Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights in Iran

This report features articles by prominent international activists who attended a conference in Dusseldorf, Germany. It offers groundbreaking analyses and interpretations from religious, social, legal and cultural perspectives.

In 2014, Outright Action International brought together scholars, lawyers, activists and experts from diverse backgrounds and fields to explore new approaches to improve the human rights situation for LGBT Iranians. Our overall goal was to open a window onto new views of LGBT rights in Iran, along with practical strategies to improve advocacy for LGBT rights in Iran.

Held in Düsseldorf, Germany, the 2014 conference was the second of its kind hosted by IGLHRC, with the focus on the human rights. The first conference in 2012 resulted in developing legal strategies and resources, including booklets to support advocacy for LGBT rights within the Iranian court system. These booklets are available at http://iran.outrightinternational.org.

This volume presents the participants’ diverse approaches to the question of LGBT rights in Iran. The articles range from a scholar’s exploration of whether the Qur’anic concern for justice should be interpreted to include the human rights and dignity of LGBT people; a journalist’s focus on the neglected question of bisexuality in Iran; to a lawyer’s analysis of recent reforms to the Iranian criminal code on the rights of defendants in same-sex criminal proceedings. Most of the articles presented in the current booklet were originally submitted in Persian.

While Outright Action International has made every effort to accurately reflect the authors’ points of view in the English translations, sometimes the details presented in the Persian text were too detailed and technical to be translated for an international audience, hence forcing us to present a shorter version of the Persian text, while remaining faithful to the core argument.

We are grateful to the scholars, experts, activists and researchers who have helped us to better materialize the objectives of this conference.