April 17, 2013
New Zealand has just become the 13th country in the world to legalize gay marriage. The third reading of a marriage equality bill was held in the New Zealand parliament today and was passed by a vote of 77 to 44.
The Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Louisa Wall, said that “excluding one group from marriage was oppressive and unacceptable” and that “nothing could make me more proud to be a New Zealander than passing this bill.”
Customs Minister Maurice Williamson said “I give a promise to those people who are opposed to this bill right now… the sun will still rise tomorrow, your teenage daughter will still argue back with you as if she knows everything, your mortgage will not grow, you will not have skin disease or rashes or toads in your bed.”
“So don’t make this into a big deal, this is fantastic for the people if affects but for most of us life will go on.”
The legislative council session was opened to the public, and over 300 people watched the vote live. There were a few opponents of the bill present at the session, many of whom were seen praying during the speeches. They left quietly after the bill was passed.
The first same-sex marriages in New Zealand will be performed in August.
March 13, 2013
In a new interview, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked Obama if he believes gay marriage should be a right under the Constitution.
“Well, I’ve gotta tell you that — in terms of practical politics, what I’ve seen is a healthy debate taking place state by state, and not every state has the exact same attitudes and cultural mores. And I — you know, my thinking was that this is traditionally a state issue and — that it will work itself out,” he said. “On the other hand — what I also believe is that the core principle that people don’t get discriminated against — that’s one of our core values. And it’s in our Constitution.”
Stephanopoulos then asked whether Obama could imagine a circumstance wherein a state’s gay marriage ban could pass constitutional muster.
“Well, I can’t, personally. I cannot,” Obama responded. “That’s part of the reason I said, ultimately, I think that, same-sex couples should be able to marry. That’s my personal position. And, frankly, that’s the position that’s reflected — in the briefs that we filed — in the Supreme Court.”
The full transcript of the interview is available here.
March 7, 2013
The US State department just unveiled a new website last month, designed especially for LGBT travelers. The site includes advice, a Q&A page, and a country-specific guide to legal protections around the world.
The guide discusses which countries criminalize “consensual same-sex relations” and discuss precautions a family can take when traveling, like carrying documents to verify custody of children.
Some tips from the site include:
Be a responsible tourist. Avoid potentially risky situations, and don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do at home!
Remember that you are subject to the laws and the judicial process of the country you’re visiting.
Avoid excessive physical displays of affection in public, particularly in more conservative countries or regions.
If you intend to frequent Internet chat rooms or other meeting places, it’s wise to find out about the local situation.
Be wary of new-found “friends” – criminals sometimes exploit the generally open and relaxed nature of the LGBT scene.
If you receive unwelcome attention or unwelcome remarks, it’s usually best to ignore them.
Some resorts or LGBT neighborhoods can be quite segregated. Be aware that local residents may not approve of expressions of sexuality
when you are in surrounding areas.
You’re more likely to experience difficulties in rural areas, so exercise discretion.
Some hotels, especially in rural areas, won’t accept bookings from same-sex couples. It’s best to check before you go.
March 5, 2013
Carly Rae Jepsen has cancelled her scheduled performance at the National Boy Scouts of America Jamboree, and has publicly stated that the reason is organization’s exclusion of gays.
Jepsen made the following statement this week on Twitter. “I always have and will continue to support the LGBT community on a global level,” she wrote, “… and stay informed on the ever changing landscape in the ongoing battle for gay rights in this country and across the globe.”
The band Train has (almost) followed suit, asking the organization, via the band website, to reconsider its policy rather than immediately pulling out of the show.
“Train strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen,” the statement said. “We have always seen the BSA as a great and noble organization. We look forward to participating in the Jamboree this summer, as long as they make the right decision before then.”
The event usually draws a crowd of more than 45,000 scouts and adults.
February 14, 2013
Happy Valentine’s Day from Revel & Riot. Make it an LGBT V-day with our LGBT card set!
February 13, 2013
Gay marriage in France, under Francois Hollande’s presidency, is now closer to becoming legal this week, as the National Assembly approved a draft law. The measure was pushed through the Assembly with a vote of 329 to 229.
Leader of the Socialist MPs in the Assembly, Bruno Le Roux said: “We won’t judge people in terms of their sexual orientation by differentiating any more. It’s one fewer difference to be made, so it really is a great day for equal rights.”
