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Found 6 results

  1. Twenty years ago today, on December 1, 1998, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved the addition of sexual orientation to the county’s human rights ordinance. The battle many had fought over the past year culminated in victory. A temporary achievement since the hateful Christian Coalition worked to place the decision on the ballot the following year. They lost. For over a year, I helped increase awareness, raise money, conduct outreach, lobby politicians, debate homophobes, and granted countless interviews to the media. I was called vile names by those professing their Christianity often enough my dislike for the religion became permanent. To this day, any mention of Christian values makes me frown. On that fateful morning, my boyfriend and I awoke in darkness and were in front of the Commission chambers by sunrise. With hateful chants as background, I spoke to National Public Radio, The New York Times, the Voice of America, Armed Forces Radio, and who knows how many more outlets in both English and Spanish. My fifteen minutes of fame thanks to the marketing people thinking I spoke well and came across as a level-headed individual. Ha! Seeing my name on the front page of the Times and listening to the NPR report the following morning was a thrill. I still have the newspaper and a cassette of the radio show. However, the most wonderful part of the experience was working with the men and women who made the day’s events possible. Maybe it was not on par with the promise made by the signers of the Declaration of Independence to “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor,” but to me it was close. The time and financial commitment made by many propelled us to victory. Liebe Gadinsky stands out amongst all. The mother of two and her husband became friends, and although we rarely communicate these days, I will treasure the time I spent with them for as long as I live. Liebe and Seth were proof that the fight for our humanity was not limited to GLBT community members, but encompassed caring individuals who felt discrimination was unjust. Many of you dislike and dismiss political involvement, I read the comments often enough when I posted a story revolving around a presidential campaign. As an aside, my involvement back then influenced much of what I wrote in that book. I would like you all to remember that without drag queens fighting in front of the Stonewall Inn in 1969 or volunteers canvassing throughout Miami in 1998, most of us would be hiding in the back of a closet too scared to live. Go out, give money, volunteer, make phone calls, write letters; do whatever it takes to elect individuals who will not treat us as second-class citizens. It was the experience of a lifetime and I am grateful I was part of such a momentous event. My participation also allowed me to keep a promise I made when the Anita Bryant-backed forces led to the overturn of a similar ordinance in 1977. I swore that if the issue arose again, I would not remain quiet. I am glad I did not. I’ll close with Margaret Mead’s words: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has” https://www.nytimes.com/1998/12/02/us/2-decades-on-miami-endorses-gay-rights.html
  2. I just want to take a moment to remember Pierre Bergé, who died yesterday with 86 years old. Once partner of Yes Saint Laurent and with him founder of YSL House, he was also a strong advocate of gay rights, marriage equality, the fight against HIV in France.
  3. So with more and more countries making progressive steps to equalize rights between homosexual and heterosexual persons, I guess it is unfortunate that there are some countries that will try to reverse that direction. First, Russia made international news making the promotion or homosexual lifestyle illegal. Now we have India's Supreme Court overriding a lower court ruling in 2009 that ruled an 1860 law outlawing "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal". Full article here I have started this here as the topic because it deals with religious and political matters behind the decision. First off the Supreme Courts overruling the lower Courts decision was on appeal from the religious conservative factions. Also, the government facing an increase in pressure from the right wing conservative religious parties, they are believed to not want to open this subject up before May's national elections. India is the world's largest democracy. It is a sad affair to say the least, that religion has such an influence on this nation. It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction the police have, will they enforce the law? What the GLBT community will be doing to increase publicity and pressure for the government to re write the laws? What the international and more specifically the West will do to add international pressure? Hopefully sounder minds will eventually decide this and the government will make the necessary changes to avoid the courts from taking the nation back 154 years into the past. For our Indian gay members that will always be 'closer' to what is going on then us in the West, feel free to add into here or start your own blog.
