Iran official charged for cartoon of loving same-sex parents

A top Iranian aide has been charged with “spreading moral corruption” for sharing a cartoon online that showed loving lesbian and gay parents.

Photo illustration from 6rang shows (clockwise from upper left) Shahindokht Molaverdi, the International Family Day illustration she shared online, a caricature of her and the 6rang logo.
Photo illustration from 6rang shows (clockwise from upper left) Shahindokht Molaverdi, the International Family Day illustration she shared online, a caricature of her and the 6rang logo.

The LGBTQ advocacy group 6Rang (Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network) reported:

Iranian president’s special assistant for citizenship rights, Shahindokht Molaverdi, has been charged with “spreading moral corruption and depravity” after she “accidentally” authorised the publication of a rainbow family infographic.

Following a complaint by the security and judicial authorities, the Culture and Media Court filed an indictment against Molaverdi. According to Fars News Agency, one of the three charges against is “spreading moral corruption and depravity” and providing the means for this sort of behaviour.

Earlier [on May 15], on the occasion of World Family Day, Molaverdi posted a photo on her Telegram channel, in which there were two illustrations of same-sex couples. Subsequently, Mashregh News published screenshots of this post from Molaverdi’s Telegram and wrote: “on the occasion of World Family Day, Molaverdi has published a post on her Telegram that depicts the deviant and reprehensible homosexual families made up of two women and a child and two men and a child.”

In response to this report and waves of attacks on social media, Molaverdi said she had accidentally posted the image on her Telegram channel and quickly deleted it afterwards. …

Following the news of the indictment against Molaverdi, some influential social media profiles in Iran threatened her with the same disastrous fate as the one Lot’s wife meets in the Bible for promoting homosexuality.

According to Article 639 of the Islamic Penal Code, anyone who encourages or incites people to moral corruption or depravity is sentenced to one to ten years in prison.

[In Islamic tradition, Lot’s wife was killed by the falling rocks that destroyed the city of Sodom. In the Bible, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.]

U.N. poster for the International Day of Families includes two same-sex couples.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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