Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Auschwitz - Christmas 2009 - "Make Immediate Amends & Save Lives, J.A.R. Time Is Running Out, End Hitler's Atrocities. Bring Peace On Earth."


Pope ‘led cover-up of child abuse… London Evening Standard - standard.co.uk

This is about the reckless endangerment of children in a calculated, purposeful strategy to protect the institutional Church – The Christian Science Monitor

New Catholic Sex Abuse Findings: Gay Priests Are Not the Problem – by David Gibson – Politics Daily

Prayers for Bobby 2009

Family Acceptance Project


Joseph Alois Ratzinger

Malawi gay couple to face court after engagement – BBC News & Ruby-Sachs, 365gay.com

"We arrested them because they committed an offence; homosexuality in Malawi is illegal," police spokesman Davie Chingwalu told the BBC.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza held a traditional engagement ceremony over the weekend - believed to be the first gay couple in Malawi to do so.

Homosexuality carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years in Malawi. Photos

The pair are being held in separate cells in Blantyre until their case is heard, Mr Chingwalu told the BBC's Network Africa programme. Read complete articleBBC News

Ruby-Sachs: Gay Malawi Couple Arrested for Having Engagement Party - 365gay.com

Sometimes when we are navigating the complicated social and legal mine fields in the United States, we forget the freedoms we have. Trudging from one awkward family interaction, all those parties for LGBT people with no family to go home to, long conversations about finding a nice [insert opposite sex gender term here] to settle down with, these kinds of holiday traditions can make a queer person feel pretty crappy about themselves.

But a couple in Malawi are struggling for much more basic rights. They were arrested over the weekend for having a same-sex engagement party. Homosexuality in Malawi is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

There are a group of Malawi LGBT people organizing for gay rights in the country. They hope to use the Bill of Rights, incorporated into the constitution in 1995, to protect their membership from prosecution under the anti-gay criminal law. The government is resisting, citing, among other reasons, the rising rate of HIV in the country.

Education and the kind of high profile protest like this past weekend’s engagement party will eventually lead to increased freedoms for Malawi. With South Africa leading the way, there is hope that semi-democratic nations (Malawi has elections, just a lot of corruption to go with it), will be more tolerant of their LGBT citizens. Still, the struggle is long (as Americans know) and the couple in Malawi are just beginning the journey. Read complete article - By Emma Ruby-Sachs, 365gay.com

Uganda - Hillary Clinton denounces Ugandan ’kill the gays’ bill – by Rex Wockner – BAY WINDOWS

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has denounced Uganda’s "kill the gays" bill during an appearance at Georgetown University.

She also addressed anti-gay activity in Iraq and Iran.

"Over this past year, we have elevated into our human rights dialogues and our public statements a very clear message about protecting the rights of the LGBT community worldwide," Clinton said. "And we are particularly concerned about some of the specific cases that have come to our attention around the world. There have been organized efforts to kill and maim gays and lesbians in some countries that we have spoken out about, and also conveyed our very strong concerns about to their governments -- not that they were governmentally implemented or even that the government was aware of them, but that the governments need to pay much greater attention to the kinds of abuses that we’ve seen in Iraq, for example."

"We are deeply concerned," she continued, "about some of the stories coming out of Iran. In large measure, in reaction, we think, to the response to the elections back in June, there have been abuses committed within the detention facilities and elsewhere that we are deeply concerned about. And then the...piece of legislation in Uganda, which would not only criminalize homosexuality but attach the death penalty to it. We have expressed our concerns directly, indirectly, and we will continue to do so. The bill has not gone through the Ugandan legislature, but it has a lot of public support by various groups, including religious leaders in Uganda. And we view it as a very serious potential violation of human rights. Read complete article - by Rex Wockner – BAY WINDOWS

Related link:

Uganda's anti-gay bill giant step backward - By Tammerlin Drummond – San Jose Mercury News

Supportive links:

AUSCHWITZ - CHRISTMAS 2008 - A flashback far more severe than in - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Merry Christmas "Make Immediate Amends & Save Lives, JAR. Time Is Running Out, End Hitler's Atrocities. Bring Peace On Earth."

“2008” Benedict XVI’s Christmas Message, Hopefully His Message Will Be Christ-like For “2009”

Gay marriage closer to reality in Mexico – La Plaza – Los Angeles Times

Tracy Wilkinson

in Mexico City

Mexico City on Tuesday formally put on the books a law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, with Mayor Marcelo Ebrard rejecting demands he veto the controversial measure.

The law was published in the official government newspaper, and will go into effect in 45 days. It was passed by a comfortable margin by this sprawling capital's legislature last week.