“This law is going to extend to all families the protections guaranteed by the institution of marriage.” Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said ahead of yesterday’s vote.
Opposition to the law is still strong from conservatives in France, whose population is predominantly Catholic. The bill will now head to the senate, which is also dominated by the Socialist party.
February 5, 2013
Earlier today the British House of Commons passed a bill that legalizes gay marriage. It passed with a large majority of the vote of 400 to 175, as Prime Minister David Cameron (who supports the bill) directed MPs to vote according to their conscience rather than under party orders.
The bill isn’t quite in the clear yet, and is a couple steps from becoming law, although it is believed that it will pass the House of Commons with strong support from Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. When the bill moves on to the House of Lords, it is thought that it will be less favored, however it can only reject the law once: if the House of Commons passes it again in the next session, the House of Lords cannot reject it again.
The new law proposes legalising same-sex marriage in England and Wales in 2014. It would also allow civil partners to convert their partnerships into marriages. A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times in London last week showed 55% approved of legalising gay marriage, while 36% opposed it.
January 25, 2013
Earlier today, the British government published a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. The members of Parliament will get their first vote on the bill on February 5th.
The Marriage Same Sex Couples Bill extends marriage rights to gay couples but allows the clergy in the Church of England to refuse to perform gay wedding ceremonies.
“We feel that marriage is a good thing and we should be supporting more couples to marry and that is exactly what the proposals being brought forward today do,” Equalities Minister Maria Miller told BBC radio.
She went on to say: “The values of marriage bind families and communities together and bring stability. I believe that couples should not be excluded from marriage just because they love someone of the same sex. In opening up marriage to same-sex couples, we will further strengthen the importance of marriage in our society.”
For the last seven years, gay couples in that country have been able to form legal civil partnerships, which give them some of the same rights as heterosexual married partners.
January 21, 2013
President Barack Obama gave his inaugural address earlier today, and made history when he made two references to gay rights in his speech.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said.
He then went on to mention the historic Stonewall Riots, likening it to other major turning points in civil rights and women’s suffrage movements. “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall,” Obama said.
This is the first time in history a President has ever used the word “gay” in an inaugural address. Let’s hope he continues to make history in his final term, and commits to creating real change for LGBT Americans.
January 16, 2013
A proposal to rename the San Francisco International Airport in honor of Harvey Milk, is going to go before voters on the November 5 ballot if a measure introduced yesterday by Supervisor David Campos is approved by the Board of Supervisors.
“It’s about time that an out gay person was recognized on this international scale,” state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said in a statement released by Campos’s office.
Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport would be the first airport named after an openly gay person in America. Harvey Milk, a Revel and Riot role model, was San Francisco City Supervisors, the first openly gay man elected to public office in U.S. history. He was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone in 1978 by former Supervisor Dan White.
Stuart Milk, Harvey’s nephew and co-founder of the Harvey Milk foundation, said in a statement that he hopes to see support for an action he said will have “huge, huge implications” worldwide. “When you think of the 9 million international visitors, coming from many of the 77 countries where it’s still illegal to be LGBT – people forget that there are still 77 countries where it’s criminal to be who you are,” he said. “To be in Dubai, and see on the board a flight that ends at Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport, or to be a young Pakistani, in a country where it is illegal to be gay, look up and see the name of a gay icon and feel, ‘I am not alone’ – it resonates back to my uncle and the calls he got from places like Altoona, Pa., when he was elected.”
More Revel News
March 22, 2013
On March 26, 2013 marriage equality supporters will gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., 8:30am – be there! For more information check here on the Human Rights Campaign website.
This coming Tuesday, March 26 2013 and this Wednesday, March 27, The Supreme court of the United States will hear arguments in the case of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, two crucial cases in the fight for LGBT civil rights and marriage equality.
Prop 8 is the California measuring banning same-sex marriage, and DOMA is a law that defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman, and is used to deprive same-sex couples hundreds of civil rights and benefits such as hospital visitations, child custody, immigration law, tax benefits, automatic inheritance and more.
