Iraq Bans 'Gender,' 'Homosexuality' From Use in Media

'Sexual deviance' must be used in place of 'homosexuality'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2023 1:30 AM CDT
Iraq Bans the Word 'Homosexuality' From Use in Media
Iraq's flag.   (Getty Images / Derek Brumby)

Iraq says all media and social media companies operating within its borders are now barred from using the terms "homosexuality" and "gender." In place of "homosexuality," the term "sexual deviance" must be used instead, Reuters reports. The new edict was issued by the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission, the Arab state's official media regulator, on Tuesday. All phone and internet companies licensed by the commission are also banned from using the prohibited terms in their mobile apps. No penalty for violations has yet been established, but a fine could be included, reports.

While homosexuality is not technically illegal in Iraq, the country's penal code includes what Reuters describes as "loosely defined morality clauses" that have been used to target LGBTQ+ people in the past. Rainbow flags have recently been burned in protests by Shi'ite Muslim factions. (More Iraq stories.)

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