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Marriage Equality In Maine

This wonderful new ad, promoting decency and equality is out.  Please help keep the bigots and haters from stealing humanity in Maine, like they did in California.

Contact Protect Maine Equality at their website.  They can also be contacted at:

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Global LGBT movement not inclusive of other rights issues

Rasha Moumneh, a researcher for the MENA region at Human Rights Watch, gave a keynote address for the Outgames Human Rights conference on a plenary panel entitled: Our Rights, Our Differences: The Global and Diverse LGBT Community. In the address, she argued that the "global LGBT movement" depoliticizes gender and sexuality, and ignores the intersectionality of different forms of oppression, in the Middle East and the "global south" at large.




It was the second staging of the Outgames, a week-long event that draws hundreds of LGBT activists from around the world and included tournaments in 38 different sports disciplines, a variety of cultural events, as well as a human rights conference "addressing issues and concerns of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people) community."

The reaction to Moumneh’s speech, according to Georges Azzi, director of the Beirut-based LGBT-rights organization HELEM, was mixed. “Some people stood up and applauded, while others in the audience stayed seated, did not applaud. There were definitely people who were upset; supporters of Israel in the community weren’t happy,” Azzi said. He added, “When I spoke in New York [at the Gay and Lesbian Center] after the Gaza war, the same thing happened. People got up and left, when we criticized Israel. We support all human rights [struggles].”

“Thank you, it’s wonderful to be here. I was asked to come here today to speak about the situation and progress of LGBT rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Obviously it’s impossible for me to cover the breadth of LGBT issues in the entire region in the space of 10 minutes, or even 10 hours for that matter, so I’m not going to. What I am going to do instead is posit some observations I’ve had about the international LGBT rights movement in relation to this particular region.

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Expert proposes recommendation to protect women after divorce

Divorce affects men and women differently, so women need extra legal protection, according to an expert on the UN Anti-discrimination committee.

Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

The committee just concluded its discussion of reports by 8 countries on how they are implementing the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). During this last session in New York, Professor Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, Vice President of the Committee, asked participants to provide input to a proposed General Recommendation on the economic consequences of divorce. Chris Weeks found out more from Professor Halperin Kaddari about this proposal.

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SWAZILAND: Gov't in Court Over Women's Property Rights

By Mantoe Phakathi


Visit Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

MBABANE, Aug 6 (IPS) - In a battle for gender equality, well-known Swazi women’s rights activist Doo Aphane has taken government to court. Aphane is contesting legislation that prohibits her from registering property in her maiden name jointly with her husband.

If the court grants Aphane, who is chairperson of the Swaziland Gender Consortium and previous national coordinator of Women in Law in Southern Africa - Swaziland, her request, it would give Swazi women married in community of property equal rights to their husbands in the administration of property.

The Swazi women’s movement has rallied behind Aphane, with more than 50 supporters attending the hearing at the High Court in late July. Justice Qinisile Mabuza reserved judgment and a date is yet to be set for the verdict.

Currently, Section 16(3) and regulations 7 and 9 of the Deeds Registry Regulation prohibit married women who are married in community of property from registering immovable property in their maiden names. This means that they cannot register properties without assuming their husbands’ surnames. It also implies that married women cannot have sole ownership of property.

Under Swazi common law, men married in community of property are regarded as administrators of the estate. As a result, women cannot sell or buy property without their husband’s consent, while men can sell property without consulting their wives.

Aphane argues these provisions of the Deeds Registry Act disadvantage all women married in community of property and foster gender inequality. "The purpose of this application is to protect my dignity and the right to non-discrimination," she explained.

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Goddamn Yogis!



No, not him.







Not him, either.


This ass-hat is the one I'm talking about.!

Yogi Baba Ramdev is now calling for the Indian High Court to reverse its dismissal of the British Colonial outlaw of homosexuality. 

He claims:

"homosexuality is a disease that is curable" and that [the] "right to privacy as a facet of right to life cannot include the right to enjoy deviant sexual preferences and sexual behaviour." Source: IndiePal

And, by 'cure' he means signing up for his next 16 week yoga class at the Discover An Asshole Center. 

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After Speaker, now a first woman additional solicitor general

NEW DELHI (Dhananjay Mahapatra, Times of India): The Manmohan Singh government is all set to break another gender barrier that existed in the Supreme Court for nearly six decades.

After choosing Meira Kumar as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha, the UPA government has decided to reserve one post of additional solicitor general (ASG) for a senior woman advocate.