Such is the example of Edith Windsor, the 83 year old plaintiff in the DOMA case, who was made to pay $363,000 in estate taxes upon the death of her partner of almost 50 years. Thea Spyer had left Windsor her shares of the property they had bought together, and because the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, Windsor was denied the right that straight married couples have to automatic inheritance. “If Thea was Theo,” said Windsor “I would not have had to pay” those taxes. “It’s heartbreaking,” she adds. “It’s just a terrible injustice, and I don’t expect that from my country. I think it’s a mistake that has to get corrected.”United States v. Windsor, will be heard on March 27, 2013.
NPR, The New Yorker, The NY Times have all published inspiring stories about Edith and Thea’s love story, the struggles and triumphs of being gay through the decades, and their eventual marriage, which happened in Canada less than two years before Thea’s death from multiple sclerosis.
March 13, 2013
The new pope, 76-year old Jorge Mario Bergoglio (who has chosen the name Francis I) was today named as the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. He’s also the first non-European leader of the church in more than 1,200 years and before today had been the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
While Archbishop, Bergoglio sent a missive to monasteries denouncing a bill that had brought marriage equality to Argentina, saying: “Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
Bergoglio has also called allowing gays to adopt a form of child abuse. He once called abortion a “death sentence” for unborn children, and has urged pro-life “messengers” to continue their fight against the “culture of death”.
Just as a quick reminder of what the Catholic Church is most famous for these days; from 1960 to 2010, more than 30,000 people in 25 countries have come forward and accused priests of molestation. It is estimated that at least 1 out of every 15 Roman Catholic priests serving in the United States during the first half of the 20th Century abused minors. Neuro-scientist Sam Harris has described the church as harboring an “army of child rapists”.
March 6, 2013
BERLIN — Klaus Born vividly recalls his first brush with the law, which took place along a quiet street in West Berlin in the 1960s, when being gay carried a prison sentence on both sides of the Berlin Wall.
Mr. Born and another man had driven to a dark parking lot and crawled into the back seat. Once they began having sex, they saw bright flashlights and heard brusque voices as they were surrounded. A police car was idling nearby, ready to take them away.
“I was terrified. I had no idea what they were going to do to me,” said Mr. Born, 68, who spent a little over a month in prison after the episode. “ ‘Gay pig,’ they always used to say.”
According to the law, his conviction still stands, which Mr. Born considers a moral affront and a legal stigma that hurts to this day.
Germany’s failure to expunge the arrests of victims of a legal system that kept a Nazi-era ban on homosexuality on the books for decades after World War II is indicative of the slow pace of reforms on gay equality, despite a generally liberal populace.
The country’s foreign minister and the mayor of Berlin are both openly gay, and the Federal Constitutional Court has set multiple precedents to strengthening gay rights under the Basic Law, Germany’s Constitution, most recently by expanding adoption rights for same-sex couples. But the dominant party here, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, long champions of traditional family values, still drag their feet when it comes to gay equality.
When leading members of Ms. Merkel’s party went on the record last month saying they were ready to consider equal tax benefits for gay couples, their comments drew swift criticism from the party’s socially conservative wing.
Yet with a general election approaching in September, Ms. Merkel appears aware that a shift to the left on gay issues, similar to left-of-center stances she has taken on military conscription and the minimum wage, could undercut her opponents’ campaign by giving them one less thing to criticize. So there may yet be a further move before the election to clear the records of gays persecuted in the past.
Men who were forced to wear the pink triangle, the Nazis’ way of identifying homosexuals in concentration camps, received a measure of justice in 2002 when the German government formally apologized and agreed to compensate them. In 2008, Berlin unveiled a memorial for the Holocaust’s gay victims, a tall concrete slab with a TV screen on one side that displays a video loop of two men or two women kissing.
But victims of Germany’s postwar homophobia have received only modest redress. Parliament officially apologized to them in 2000, but roughly 50,000 men persecuted after World War II have yet to have convictions of sodomy stricken from their police records, according to Manfred Bruns, a retired federal prosecutor and an executive board member at the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany.
No one seems to know how many of those people are still alive, or if they would come forward to seek redress. But calls are growing for Germany to clear the records of remaining victims before they die. Volker Beck, a lawmaker with the opposition Greens and a proponent of gay rights, is one of several members of Parliament who are pushing for legislation that would expunge the records and perhaps offer financial compensation.
“For a lot of these men, criminal persecution in the ’50s spelled disaster for their entire civil existence,” he said.
