Rally this Sunday against torture and killings of gays in Iraq

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By Rebecca Bowe

Gays Without Borders S.F., the Rainbow World Fund, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and others will host a rally and fundraiser Sunday to speak out against torture and slayings of gays in Iraq.

Reports in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and elsewhere have described atrocities against gay men that occurred in Iraq’s Sadr City, where victims were fatally shot and found with the word “pervert” on notes attached to their bodies.

“This news has been under the radar for the past few years due to the overall confusion and killing in Iraq,” a press statement released by the rally organizers points out. “But the heinous torture and murder of gays in Iraq has escalated.”

The groups hope to attract international media attention to the abuses, and they plan to urge the U.S. State Department to investigate, denounce the killings, and support asylum. The goal of the fundraiser is to send $10,000 to organizations aiding Iraqi gays who are fleeing the most dangerous areas.

The rally and fundraiser -- featuring speeches from S.F. Police Commission President Theresa Sparks, State Senator Mark Leno, Supervisors Bevan Dufty and Ross Mirkarimi, and others -- will be held Sunday, May 17 from noon to 4 p.m. at Harvey Milk Plaza, near the intersection of Castro and Market streets. Speakers are scheduled for 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Donations may be made through the Rainbow World Fund. Those interested in volunteering at the rally should email MrSFL96@aol.com.