“Gay” Interview Gets Iranian Paper Banned

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government sure do love a gay panic. Their distaste for the gays goes so far, they banned a newspaper, Shargh, for publishing an interview with a “counter revolutionary homosexual activist,” Saghi Ghahreman.

Though the interview focussed entirely on Ghahreman’s poetry, the culture ministry deemed it inappropriate and shut down the liberal paper,

The main reason for the ban was an interview with a counter-revolutionary who promotes immorality. The press watchdog voted for the ban by examining an article which involves a counter-revolutionary person who promotes immorality. This person is a known element who even promotes immorality in her cyber publication.

Shargh‘s lawyers plan on fighting the paper’s prohibition. Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabai told Middle East Times:

Interviewing an individual cannot be a reason for closure when there is no vice in that interview. The reason for the ban is unlawful because the judiciary has not protested against the individual who was interviewed.

Further, Ghahreman kept her answers asexual. Her most explicit reference to sexuality came in the simple statement, “Sexual boundaries must be flexible … The immoral is imposed by culture on the body.” And, apparently, on the papers.