A bill proposing that homosexuality be banned in Iraq has been submitted to its parliament.
It was presented by Mortada Al-Saadi, the Deputy Head of the Committee on Legal Affairs in Baghdad’s federal parliament, who officially submitted it to the Speaker of the Iraqi parliament.
Delivered on 3 July, Al-Saadi’s letter asks that the bill be included in the upcoming legislative agenda, which is currently scheduled for September.
The bill’s introduction follows Muqtada al-Sadr, the head of the nationalist Sadrist movement, announcing plans to rally support for a ban on homosexuality from Iraqi citizens, the independent Erbil-based news agency Basnews reported.
He has also called on educational institutions to spread awareness about his efforts to implement such a ban.
Iraq does not currently explicitly prohibit same-sex activity, though certain items in the 1969 Penal Code are used to criminalise members of the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+ people are not offered any legal protections against discrimination in Iraq and, following British occupation of the country, strict sodomy laws were put in place which remained after independence was achieved.
Organisations do exist to help community members in the country by raising awareness about LGBTQ+ identities and providing direct support where possible.
Iraqueer is one of the most prominent ones in Iraq and helps provide education and advocacy while also raising global awareness about what it is like to be LGBTQ+ there.