Trump Didn’t Know About His Administration’s ‘Global Campaign’ To Decriminalize Homosexuality

Donald Trump

Donald Trump appeared to be surprised his administration announced a global campaign calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality around the world.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced the new initiative that would address the 71 countries, primarily in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean, where homosexuality is illegal.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who is the most prominent openly gay man in the Trump administration, has been announced to lead the charge to repeal anti-homosexuality laws.

But Trump seemed unaware of the campaign when asked about it on Wednesday during a gaggle with reporters in the Oval Office.

According to The Washington Examiner, a reporter broached the subject about Trump’s “push to decriminalize homosexuality around the world,” asking, “Are you doing that and why?”

“I don’t know which report you’re talking about,” replied Trump. “We have many reports.”

Vice President Mike Pence, who has a long history of anti-LGBTQ positions and policies, confirmed with The Washington Blade that he is aware of, and supports, the new initiative.

The new policy will highlight the dismal human rights record of Iran. The Jerusalem Post recently reported the public execution by hanging of a gay man in the Middle Eastern country.

Earlier this month, Pence specifically called Iran out during a speech in Warsaw, Poland.

“The authoritarian regime in Tehran represses the freedom of speech and assembly, it persecutes religious minorities, brutalizes women, executes gay people, and openly advocates the destruction of the State of Israel,” said Pence.

“The Ayatollah Khamenei himself has said, ‘It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map.’”

Some have speculated that the ‘human rights violations’ focus is an attempt to bring more European countries onboard in Donald Trump’s push to undermine the current regime in Iran.

It’s unclear how the Trump administration will broach the subject with some Middle Eastern countries who are close allies of the U.S.

For instance, Trump has shown much deference to Saudi Arabia, where being gay is punishable by death.

Human Rights Watch Reports On Beatings & Electrocution Of Gay Men In Chechnya

President Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechen Republic

Human Rights Watch has published a report detailing the horrific treatment and torture of gay men in Chechnya.

According to the report, the speaker of Chechnya’s parliament, Magomed Daudov, was involved in authorizing the violence.

Radio Free Europe details the torture ranging from beatings to electrocution devices.

“All of the victims suffered repeated beatings,” the report said. “Security officials kicked them with booted feet, beat them with polypropylene pipes and sticks, and made other inmates beat them” — mostly on the men’s buttocks and legs.

“They put you face down on the floor and beat you with pipes,” one victim told Human Rights Watch. “Then they force other prisoners [held for allegedly supporting insurgents or for alleged drug offenses] to carry on with the beating. Each man gets some 70 to 80 blows. And so it goes…. And you literally turn black and blue from waist to toes.”

The rights group says local Chechen authorities also used electrocution devices to torture the victims.

Former detainees described those devices as machines with a knob on one side and wires sticking out of it with metal clips at the ends — clips which were attached to the victims’ fingers, toes, and earlobes.

“They turn the knob, electric current hits you, and you start shaking,” a former detainee told Human Rights Watch. “And they keep turning the hellish machine, and the pain is just insane. You scream and scream and you no longer know who you are.”

“Finally, you faint,” the former detainee continued. “It all goes dark. But when you come to your senses, they start all over again. And once they’re done with you and you get your bearings, you hear other inmates screaming. The sounds of torture are just there all day, and at some point you start losing your mind.”

Many of the victims were returned to their families where authorities suggested the relatives perform “honor killings”

Human Rights Watch urges the European Union and the United States to intervene and offer sanctuary to the victims.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has called on President Trump to address the human rights violations. Trump has not spoken publicly to date about the ongoing atrocities.