Iraqi Shia political leader Muqtada al-Sadr blamed the coronavirus crisis on the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Tweeted al-Sadr: “One of the most serious things that caused this epidemic to spread is legalisation (same-sex marriage). Hence, I call on all governments to repeal this law immediately and without delay.”
Middle East Eye reports: “The tweet by Sadr, who has a huge following in Iraq, received more than 10,000 likes – but there were also around 6,000 replies heavily criticising his comments. … Others pointed out that none of the countries worst affected by the illness, such as China, Italy and neighbouring Iran, have yet to fully legalise same-sex marriage (China does have limited recognition, while Iran and Italy have civil unions).”
Iraqi LGBT rights group IraQueer denounced al-Sadr’s tweet: “Making such ignorant statements will not only endanger LGBT+ people’s lives, but will also put the lives of all Iraqis at risk. The coronavirus is a pandemic that must be dealt with seriously and medically, and Muqtada al-Sadr’s tweet will only distract us from what is really important, which is to save Iraqi lives.”