The conservative National Action Party, which controls the federal government, and the Roman Catholic Church have both condemned the law as an affront to the traditional family. Both wanted to block it. Photos

Using Christmas season celebrations as their platform, senior church officials decried the law as "immoral." "We have seen with impotence, pain and consternation ... [this] blow to the most intimate structure of Mexican families, the institution over which our nation has built its rich history, values and spirituality," Cardinal Norberto Rivera said. Read complete article - Tracy Wilkinson - La Plaza – Los Angeles Times

Related links:

Pope ‘led cover-up of child abuse… London Evening Standard - standard.co.uk

This is about the reckless endangerment of children in a calculated, purposeful strategy to protect the institutional Church – The Christian Science Monitor

New Catholic Sex Abuse Findings: Gay Priests Are Not the Problem – by David Gibson – Politics Daily



LAPD drops ties with the Boy Scouts – by Timothy Kincaid – Box Turtle Bulletin

In 2000, the Boy Scouts of America went to the US Supreme Court to defend their right to exclude members based solely on their sexual orientation. And since that time, they have insisted that all scout troops – even those in which the community, the scout leaders, and the parents wish otherwise – expel and exclude gay scouts and leaders. They also exclude atheists and agnostics.

I support their right to do so. Generally, I believe that membership based social organizations should be free to grant or deny membership based on whatever arbitrary or ridiculous reason they wish, even if it be odious and hateful. Even if I believe the policy to be ill conceived and harmful.

But they should not do so with my tax dollars. Photo

And, increasingly, the Scouts have been discovering that the cost of their exclusionary policy is not an inconsequential one. There has been a steady stream of cities that have severed ties or revoked special privileges which the organization had enjoyed. No longer does the City Berkeley provide free berthing to the Sea Scouts. The City of San Diego revoked its $1 lease on a portion of Balboa Park, and the City of Philadelphia evicted the Scouts from a city owned building.

Of course, those who demand their right to discriminate often are outraged and indignant when they think that they are on the other side of the equation. So the Boy Scouts have sued in each of these cases, claiming that revoking their special privileges and taxpayer sponsored handouts is (you saw it coming) discrimination against them. Photos LAPD

Yet with each passing year, they are discovering that local governments and institutions give less leeway to the Scouts. Their blind insistence on defining themselves as a religious organization free to disassociate the ungodly also puts them at conflict with establishment of religion issues. Read complete article - by Timothy Kincaid – Box Turtle Bulletin

Supportive links:

AUSCHWITZ - CHRISTMAS 2008 - A flashback far more severe than in - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Merry Christmas "Make Immediate Amends & Save Lives, JAR. Time Is Running Out, End Hitler's Atrocities. Bring Peace On Earth."

“2008” Benedict XVI’s Christmas Message, Hopefully His Message Will Be Christ-like For “2009”

Monday, December 28, 2009

Philippines: Religious and Government Opposition to Anti-Discrimination Bill - 12/23/2009 - IGLHRC

The Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights of the Philippines Congress finally held the first public hearing on the anti-discrimination bill (House Bill 956) on December 9, 2009. Rep. Erin Tanada, the Committee chairperson, finally agreed to the hearing after pressure by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups and media in the Philippines accusing him of 'sitting on the bill' for the duration of his term as chairperson of the Committee.

Authored by Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, the anti-discrimination bill (download PDF here), "An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis Of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Providing Penalties Therefore," has been languishing in Congress since it was filed in 1999 during the 11th Congress. It seeks to prohibit a wide range of practices and policies that discriminate against LGBT people by ending discrimination in schools, workplaces, and public spaces; denial of accreditation to LGBT groups, including political parties; and police and military abuse and harassment.

The public hearing resulted in the formation of a technical working group to redraft the bill in consideration of the information presented by 'resource persons' (key representatives of groups opposing or supporting a bill) who were invited during the hearing. Given the upcoming national elections in 2010, LGBT activists are not optimistic that the bill will be passed into law soon because most politicians in both Houses of the Congress and Senate will likely avoid the controversial bill in their bid to get re-elected. Photos

LGBT activists in the Philippines nevertheless insist that a push for the passage of the anti-discrimination bill is still necessary, despite setbacks and opposition from the government and from mainstream society, particularly conservative religious groups. Representative Bienvenido Abante, a Baptist pastor who won a seat in Congress, used his positions as chairperson from 2005-07 and vice-chairperson from 2008-09 of the House Committee on Human Rights to block the passage of the anti-discrimination bill. During the public hearing on the bill, he vehemently objected to LGBT resource persons speaking, and encouraged resource persons from various church groups to dominate the hearings. His arguments, as well as the arguments of religious groups opposing the bill, were that (1) since the laws in the Philippines protect human rights of all citizens, there is no need for the anti-discrimination bill; (2) the bill will provide special rights for LGBTs; and (3) if the anti-discrimination bill is passed into law, LGBT people will then ask for the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The need for legal protections for LGBT people is particularly clear in light of the vehement homophobic opposition to the registration of the LGBT political party, Ang LADLAD by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), preventing the group from running in the national election. Read complete article - IGLHRC

