Archive for category Gay rights
In 1993 a so-called comprise between the then president of the United States Bill Clinton and military leaders resulted in the policy known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. The policy meant that gay men and women, as well as bisexuals, could serve in the United States armed forces as long as their sexuality was kept secret, and they did not engage in these practices on or off base. In return for this there would be no intrusions into anyone’s personal lives. Although consensual sexual behaviour between those of the same sex remained a criminal offence under military law, and since the implementation of DADT in 1993 14,000 service persons have been wrongly discharged from the services based on a sexual trait, and NOT due to any lack of skill.
To summarize, this policy led to a clear message that non-heterosexual behavior of any kind was unacceptable, it cost people their livelihoods, led to harassment, and the military lost out on valuable members of the service due to an irrelevant fact.
Now however in 2011 ‘Do Ask, Do Tell, We Don’t Care’ policy has occurred. I use these words for emphasis on the policy, but in essence the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act’ of 2010 has done just that.
This Act signed by president Obama is a massive step in stopping irrelevant characterics stigmatising capable men and women.
So I would like to give big congratulations to the United States for setting an example to the rest of the world.
I leave with just one important message from Human Rights Watch:
“Human Rights Watch urges the Defence Department to implement rapidly the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.”
An interesting piece of legislation was signed by the New York governor entitled the Dignity for All Students Act. The basic terms of the legislation is to protect students from bullying and harassment. The reason I mention this legislation however is because it is the first New York piece of legislation that directly refers to gender identity, and expression.
I just want to welcome this important piece of legislation that thanks to the tireless efforts of state lawmakers, and Governor Patterson makes students more safe. Due to this legislation students can now be protected legally for having to put up with relentless bullying for a characteristics they can not help. Finally, New York has recognised these consequences that leave young individuals emotionally and/or physically damaged, with no option but taking their own lives. So I welcome this important piece of legislation.
However I would ask the question why has it took so long ? How long have individuals worried about expressing who they are in a so-called democracy. How many people can not express their true self? And how many lives have been taken under pressure of relentless abuse?
So thank you New York, but next time don’t take so long.
There was an interesting story on the INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANS AND INTERSEX ASSOCIATION site. It involved a girl, a lesbian, who was excluded from the school year book because she wore a tuxedo in her photo, but had implications far beyond that mere fact.
The reason I mention the story is because it got me thinking: are there still roles unique to men and women, or do we live, or should live in a genderless society? Obviously when I talk about this issue I am not referring to actual biology but to perceptions in society. In the process of thinking about this subject I tried to think of advantages to certain roles for certain genders, and was faced with quite a difficult time. Therefore I came to the conclusion maybe gender is just a label to allow discrimination, which women are unfortunately but not exclusively subjected to.
I then asked myself legally would it be possible to be genderless, and found a type of answer out quickly thanks to Norrie May-Welby. This individual has become the world’s first legally genderless person thanks to New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages giving into the activist demands. Although a few days later the decision from New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages were told they did not have the power to issue a certificate for a genderless person. Yet still this means the idea legally has been introduced, and likely many ideas when they have entered the minds of people, they are hard to get rid off.
Hence I leave with you with the question: should the human race become genderless? if so why, and if not, why not?
“Congressional Republicans Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Az) have rallied behind a coalition of Islamic governments urging foreign governments to oppose a U.S.-led effort to support a bid by an American gay and lesbian organization to gain full-fledged membership as a U.N. non government organization.”
This alliance aims at stopping the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) from receiving international NGO status. The move comes as the US Government is finally being progressive and is currently helping IGLHRC to receive UN NGO status; the aim is to fill the gap between gay rights movement and the international human rights movement.
To give some background to the story, the IGLHRC has been trying to receive international status (as I believe they should) for three years but has been continuously blocked by a committee with a strong Islamic conservative view that reports to the ECOSOC. However, recently the Obama administration has taken steps to help the organisation by bypassing this conservative committee, and help the IGLHRC receive its rightful status. Republican Senators Christopher H. Smith and Trent Franks backwards reaction (to anything that may make the world evolve and become more tolerant) was to attempt to block the Obama Administration’s support. They wrote to UN members to attempt to stop the American move to allow a bypass of this committee.
My question is: what are you afraid of, Senators? This is the 21st century and gay rights are in the public domain, people will not be stuck in the dark ages anymore about gay rights, and these stall tactics will not do anymore. My God, even Latin America’s Argentina has just legalized same-sex marriage and you are playing stalling games, if you have something to say, man up and say it.
Gay issues play an important role in the domestic law and politics of countries around the world, hence they should play an equal role in the international rights domain. Just what do these senators think will happen if the IGLHRC becomes a UN NGO? Maybe they will contribute in a manner that represents a part of civil society, and the senators would not want that now. Or maybe this organisation will undermine intolerance and lack of understanding of gay rights. Alternatively if we infer from this strong reaction the UN will crumble to piece from this toxic organisation gaining status.
I think not: gay rights is the next step to a tolerant and truly democratic society, and the more the international community rectifies this problem, the more respect they will receive from this blogger.