I attended the NYC Rally for Gay Iraqis at the Iraq Mission to the U.N. on East 79th Street. It was a smaller and much more somber tone at today’s rally compared to the recent events I’ve attended in celebration of marriage equality, and for good reason. Sadly, over 400 gay men have been brutally murdered in Iraq since 2003. Their mutilated bodies are often found with broken arms and legs and the word “pervert” carved into their chests. A café that was suspected to be frequented by gay Iraqis was firebombed. It is horrific brutality. And this is all happening while there is a major American military presence in Iraq! God only knows what it will be like for gay people in Iraq when we leave. Walter Armstrong, the organizer of the rally, called on President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to hold al-Malaki accountable for the flagrant violations of international law. He also tried to deliver a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at the door of the Mission, requesting that al-Maliki take immediate steps to condemn the anti-gay terrorism. The police refused to allow him to deliver the letter which caused the somber protest to erupt into momentary anger, with protesters calling on the police to stand aside and allow him to deliver the letter. In either case, the mission doors were shut tight and no one came in or out of the door during the entire rally.