The road to a cleared record is bumpy still. In particular, a 1957 decision from the Constitutional Court declared the homophobic law, better known as Paragraph 175, to be constitutional, solidifying its place in West German law. The law’s scope was limited in 1969, but homosexuality was not formally decriminalized until 1994.
To clear the victims’ records, Parliament would effectively have to overrule that 1957 Constitutional Court finding — an especially contentious move in a country where there is deep respect for judicial authority. There is also debate over whether Parliament has the power to effectively overrule court decisions that were made in a very different era.
“In the 1950s and ’60s West Germany viewed itself as a Christian, Occidental society rather than a pluralistic one,” noted Mr. Bruns.
To date, Germany has expunged the records only of people caught up in the draconian legal systems of Nazism and East German Communism. “There is no mechanism for getting rid of old Constitutional Court decisions,” Mr. Bruns said. “When the court’s view of the law changes, then it simply rules accordingly and old verdicts are paved over.”
An important hearing before a parliamentary committee in May could determine whether a law is passed or even drafted by September.
Mr. Born said he just wants his record cleared before he dies.
Sitting in his ground-floor apartment here, surrounded by souvenirs from decades of travel, Mr. Born flipped through a dusty album until he came to an old photograph of himself clad in black leather from head to toe and beaming at the camera. He treasures his keepsakes from years ago, when his partner, Jürgen, was still alive.
“It’s not about the money. No one cares about that,” Mr. Born said. “These convictions hurt people.”
In 2001 Germany began recognizing civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, though LGBT Germans do not have equality despite the fact that roughly 75% of Germans support same-sex marriage. In February of this year, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that gays and lesbians should have the right to adopt children already adopted by their partners and tax benefits for civil unions is currently being debated. Gay rights will be a significant campaign issue in Germany’s parliamentary elections this year.
February 4, 2013
Later this week, the Boy Scouts of America is set to vote on whether to lift the ban on gay members that it had reaffirmed last year. As a private organization, the Scouts are allowed to set their own policies about membership. Several high-profile cases in which openly gay Scouts or Scout masters have been removed from the organization have garnered media attention over the past several years, with many long-term members being removed from the organization. Yesterday, in an interview with CBS anchor Scott Pelley, President Barack Obama gave his opinion on the matter.
Pelley asked the president if he believed that Boy Scouts membership should be open to gay people.
“Yes,” Obama replied immediately.
He went on to say:
“My attitude is … that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life.”
The White House said last summer during the presidential campaign that Obama he opposed the Scouts’ policy of excluding gays as members.
Naturally, several Republicans have already weighed in, including Rick Perry, who said that he hopes “the board will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive of the values that make Scouting this very important and impactful organization.” In other words, he hopes that the organization will continue to use archaic and bigoted policies in regards to their membership requirements.
January 4, 2013
You can finally serve in the US military if you’re openly LGBT, but if you work at the Pentagon, you won’t be able to visit any LGBT news or information sites from your desk. John Aravosis from AmericaBlog recently published an article about how the US Department of Defense has blocked internal computers from accessing a number of websites that are categorized as “LGBT.”
“It’s bad enough the United States Department of Defense censors Towleroad and AMERICAblog – banning the gay civil rights Web sites from being accessed on DOD computers – and it’s even worse that the Pentagon has no problem permitting their computers to access Ann Coulter’s and Rush Limbaugh’s hate-filled Web sites,” Aravosis writes.
Outserve.org, a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal group has also had it’s website banned, regardless of the fact that the organization has over 4,000 members and is considered “one of the largest LGBT employee resource groups in the world.”
These actions by the Pentagon contradict a statement from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last year in which he said, “Going forward, I remain committed to removing as many barriers as possible to make America’s military a model of equal opportunity, to ensure all who are qualified can serve in America’s military, and to give every man and woman in uniform the opportunity to rise to their highest potential.”
AmericaBlog also noted that many anti-gay political right-wing sites, such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter’s sites – were not banned.
Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women & the 23rd Anniversary of the Montréal Massacre
December 6, 2012
23 years ago today, Marc Lepine entered the Universite de Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique with a hunting rifle. He chose one classroom, and told all of the men to to leave the room. He then systematically shot every woman in the room. After he was finished in the classroom, he walked through the school, continuing to shoot women before he put the gun to his own head and killed himself.
