At a time when billions are being spent in Iraq, a small group of Iraqi gay safe houses might have to close their doors due to lack of funding. LGBT Iraqis have increasingly faced violence from Shia death squads, especially since the 2005 fatwa from Iraq's leading Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, which declared that gays and lesbians should be “killed in the worst, most severe way.”
The group that runs the safe houses, Friends of Iraqi LGBT, has seen an increase in the need for the safe houses, but a sharp decline in funding for them. The group’s leader has said his group has specific knowledge of hundreds of cases of homophobic persecutions. Iraqi LGBT helps provide LGBT’s under threat of honor killing with refuge in the safer parts of Iraq (including safe houses and food), as well as helps them seek asylum abroad.