Helpful links:

AUSCHWITZ - CHRISTMAS 2008 - A flashback far more severe than in - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Merry Christmas "Make Immediate Amends & Save Lives, JAR. Time Is Running Out, End Hitler's Atrocities. Bring Peace On Earth."

“2008” Benedict XVI’s Christmas Message, Hopefully His Message Will Be Christ-like For “2009”

Un año de retos y esperanzas…Pedro Julio Serrano, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s

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[El Blog delPJ] Un año de retos y esperanzas…

El 2009 fue un año de intensos retos, pero de importantes avances a favor de la igualdad para las personas les bianas, gays, bisexuales y transgéneros (LGBT). Fue un año en que del dolor surgió la esperanza, batallamos contra la homofobia y combatimos el odio con amor. En fin, aquí un recuento — muy al estilo de El Blog del PJ — de este año que pasará a la historia de nuestro movimiento por la igualdad y la justicia.

En enero, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s hizo su tradicional campaña de recaudación de fondos anual y relanzó su portal cibernético como un centro de acción social. Celebramos la promesa de la libertad entre tacos y tacones. Y empezamos el año como lo terminamos, exigiendo un Código Civil para tod@s.

En febrero, descubrí que sí se puede, apoyamos a Johanne Vélez y reiteré que las comunidades LGBT tenemos que despertar. Como si fuera poco, anticipé la inhibición de l@s nuev@s jueces del Tribunal Supremo, troné en contra de la criminalización del vih, el homofóbico descarado Thomas Rivera Schatz nos llamó torcid@s y destaqué la indignación que nos une. Photos

En marzo, participé del documental Out, apoyamos al Colegio de Abogados, recordé que el amor todo lo puede y que nuestra dignidad está de pie. Enuno de los logros más significativos, comencé a publicar mi blog en El Vocero, el periódico que fundó mi abuelo y le escribí una Carta Abierta de un Pedro Julio al otro. Nos manifestamos contundentemente en contra dela homofobia del 8 de Blanco, presenté una candidatura fuera del clóset y hablé del miedo.

En abril, empezamos el mes celebrando la igualdad en el matrimonio para las parejas del mismo sexo en Iowa y Suecia. También, comenté sobre el vivir con vih, el poder de la religión y la inevitabilidad de la igualdad. Escribimos dos cartas abiertas a los medios sobre la transexualidad y la orientación sexual. Debatí la igualdad en el matrimonio, tronamos contra la injusticia de colgar el nombramiento de Johanne Vélez y anunciamos la II Jornada Educativa Contra la Homofobia.

En mayo, exigimos la renuncia de la senadora Migdalia Padilla, reconocimos al comisionado residente Pedro Pierluisi y exigimos la renuncia del senador Carmelo Ríos. También marchamos en el Día Internacional Contra la Homofobia. Tan pronto se presentó el Proyecto de la Cámara 1725, exigimos cambios inmediatos para que acogiera a todos los miembros de las comunidades LGBT. Se escuchó el deseo de una madre. Demostramos que fuimos, somos y seremos la diferencia. Contundentemente expresamos que o tod@s, o ningun@ y establecimos un centro de acción social cibernético por el Proyecto 1725.

En junio, participamos de la Asamblea del Pueblo y la Parada de Orgullo LGBT de San Juan. Como muestra de unidad y solidaridad, una veintena de organizaciones se unió para exigir un Proyecto 1725 inclusivo, llamado que fue reiterado en el único foro público de las comunidades LGBT sobre este proyecto. También celebré el honor de ser gran mariscal de la Parada de Orgullo LGBT del Oeste en Boquerón. Exigimos igualdad en el matrimonio. Así mismo, entré al mundo de Twitter y entré a los 25. Además, expresé mi agradecimiento, participé por primera vezde la Parada de Orgullo LGBT de la ciudad de Nueva York, expresé que después de 40 años es hora ya y exigimos la permanencia de la comisión revisora del Código Civil. Photo

