CNN's Piers Morgan engaged in a heated debate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over homosexuality, in which the Iranian president slammed the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as engaging in "an ugly behavior."
Through a translator, Morgan asked Ahmadinejad about what he'd do if one of his children told him he or she was gay. Ahmadinejad fired back, "Do you believe that someone is born homosexual? Homosexuality ceases procreation."
The conversation grew increasingly tense before Ahmadinejad ( who also denounced the controversial film "Innocence of Muslims") even compared LGBT lifestyles to thievery. "Perhaps in a country, they wish to legitimize stealing...if a group recognizes an ugly behavior or ugly deed as legitimate, you must not expect other countries or other groups to give it recognition," he noted.
Ahmadinejad's views aren't particularly surprising, given that homosexuality is a crime punishable by imprisonment and, in more extreme cases, execution in Iran. In May, four Iranian gay men were reportedly executed for sodomy under their nation's Shari'a laws.
That news came just days before the release of a new report on LGBT people in Iran, which highlighted the problems they face in their own country and when they flee into exile, according to Gay Star News.
"If I said I saw myself as being part of this society, I'd be telling the biggest lie of my life," one contributor is quoted in the report as saying. "That's because of my homosexuality and the Iranian people's mentality about homosexuality. I usually refer to Iran as 'your country' instead of 'my country' or 'our country.'"
In 2007, Ahmadinejad reportedly told a crowd at Columbia University, "In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you that we have it."
Morgan's full interview with Ahmadinejad airs Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. EST on CNN.
Check out nations with more progressive views on same-sex marriage and gay rights below: