4113 posts categorized "Human Rights"

February 04, 2016

The President Speaks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore

President Obama was right to speak at an American mosque, as Jeb Bush agreed.

D.C. Council passes LGBT ‘cultural competency’ bill

GLAA is proud to have supported this bill.

February 03, 2016

Russia fines gay activist for giving advice to LGBTI teens

February 02, 2016

After 61 years, US Army vet kicked out for being gay gets honorable discharge

A User's Guide to This Year's Transphobic Legislation

January 31, 2016

Bolivian Feminists Revolt Against Christianity

(Hat tip: Craig Howell)

Women in the World 2012: Meryl Streep's Tribute to Hillary Clinton

From four years ago, an extraordinary and illuminating tribute to our former Secretary of State. You may learn things you didn't know from this. And if you have bought into the decades of calumny, you may decide you have sold her short. Appropriate viewing on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

January 30, 2016

Since Mormon church enacted anti-gay policy, 32 young LGBTI people have killed themselves

January 29, 2016

Russian lawyer accuses goat and tiger of breaking 'gay propaganda' law

Not The Onion.

Former Australia PM to anti-gay group: Marriage must be kept 'undamaged'

Oh, so he's opposed to adultery and divorce? Nah, he's just against us. Phooey.

New Taipei City to start registering gay couples next week

A gay couple's lawsuit is the first test for same-sex marriage in China

I love this NYT photo of Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang. They have summoned the same simple courage as countless other gay folk all over the world in standing up for their love. They inspire others, and the struggle grows and spreads.

January 27, 2016

Indiana Senate Committee Kills Anti-Gay 'RFRA On Steroids' Bill

Five years later, Uganda's LGBT groups on David Kato’s murder

January 26 was the fifth anniversary of the brutal murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato. His colleagues have carried on with great courage and remarkable grace. Below is video from Kato's funeral in 2011, where his friends carried his coffin themselves.

January 25, 2016

Ian McKellen on Oscars: Industry is also discriminating against gay people

Pope Francis reiterates opposition to same-sex marriage

Dear gay Catholics, His Holiness is not that into you.

Creating Shame: Anti-Israel protest misguided, offensive

An excellent commentary by Kevin Naff on the last week's contretemps at Creating Change.

January 23, 2016

Protesters disrupt reception with Israeli activists at LGBT conference

UN lodges protest over Malawi political party spokesman's 'kill the gays' remarks

Chinese couple will have first hearing regarding marriage January 28

January 21, 2016

Biden speaks about LGBT rights at World Economic Forum

Former Botswana president speaks in support of LGBT rights

#TN Lawmakers Kill Bill That Would Void Same-Sex Marriage, Cost $8.5 Billion

January 20, 2016

Task Force reverses decision to cancel the ‘Beyond the Bridge’ reception

I am glad to see this development. ADL responds below.

January 19, 2016

LGBT contingent marches in D.C.’s MLK parade

GLAA VP for Political Affairs Charles Butler is quoted in this story.

Russia's Duma rejects bill banning gays from coming out

LGBT group cancels conference reception with Israeli activists

Allowing diverse voices to be heard and challenged is essential to advancing equality and dignity for all. Enforcement of some folks' view of ideological purity is no better coming from the left than from the right. I say as a strong critic of Netanyahu's policies and war crimes that the Task Force's action in this case was pernicious and lamentable.

Our colleague Craig Howell writes, "Illustrating why I haven’t been a Task Force member for years." Our friend Dana Beyer wrote a bracing response.

January 18, 2016

A hazardous challenge at the heart of eloquence

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Republicans praise him even as they work relentlessly to dismantle the social safety net. Their Martin is just a source of noble sentiments, safely emasculated and safely dead. But he did not get a national holiday and a national monument by being safe. He had to connect, yes, and his brilliance as an orator was evident the moment he stepped into the pulpit of Holt Street Baptist Church for a mass meeting of the Montgomery Improvement Association on Dec. 5, 1955 to launch a bus boycott.

But key to his power and greatness was his challenge to the nation, evident in these words from that speech, which many in power took as a threat worth killing over. Only by taking up that challenge do we properly honor him.

My friends, I want it to be known that we're going to work with grim and bold determination to gain justice on the buses in this city.

And we are not wrong; we are not wrong in what we are doing. If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Imagine being that brilliant at age 26. It never ceases to provoke awe.

January 17, 2016

Trump slams Cruz for taking money from 'people who espouse gay marriage'

15-year-old girl arrested in Metro attack on gay couple

A disturbing story.

GOP Lawmaker's Anti-Gay Marriage Campaign Backfiring in Tennessee

Taiwan's newly elected first female president supports same-sex marriage

January 15, 2016

A voice still with us

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Happy 87th birthday, Dr. King. We still hear your challenging voice.