In his suicide note, Lepine blamed feminists for ruining his life. He also had a hit list of 19 women other women that he wanted to kill because they were feminists.
The Women That Died:
Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student.
Helène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student.
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student.
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department.
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student.
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student.
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student.
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student.
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student
November 16, 2012
The examination of the text outlining the law for marriage equality, to be submitted before the French Ministers Council, has now been pushed to January 15th, 2013.
Will marriage equality be adopted in France? Will same-sex couples be given the same rights to adopt as heterosexual couples? These questions have been heavily debated on national television, radio and newspapers.
In 1960, homosexuality was categorized as a “social ill” by General De Gaulle’s Deputy Paul Mirguet. The law authorized the government to take all necessary measures to
combat this “social ill.” In 1968, the French government labelled homosexuality a mental illness.
While France’s motto is “liberty, equality, fraternity,” French women only gained the right to vote in 1944, the right to an abortion in 1975, and homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1982.
Article 331 of the Civil Code, abolished in 1982, made “all persons who commit an indecent act or an act against nature with a minor of the same sex” punishable to six
months to three years in prison and a fine. There was never a complimentary law for heterosexuals committing “indecent acts or an act against nature with a minor of the
Unfortunately this law, which François Fillion (Sarkozy’s prime minister from 2007-2012 and current candidate for the UMP party leadership, France’s right wing
conservative party) voted to preserve, has left a stain on the French social fabric.
Today, when discussing marriage equality and adoption, French politicians from the left and right, make subtle connections between homosexuality, pedophilia, sex with
animals, polygamy, perversion and decadence.
Here are just a few examples:
In 2012, the mayor of Paris’s eighth arrondissement mailed an official municipal bulletin to citizens in which he expressed his opposition to marriage equality, which he equated with polygamy, incest and pedophilia.
In October of 2012, major political figures, including former Minister Rachida Dati and former Prime Minister Pierre Raffarin attended a yearly Catholic mass at Sainte
Clothilde in Paris, catered especially for France’s political elite, where the Archbishop of Paris gave a sermon denouncing marriage equality. Although France is a republic and the laws of 1905 prohibit the Church from meddling in political or state affairs, the many Deputies and Senators who were met by reporters as they exited the church didn’t seem to be concerned with this oversight.
Again in 2012, the French mayor Noel Faucher declared on twitter that homosexuality was a form of species self-destruction.
In 2002, UMP Deputy Pierre Lelouche stated, “sterilize them (homosexuals)” during the debates on civil unions for gays.
The socialist mayor of Lyon, Gérard Collomb, equated marriage equality with the “slow destruction of society that would lead to wombs for hire like in California.” He also
dismissed marriage equality, like many politicians in France, by saying that his gay friends didn’t express an interest in getting married.
Sarkozy’s former Minister of Housing, Christine Boutin, has staged, through her Association Vita, protests in 75 French cities last week. The association deems it a child’s right to have a mother and father. Its tagline is “we protect society’s most vulnerable.” Christine Boutin, who is legally married to her cousin, is head of the Christian Democratic Party and brought a Bible into the National Assembly (which is not allowed under French laws that separate church and state) and gave a five and a half hour speech against gay civil unions in 1999. She stated in a radio interview recently that allowing marriage equality would be like unleashing an atomic bomb on civilization and called for a national referendum.
The “protection” of the “traditional” family is an issue underlying another main issue in the debate over Francois Hollande’s “Engagement 31″ – medically assisted procreation, and adoption of children by a same-sex couple. Though recent polls show increasing support for the right of same-sex couples to marry (65%), support for the right of same-sex couple to adopt lags behind at 52%.
Historically, the definition and characterization of homosexuality in France has been mainly constructed by the Catholic Church, old films like “La Cage Aux Folles”
and repressive laws, the French population, born after 1960, is still influenced by these outdated stereotypes and distortions.
For example, when the Catholic Church was embroiled with sexual abuse scandals in 2010 (in which over 100 pupils of the Ettal monastery in Bavaria, Germany accused
monks and teachers of decades of sadistic torment and sexual abuse), Cardinal Tarcisio, the Vatican Secretary of State, stated, “psychologists and psychiatrists
have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true. That is the problem.” ( Pope Benedict XVI led the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising from 1977 and 1982 where the Ettal monastery is situated.)
