CNN’s Piers Morgan recently sat down for an extended interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which will air in full this evening. Morgan challenges him about his anti-gay positions, imploring to him that people are born gay, and Ahmadinejad responds by claiming that homosexuality “ceases procreation” and is “something ugly” comparable to stealing:
AHMADINEJAD: Do you really believe that someone is born homosexual?
MORGAN: Yes, I absolutely believe that. Yes, I do.
AHMADINEJAD: I’m sorry, Let me ask you this: Do you believe anyone is given birth to through homosexuality? Homosexuality ceases procreation. Who has said that if you like or believe in doing something ugly and others do not accept your behavior, they’re denying your freedom? Who says that? Perhaps in a country they wish to legitimize stealing?
Obviously, the presence of gay people in society does nothing to inhibit straight people’s ability to reproduce, but that has not prevented the widespread persecution of LGBT people in Iran, including hangings of people convicted of homosexuality. Ahmadinejad has previously condemned homosexuality as “an ugly, shameful deed” and in 2007, he infamously claimed that “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon.”