Yesterday I reported that I could not find confirmation of a claim that Iran had executed two young men for homosexual acts. The story got legs on wingnut media yesterday afternoon, including at the Michelle Malkin-founded Twitchy, which shrieked that LGBT groups were being hypocrites for “remaining silent” on the story. Today activist Scott Long reports that the story was probably invented by one of Malkin’s followers. According to Long, the men were most likely executed for raping women. From his blog Paper Bird:
How did the “homosexual” version leap from Farsi to English news sites? Answer: Banafsheh Zand. Banafsheh Zand is an Iranian exile in the US who couples far-right inclinations with a strong fetish for the gays. She’s been a regular for Fox News, Front Page magazine, and the National Review, though all seemed to inch away eventually from her extravagant insights. An immigrant herself, she pals around with racist, ferociously anti-foreigner Michelle Malkin; but she also gamely frequents Glenn Beck‘s paranoiac show to cheer for the homosexuals against Ahmadinejad. She’s a fount of conspiracy theories.
Long notes that Zand is the former editor of Iran Press News, where the “homosexual acts” claim was apparently first published this week. Click over to Long’s site for an exhaustive tracking of the original Farsi story to what it became on English-language right wing sites.
The debunking of this story doesn’t lessen the horrific plight of gays in Iran, but it does give us yet another example about how little the truth means to the enemies of our people. Long concludes: “Everything suggests this was a heterosexual rape case that quickly got turned into a ‘homosexual’ story — the moment it reached the US. It was reshaped deliberately, deceptively, and opportunistically, as a small stratagem to persuade US gays to mobilize in opposition to Iran, Rouhani, and any possible nuclear accord.”
Don’t expect Twitchy to update their story.