These homophobic misrepresentations are exacerbated by the fact that very few public figures in France whether in music, film, politics, or sport are openly gay and defend homosexual rights to equality. There have only been a handful of public figures that have come out of the closet (Paris’s mayor, Amelie Mauresmo), but most shy away from discussing equal rights.
Because there are so few gay public figures to challenge the homophobia that has creeped into this national marriage equality debate, the discussion, as a result, is being mainly shaped by homophobes and their friends who defend their right to free speech. While free speech has found enthusiastic supporters, marriage equality is still waiting for more voices to be raised on its behalf, like writer/director Virginie Despentes’s response to homophobic remarks made by former Prime Minister Lionel Josphin – published this week on TÊTU.com.
Hopefully, “equality, liberty and fraternity” in France will be defended in the coming months as debate and protest continues.
by Revel & Riot contributor, Sophie Decret
November 13, 2012
The now notorious anti-gay legislation, which was first proposed by Parliament member David Bahati and is known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, is set to become law in Uganda by the end of the year. Homosexual acts are already a crime in Uganda, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but this new legislation will impose harsher punishments and expanded restrictions. The bill includes the death penalty to those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” and life imprisonment for those convicted of the offense of homosexuality.
Yesterday, Rebecca Kadaga – speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, announced that the bill was being passed. According to the AP:
“Ugandans “are demanding it,” she said, reiterating a promise she made before a meeting on Friday of anti-gay activists who spoke of “the serious threat” posed by homosexuals to Uganda’s children. Some Christian clerics at the meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, asked the speaker to pass the law as “a Christmas gift.”
“Speaker, we cannot sit back while such (a) destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation,” the activists said in a petition. “We therefore, as responsible citizens, feel duty-bound to bring this matter to your attention as the leader of Parliament … so that lawmakers can do something to quickly address the deteriorating situation in our nation.”
The anti-gay activists paraded in front of Kadaga, with parents and schoolchildren holding up signs saying homosexuality is “an abomination.” The speaker then promised to consider the bill within two weeks, declaring that “the power is in our hands.”
“Who are we not to do what they have told us? These people should not be begging us,” Kadaga said of activists who want the bill to become law.
The root cause of this extreme legislation and homophobia? American Christian evangelicals, of course. Several governments and human rights organizations have publicly condemned Uganda for the bill and the European Union has said that they will cut financial aid to Uganda when the bill passes.
September 10, 2012
Just in time for National Suicide Prevention Week, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention in the U.S. has released its 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. According to the Washington Blade, the strategy includes several suicide prevention measures specific to the LGBT community.
For one thing, the strategy specifies that LGBT people may be at a higher risk of suicide not because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, but because of cultural stigma and discrimination. For LGBT youth, there may also be a case of contagion when media unknowingly covers youth suicide as if it were a natural response to bullying.
“A meta-analysis of 25 international population-based studies found the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts in gay and bisexual male adolescents and adults was four times that of comparable heterosexual males,” the strategy states. “Lifetime suicide attempt rates among lesbian and bisexual females were almost twice those of heterosexual females.”
To combat LGBT suicide, the strategy advocates for incorporating suicide prevention into health care, access to LGBT-affirming mental health resources, and ending bullying and discriminatory laws. The Trevor Project also recently launched ‘Talk to Me,’ a campaign encouraging people to be vocal about supporting one another. For more info on LGBT suicide prevention, have a look at our page on the subject.
- Camille Beredjick
September 7, 2012
63-year-old military veteran Bob Garon met Presidential candidate Mitt Romney late last year and asked him point blank about his opinions on same-sex marriage at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. This video of their conversation is making the rounds now, and it deserves to be seen. Romney starts by trying to connect to the war veteran, until Garon reveals that he is very much PRO-gay marriage and is in fact there with his husband, whom he had married just a few months earlier. Romney fumbles the response, and makes a hasty and uncomfortable exit. Garon spoke to the press as soon as Romney ran away, saying “I went and I fought for my country. I did my thing. And I think that my spouse should be entitled to the same entitlements that if I was married to a woman. What the hell’s the difference?!”
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