En julio, exigimos la renuncia de la senadora Kimmey Raschke, establecimos que nos toca a tod@s y personas transgéneros y transexuales exigieron igual protección. Además, Tanamá, Fundación de Derechos Humanos y Puerto Rico Para Tod@s exigieron en vistas públicas un Proyecto 1725 inclusivo y sin excepción. Denunciamos la homofobia descarada de Rivera Schatz y demostramos que no nos callará. De frente, reiteré que la igualdad se exige de pie. Aplaudimos la apertura del gobernador Luis Fortuño en torno a la adopción por parejas del mismo sexo, pero protestamos la homofobia legislativa. Debatí el matrimonio, una vez más; establecimos que tod@s somos tod@s, mientras escribía sobre torcidos y locos. Destacamos un honor presidencial, exigimos libertad y respeto y reclamamos nuestros derechos.

En agosto, empezamos estableciendo que Puerto Rico tiene que ser para tod@s, quedó claro que la orientación sexual no se puede cambiar y que la homofobia es un motor en la expansión del vih. Además, grité que somos seres humanos, coño. Celebramos a Sonia Sotomayor y mandamos a la Legislatura a trabajar. Estuvo claro que no es momento de silencio, nos opusimos a la designación de Yvonne Feliciano a la Procuradoría de la Mujer y reiteramos que sí, somos familia. También, pregunté dónde. Aclaramos contundentemente que no es él, es ella y destacamos la lucha por un Puerto Rico para tod@s. Y lo que pareció un avance en el PPD, terminó teniendo un preocupante cambio.Photo

En septiembre, me despedí hasta pronto, tuve una noche sin censura y pasó el clamor sin pena ni gloria. Como si fuera poco, lancé la idea de posiblemente aspirar a un puesto público, le di un consejo a los homofóbicos que sí pueden cambiar. Celebramos la bisexualidad, te escuché y mientras tanto, qué. Nos solidarizamos con l@s despedid@s del gobierno, advertimos que el proyecto de adopción es inconstitucional, rechazamos la homofobia constante de Rivera Schatz y reitéramos que el discrimen se prohíbe sin excepciones.

En octubre, nos unimos al campamento del pueblo, visité Anda Pa’l Cará y cumplí 35. Celebramos el día de salir del clóset, exigimos el veto al inconstitucional proyecto de adopción y rechazamos la homofobia, una vez más, de Rivera Schatz. Celebré mis doce años en el activismo, protestamos la descolegiación de los abogados y nos unimos al paro nacional. Establecimos que la transexualidad no es una enfermedad, hablamos sobre Obama y los derechos LGBT y expresamos que ahora más que nunca. Hicimos un llamado a ir tod@s a la tradicional parada de Halloween, perdoné a la Iglesia y llamé hipócritas a los que critican a Calle 13. Celebramos la aprobación de la ley federal contra los crímenes de odio y anunciamos primero que se dió la parada de Halloween. Pedimos que se investigara el asesinato de Michael Galino como un crimen de odio, agradecimos a Ednita Nazario por su apoyo y pedimos un fin a los crímenes de odio. Celebré mis cuatro años de ser niuyorican, reconocimos a Pierluisi otra vez y presentamos un Supremo dilema.Photo

En noviembre, empecé denunciando el odio nuestro de cada día, el engaño de los ex-gays y dije basta ya. Troné contra la presidenta cameral por avalar discriminatorio proyecto de adopción, luchando por un Puerto Rico para tod@s desde el Bronx y luego de ser aprobado por la Cámara de Representantes, pedimos que se enmiende el Proyecto 1725 para que sea inclusivo y no tenga excepciones religiosas. Tan pronto me enteré el brutal asesinato de Jorge Steven López Mercado, exigí que se investigara si se trataba de un crimen de odio. También, exigimos la remoción del agente investigador, dijeron que se investigará como un crimen de odio y pedimos que se haga justicia. Establecí que este País no lo conozco, estaba satisfecho con el arresto del asesino confeso de Jorge Steven y troné contra la posible defensa del mal llamado ‘pánico homosexual’. Pedí que se atiendan los otros crímenes de odio, critiqué el silencio ensordecedor de los políticos y religiosos ante el crimen de odio, y que se presenten cargos por crimen de odio en el caso de Jorge Steven. En sus primeras declaraciones públicas, la madre de Jorge Steven, Myriam Mercado hace un llamado al amor que vence al odio. Además, a petición de la familia de Jorge Steven, despedí el duelo. Aclaré que Jorge Steven no era trans y que está claro que Jorge Steven pude haber sido yo, pudo haber sido cualquiera de nosotr@s. Tuvimos una vigilia del amor que vence al odio.