  4. asamvav111 posted this depressing news item today http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-25329065 India's top court has upheld a law which criminalises gay sex, in a ruling seen as a major blow to gay rights. The Supreme Court ruling reverses a landmark 2009 Delhi High Court order which had decriminalised homosexual acts. The court said it was up to parliament to legislate on the issue. According to Section 377, a 153-year-old colonial-era law, a same-sex relationship is an "unnatural offence" and punishable by a 10-year jail term. Several political, social and religious groups had petitioned the Supreme Court to have the law reinstated in the wake of the 2009 court ruling. Correspondents say although the law has rarely - if ever - been used to prosecute anyone for consensual sex, it has often been used by the police to harass homosexuals. Also, in deeply conservative India, homosexuality is a taboo and many people still regard same-sex relationships as illegitimate. The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says some politicians have spoken out against the court decision - but many believe it is going to be difficult for them to take on the anti-gay lobby. A 153-year-old colonial law describes a same-sex relationship as an "unnatural offence" 'Black day' "It is up to parliament to legislate on this issue," Justice GS Singhvi, the head of the two-judge Supreme Court bench, said in Wednesday's ruling, which came on his last day before retiring. "The legislature must consider deleting this provision (Section 377) from law as per the recommendations of the attorney general," he added. India's Law Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters the government would respect the ruling but did not say whether there were plans to amend the law. Correspondents say any new legislation is unlikely soon - general elections are due next year. Gay rights activists have described Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling as "disappointing" and said they would approach the court to review its decision. "Such a decision was totally unexpected from the top court. It is a black day," Arvind Narrain, a lawyer for the Alternative Law Forum gay rights group, told reporters. "We are very angry about this regressive decision of the court," he said. "This decision is a body-blow to people's rights to equality, privacy and dignity," G Ananthapadmanabhan of Amnesty International India said in a statement. "It is hard not to feel let down by this judgement, which has taken India back several years in its commitment to protect basic rights," he added. However, the ruling has been welcomed by religious groups, particularly leaders of India's Muslim and Christian communities, who had challenged the Delhi High Court order. Many Many religious and political groups had opposed decriminalisation of gay sex "The Supreme Court has upheld the century-old traditions of India, the court is not suppressing any citizen, instead it is understanding the beliefs and values of the large majority of the country," Zafaryab Jilani, member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, told BBC Hindi. In its 2009 ruling, the Delhi High Court had described Section 377 as discriminatory and said gay sex between consenting adults should not be treated as a crime. The ruling was widely and visibly welcomed by India's gay community, which said the judgement would help protect them from harassment and persecution. Analysis - by Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi The Supreme Court ruling has come as a huge surprise for activists who have described it as "retrograde" and say this is "a black day" for gay rights in India. They have campaigned for years for acceptance in India's deeply conservative society and many have vowed to carry on the fight for "their constitutional right". Nobody expected the Supreme Court, often seen as a last recourse for citizens faced with an unresponsive government, to reverse an order many had hailed as a landmark. As Justice GS Singhvi announced the order, activists and members of the gay and lesbian community present outside the court began crying and hugging each other. Some asked if after the court ruling, they had become criminals. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am deeply ashamed to say my country is to blame for imposing this terrible law under British Rule of India. This law has nothing to do with India's traditions but everything to do with Victorian obsessions about sex - a poisonous obsession that was exported across the World, and in many countries - including the US - this still prevails. This outdated, imposed and irrelevant law is as relevant to India as the court saying India should once again be a British colony. Ridiculous and very very sad. But we are seeing progress being turned back in an alarming number of countries: Russia, India, Nigeria - the list is deeply worrying. And at the root of it all seems to be religion. We need to remember that "progress" can be a two way street There is a real problem with words like "democracy" and also "terrorism" - these words are being used more and more to justify repressive measures against minorities. People often mistake democracy for the "will of the majority". But it isn't. At least not in a plural, healthy and culturally diverse society. Because "will of the majority" inevitably leads to tyranny of minorities. All of them. Because all societies have lots and lots and lots of minorities. And everyone falls into one or more minorities at some time or other. So next time "the majority" could be coming for "you". People need to be reminded of that
  5. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/toronto-pride-festival-heart-canada-gay-rights-movement-184423222.html Interesting blog that I thought I would share Toronto, in the Province of Ontario and has one of the largest Pride Parades in North America is set to have this years Parade with an added addition. The newly elected Premier of Ontario and her wife will be marching in the parade as they have done for several years. Next year Toronto has been bestowed the honour of hosting the 2014 World Pride Parade. The main reason I bring this up is the stats that are in the article. When gay marriage was legalized, the majority of Canadians were against it. 10 years later and the majority are in favour of it. I always hoped that the US would find a similar path in gaining equal rights for their gay population. Wouldn't it be great in 10 years to have the same stats out of the US? Once the general US population realize that the world isn't falling in on them I hope this is achieved. I applaud SCOTUS for their recent decisions and hope this is the first step of a great journey for true equality be it marriage, employment, housing, and the full gamete of issues that the gay population has face discrimination for years.
  6. Well, you're part of it whether you want to or not. Just a video I wanted to share. For me it was very moving.
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