Wow. Jared Polis just might become a statesman, after all. Today, I’m actually proud to call him my Congressman. This story from the Denver Post is remarkable:
As Rep. Jared Polis toured Iraq this week, he had something more than security conditions or troop withdrawals on his mind: the case of a man allegedly sentenced to death in a criminal court for membership in a gay-rights group.
An openly gay member of Congress, Polis has been investigating the treatment of gays in Iraq for several months, and last week he spoke through a translator by phone to a transgender Iraqi man who said he had been arrested, beaten and raped by Ministry of Interior security forces.
Human-rights groups tracking the issue also passed Polis a letter, allegedly written from jail by a man who said he was beaten into confessing he was a member of the gay-rights group Iraqi-LGBT. The group said the man had been sentenced to death in a court in Karkh and finally executed.
What? You mean we shouldn’t just condone Iraq’s “democratic” persecution of homosexuals? We should stand up and say individual rights matter? How very un-moral-relativist of you, Congressman.
Yes, we continue to debate gay marriage and domestic partnership here in America. Yet it is (nearly) universally accepted that consenting adults have the right to make their own personal decisions regarding sex, that lawmakers are wrong to discriminate against homosexuals (again with partnership remaining the important exception), and that the police have no business persecuting them.
In the Muslim world, theocratic persecution of homosexuals remains the norm. And too many American leaders turn a blind eye.
Now if Polis could just work on expanding the individual rights that he chooses to defend…