En diciembre, empezamos recalibrando, reflexionando y restaurando. Defendimos la libertad de expresión, pero denunciamos la retórica de odio. Criticamos la hipocresía en su máxima expresión. Hablamos de amor y de odio. Además cerramos un ciclo en amor. Se presentó la campaña Odiar te pudre. Tronamos contra la posposición de la vista preliminar en contra del asesino confeso de Jorge Steven. Denunciamos la homofobia con Olga Tañón. Terminamos como empezamos el año, exigiendo un Código Civil para tod@s. Exigimos un juicio justo y libre de prejuicios. Destacamos un movimiento boricua LGBT vibrante, Lissy Estrella se abrazó a las comunidades LGBT y denunciamos la injusticia de la ‘justicia’. Pedimos que se investigara otro posible crimen de odio, anuncié una pausa en el camino y celebramos la solidaridad del congresista Kennedy. Ricky Martin pidió aceptación. Y no podía cerrar el año sin pedir un detente a la homofobia recurrente de Rivera Schatz. Finalizamos con un llamado a recordar nuestra común humanidad.

Un año de retos y esperanzas…Pedro Julio Serrano,

Puerto Rico Para Tod@s

Denver - Evangelicals Can Support LGBT Rights, Too - BY MICHAEL A. JONES – Gay Rights/Change.org

Is evangelical Christianity a big tent religion? Meaning, can there be a diversity of views among evangelical Christians over certain social issues?

In broad terms, the most famous evangelical leaders in the country would seem to say no, particularly when it comes to issues like LGBT rights. From Pat Robertson to James Dobson, from Joel Osteen to Rick Warren, all are on record saying that homosexuality is intrinsically bad. Who can forget Pat Robertson's comment that gays caused terrorism, or Joel Osteen's dig that homosexuality wasn't God's best.

But for every Joel Osteen, it's good to remember that there's a Rev. Mark Tidd out there. Rev. Tidd is a bunch of things. He's an evangelical. He's a pastor of a Denver-area church known as Highlands. And he's not only supportive of LGBT people inside his Church, he's actually a proponent of same-sex marriage.

Talk about an alternative to the Dobson and Warren crowd.

Rev. Tidd was profiled earlier this week in a Wash Post article, where he said that he's part of a new breed of evangelical Christianity that seeks to affirm all members of the Church, including LGBT members. You know that tired "love the sinner, but hate the sin" refrain that comes from many religious circles? Tidd wants to throw that line out with yesterday's bath water. Photos

"Our position is not one of lenience, but a matter of justice," said. Rev. Tidd. "It's not that we don't acknowledge the reality of sin. It's not a sin to be gay or act in accordance with your nature." Read complete articleBY MICHAEL A. JONESGay Rights/Change.org

Pakistan Recognizes Third Gender – by Ria Misra – Politics Daily

Late on Wednesday, the Supreme Court in Pakistan ordered that the government officially recognize a separate gender for Pakistan's hijra community, which includes transgendered people, transvestites, and eunuchs. The court told the federal government to begin allowing people to identify as hijras when registering for a national identity card.

Such cards are necessary for everything from voting to more informal situations; patrons must present the card at cybercafes before surfing the Internet, for example. Not having an identity card, or having one with incorrect information, leaves a person vulnerable and easily excluded from society. Photos

In India, voters are required to identify their sex both on their voter ID cards and at the polls. The insistence that they identify as male or female effectively barred many transgendered and transvestite people from the polls until late this year, when the government declared that for the purposes of voting it would recognize a third option. Read complete article - by Ria Misra – Politics Daily

Related link:

Pakistani Supreme Court Officially Recognizes Transgender People - by Evan Hurst – Truth Wins Out

ARGENTINA -> Gay marriage in Argentina is 1st in Latin America - By ALMUDENA CALATRAVA - Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Two Argentine men were joined Monday in Latin America's first same-sex marriage, traveling to the southernmost tip of the Americas to find welcoming spot to wed. More photos Yahoo

Gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre were married in Ushauaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, in a ceremony witnessed by sate and federal officials. Photo - ARGENTINA

"My knees didn't stop shaking," Di Bello said. "We are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry."

The couple had previously tried to marry in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires but were thwarted by city officials citing conflicting judicial rulings. Argentina's Constitution is silent on whether marriage must be between a man and a woman, effectively leaving the matter to state and city officials.

Tierra del Fuego Gov. Fabiana Rios said in a statement that gay marriage "is an important advance in human rights and social inclusion and we are very happy that this has happened in our state." Read complete article - By ALMUDENA CALATRAVA - Associated Press Yahoo News & NPR - National Public Radio

Related link:

Argentine Couple Weds - By Advocate.com Editors