The ASGs play an important role in the higher judiciary as they represent the Centre before the Supreme Court and the High Courts in important cases or those involving constitutional questions.

This path-breaking decision will go a long way in initiating a process to reverse the trend of light representation of women in important posts connected to the judiciary, especially the higher tiers. Take for example the number of women judges in the SC, it had just three in the last 60 years — Justices Fatima Beevi, Sujata Manohar and Ruma Pal

Though the think tank in the Congress-led coalition government had little debate in taking this important decision, there appears to be a mad scramble for the remaining posts of ASGs among noted senior advocates, barring a few who are virtually sure of making it.

After getting back with a thumping mandate, the Congress-led government had decided not to continue with its previous term's `ally quota' system for distribution of ASG posts that in 2004 had seen nominees of NCP, DMK and even CPM get into the elite panel.

Having got wind of the decision, the allies started exerting pressure on law minister Veerappa Moily for accommodation of their nominees as ASGs. Adapt at handling such pressures, Moily is running a tight ship giving little away even as he has been holding consultations for finalisation of the list of ASGs.

With the top slots already filled — G E Vahanvati as attorney general and Gopal Subramaniam set to be appointed as solicitor general — the government is not in any undue haste as it has almost three weeks to complete the process of appointment ASGs, for the SC reopens only on July 6 after the summer break.


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India to re-think British Colonial anti-gay law: Section 377 of IPC

NEW DELHI(Times of India)

Even as the Delhi High Court is close to giving its verdict on a 19th century colonial law that treats homosexual activity as a crime, here’s a shot in the arm for gay rights. In an interview to a television channel on Thursday, law minister Veerappa Moily indicated that the government may do a rethink on the controversial Section 377 of IPC that criminalizes private consensual sex between adults of the same sex.

Moily admitted that some sections of the IPC are outdated and Section 377 may be one of them.

Those part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights movement say a rethink by the government on Section 377 of IPC would be a big step forward. ‘‘It will be the best thing for the national Aids control programme since efforts to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS will no longer be impeded by the law,’’ said Ashok Row Kavi, consultant for UNAIDS and UNDP.

Moily’s statement comes at an interesting juncture as the high court has already finished hearing arguments on the petition filed by New Delhi-based non-profit group Naz Foundation in 2001, seeking a reading down of section 377. While the health ministry had supported the petition, the home and law ministries were against it. If the law ministry is indeed willing to do a rethink, experts say it has two options. It could submit before the court that it had changed its position and ask for hearings to be reopened.

NOTE: If you would like to contact Mr. Moily directly to voice your support of the change in the IPC, he can be reached at mvm@moily.com.

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LA City Council Condemns Iraqi Torture of Gay Men

Unite The Fight posted a detailed and compelling post: LA City Council Unanimously Passes Resolution Condemning Iraqi Torture of Gay Men.  

On Wednesday, after hearing several emotional speeches, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution that "calls upon the government of Iraq to prevent the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and protect the right to life and the right of all its citizens to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the United States and for them to pass this resolution is anything but a token gesture of empathy.  This is a demonstration of the civic population of one country exercising its political weight to alter the national and international awareness of this brutality.

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Pro Choice and Disabled - A Contradiction?

This fine reflection was originally posted at Disability Cool:

I have been a feminist for as long as I can remember. Even as a young girl at the age of ten, I did not believe in the stereotypes that other young girls did. In college, I told a guy off for calling me a "chick". "I am not a chick or a girl - I am a woman", I told him strongly. I had not even met another feminist at the point in my life, but feminism seemed to come naturally to me.

I have been disabled for as long as I can remember. My disability is genetic. It started to show itself when I was five years old and got progressively worse as I grew older. I was correctly diagnosed when I was 39 years old, so you can imagine what kind of medical procedures I had been put through all of my life.

Choice versus eugenics

So how do these two worlds connect and help to make sense of the title of this article. In my work with the women's community, I am well known for my pro-choice stance. I have gone to pro-choice rallies, spoke at a pro-choice forum about my own experience of having an abortion and even been on a CBC morning news show (a national TV network). I believe in a woman's right to choose if she wants to have an abortion or does not want to have an abortion. It does go both ways. And don't kid yourself, lot of women with disabilities have abortions just like lots of non-disabled women have abortions. Abortions should be covered by the medical health program wherever the woman lives and must be safe and legal. I believe in nothing less than this.

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