHRC grew out of a brave mission to the old Soviet Union in the early ’90s to lobby against the Soviet sodomy law that punished consensual sex between men with five years imprisonment.”
Do we need more focus on anti-gay violence and attitudes in the Middle East? Absolutely. And international organizations that solicit funding with grand, global goals of fighting homophobia worldwide owe its donors (and LGBTs in the region) to do just that. But it’s not as if IGLHRC has been completely silent on the matter.
We’ll be the first to say these groups can, and should to more. But Lucas once again misappropriates his own priorities (ridding the world of Islam) for everyone else’s. We’d like to say, at the very least, Lucas’ comments “spur debate.” What type of debate, we’re not sure.