What Pope Benedict Knew About Abuse in the Catholic Church

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Photo by Vincenzo Pinto / AFP / Getty)

As The New Yorker reports, the Church sexual abuse scandal got as close as to Benedict XVI's brother Georg Ratzinger, who was director of the Regensburg Choir when more than two hundred children were victimized there. But possibly the most damning case was that of Father Maciel:

Most cases of abuse were handled (or not handled) by local bishops and archbishops, but some were adjudicated by Cardinal Ratzinger’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The most prominent of these cases was that of Father Marcial Maciel, a favorite of Pope John Paul II and the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, a powerful Mexican religious order that, at its pinnacle, included eight hundred priests, fifteen universities, and a hundred and fifty prep schools, as well as a lay movement with a reported seventy thousand followers.

In the seventies and eighties, former members of the Legionaries reported that, as young boys, they had been sexually abused by Maciel. As the Church later acknowledged, the complainants were highly credible and had no ulterior motives: they were not seeking monetary compensation or notoriety. They followed Church procedures by filing formal charges through ecclesiastical courts in Rome, but nothing was done. In fact, Pope John Paul II called on Maciel to accompany him on papal visits to Mexico in 1979, 1990, and 1993.

When one of the former Legionaries expressed his frustration, in the lawsuit, about the Church’s inaction, Berry and Renner reported in their book, the Legionaries’ own canon lawyer, Martha Wegan, who made no secret that her first loyalty was to the Church, replied, “It is better for eight innocent men to suffer than for millions to lose their faith.”

(Hat tip: Craig Howell)

January 14, 2016

Anglican Church Suspends Its US Affiliate Over Same-Sex Marriage

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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivers his Christmas Day sermon (Chris Ratcliffe / Getty Images)

BuzzFeed reports:

Leaders of the 80-million-member Anglican Communion decided Thursday to suspend its U.S. affiliate, the Episcopal Church, for a three-year period in response to a decision last year allowing priests to marry same-sex couples.

There can be no true communion with people if you have to abandon your conscience to preserve it. There is a de facto schism already. Our friend Bob Witeck writes:

America's Episcopal leaders are listening to their "better angels." They understand that people of faith alleviate pain, rather than add more to the world.

Mayor Bowser, Verizon announce support for LGBT homeless youth

Nearly half of D.C.'s homeless youth are LGBT

Blade: LGBT groups cautious over decriminalizing sex work

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D.C. Council member David Grosso said he was reconsidering introducing legislation to decriminalize prostitution in D.C. because he’s unsure it would pass. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Lou Chibbaro reports for the Blade on the push to decriminalize sex work, or at least to de-prioritize enforcement of anti-prostitution laws, an effort which many LGBT groups including GLAA have supported because so many already marginalized LGBT youth and trans women end up in the criminal justice system due to their having to rely on survival sex. Here is an excerpt that mentions GLAA and quotes me:

In D.C., the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance has been calling for decriminalization of sex work since 2008. D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At-Large), a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, said at the time of the Amnesty International declaration last August that he was considering introducing legislation to decriminalize prostitution in D.C.

But Grosso has since said he’s uncertain about whether such a bill would have any chance of passing at this time and he was reconsidering his plans for the legislation.

At a news conference on Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and an official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced plans for a cooperative D.C.-federal government effort to crack down on human trafficking, including trafficking of sex workers. When asked by a Blade reporter what they thought about calls by some LGBT organizations to decriminalize prostitution, Bowser and Maria Odom, the head of a Department of Homeland Security project to combat trafficking stopped short of backing decriminalization.

Continue reading "Blade: LGBT groups cautious over decriminalizing sex work" »

January 13, 2016

Who's Doing the Planting

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My Blade column this week looks at the struggle to connect amid turmoil. Here's an excerpt:

Public discussions these days seem to dredge up the nastiest extrusions of our national psyche in a destructive competition. Withdrawing from the melee would only make matters worse by conceding the field to mischief-makers. So how do we gracefully stand our ground in a contentious environment?

We cannot spend all our time with the like-minded. At some point we have to leave our echo chambers and uphold our positions. There is no perfectly safe way to be true to ourselves.

Twitter is a place of fluid boundaries, so I was not surprised that one source of light on gun control is actor Jeffrey Wright (Angels in America, Boardwalk Empire, The Hunger Games). He posted a meme on January 7 quoting former Chief Justice Warren Burger: "The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies - the militia - would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires."

One of Wright's trolls replied, "Fuck you, Buckwheat, & this clueless, liberal judge legislating from the bench!" Wright calmly noted that he was quoting a Republican appointee, and added, "I associate more with Stymie," another black Little Rascals character. With wit and poise, he kept the upper hand. It might have been time-wasting had it been a private message, but he shared the exchange with his 80,000 followers. There is a point of diminishing returns, of course, for which the "block" button is handy.

Each of us strikes a different balance between comfort from comrades and abuse from adversaries. Some of us enjoy arguing more than others. The key consideration for the reality-based is persuasion. Mere insults appeal only to those already persuaded.

Read the whole thing here.

Lesbian murdered, mutilated in South Africa

Another awful reminder that the struggle for LGBT equality and dignity is not done, even where it has seen great advances.