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Iranian pop star releases music video defending LGBT rights

Homosexuality is illegal in Iran, and men and women convicted of the act can face a death sentence

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Googoosh, an Iranian pop star, released a new music video on her Facebook page featuring a lesbian couple, in defense of LGBT rights, titled “Behesht” (Heaven), on Valentine’s Day.

The 63-year-old expat singer, who is believed to be residing in Los Angeles, is popular among Iranians of all ages, and is one of the first Iranian LGBT rights advocates, reported the Daily Mail on Monday.

The music video shows a young woman interacting with an unseen person, who proposes to her, and gets her tickets to a Googoosh concert. The couple is met with odd looks and physically harassed by a group of men at a train station.

The two then head to the young woman’s house, where her father clearly does not approve of their relationship.
At the end of the video, it is revealed the person behind the camera is also a woman, and a message reading “Freedom to Love for All” appears on the screen.

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The Facebook post featuring the video has had 10,504 likes, 1,254 comments, and was shared 1,695 times so far.

“We knew from the start that because of its topic the video is going to be very controversial among Iranians, that's why we expected negative feedback too, but that hasn't bothered me, nor Googoosh,” Navid Akhavan, who wrote and directed the video, told London-based daily The Guardian.

“The comments I have read online and the messages I have received from people within the Iranian LGBT community have brought tears to my eyes,” he added.

Homosexuality is illegal in Iran, and men and women convicted of the act can face a death sentence.

While many Iranians supported the video, it was denounced by several websites. Enghelab News called the singer “anti-revolutionary,” adding that the video was created to spread corruption in Iranian society, added the news website.