It's a terrible time to be gay in Iraq. New York magazine reports that gay men are being hunted, blacklisted, beaten, tortured, raped, and murdered—with their mutilated corpses dumped on the street. The historically low-grade violence against gays (men mostly) escalated this February as a wave of anti-gay hysteria hit the country, possibly as an unintended consequence of broader peace in the region, which allowed Sunni and Shia militias to reposition themselves as moral enforcers, trading on anti-gay prejudice to garner public support. Gay Iraqis are an easy target, as they have no allies in Iraqi society. Although the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch rarely intervenes directly in a situation, the extreme nature of the violence against Iraqi gays has moved them to create a sort of underground railroad to ferry men to safety in less violent cities in Iraq, and from there to other countries in the Middle East and Europe.