Mercedes Allen's picture

Cruel and Unusual Punishment On Planet New Orleans

I'm going to repost an article from DBM about how a law dating back to 1805 that criminalizes "unnatural copulation" (often taken to include oral and anal sex) is being used to force sex workers

arvan's picture

MAGNET hosting a panel on misrepresentation of transsexual women by gay male media outlets

In mid July MAGNET is hosting a panel in L.A. called

"The Dehumanizing Misrepresentation of Transsexual Women Through the Gay Male Media Mafia Lens" 

More details to come on the collaborators, panelists, date and venue.

Please let us know your thoughts on this epidemic so we can include them in the planning and discussion.

Thank you,

Ashley Love -
Organizer of MAGNET- Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Transsexual & Transgender People

MAGNET is an anti-defamation organization dedicated to educating the media about transsexual and transgender issues, as well as pushing for more authentic and positive portrayals of trans people in the media.

facebook notice, Ashley's blog or email Ashley directly.

arvan's picture

Through Women's Eyes: Report on the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead

(From AIC)

The recent Israeli offensive—codenamed Operation ‘Cast Lead’ by the Israeli authorities—claimed the lives of 118 women, and injured 825 more. In total 1,414 Palestinians lost their lives, 1,177 (83%) of whom were civilians. A further 5,303 were injured. The infrastructure of the Gaza Strip was decimated, for example, 2,114 homes were completely destroyed and a further 3,242 rendered uninhabitable, affecting 51,842 people.

The true impact of the offensive, however, cannot be measured in terms of statistics and figures alone. Although the numbers of victims and casualties illustrate the appalling human toll of this conflict, the true extent of the suffering lies in the day-to-day reality of life in the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead, as civilians struggle to rebuild their lives, come to terms with their loss, and restore some semblance of human dignity.

arvan's picture

UN Security Council Backs Advocate for Women in War Zones

By Suzanne Hoeksema

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 1 (IPS) - The U.N. Security Council Wednesday called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a special representative to intensify efforts to end sexual violence against women and children in conflict situations.

Speaking as the current chair of the Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed that, "The dehumanising nature of sexual violence does not just harm a single individual or a single family or even a single village or a single group - it shreds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings, it endangers families and communities, erodes social and political stability, and undermines economic progress."

The resolution was sponsored by more than 60 countries, including Rwanda, Croatia and Bosnia, where rape was widely used as a weapon of war.

The special representative would oversee the implementation of two Security Council resolutions: 1325, passed in 2000, which urged to all parties in conflicts to "respect women's rights and increase their participation in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction processes"; and 1820, passed in 2008, which "affirmed the ambitions set out in 1325 and established a link between maintaining international peace and security".

arvan's picture

Women's Groups Take on Laws Based on Sex

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 30 (IPS) - When a landmark U.N. conference on women adopted a "platform for action" in Beijing in 1995, member states were urged to commit themselves to revoke all existing laws in their statute books that discriminate on the basis of sex.

But since the adoption of that resolution, human rights organisations and women's groups have unsuccessfully called for the appointment of a U.N. special rapporteur to specifically focus on laws that discriminate against women worldwide.

So far, the Human Rights Council in Geneva - and its predecessor the Human Rights Commission - have both sidestepped the proposal, arguing such a U.N. post is redundant.

Currently, there are more than 30 U.N. special rapporteurs either armed with thematic mandates (right to education, violence against women, human rights of migrants) or country mandates (human rights in Belarus, human rights in Sudan).

But the demand for a special rapporteur to probe gender-related discriminatory laws has failed to materialise.

arvan's picture

The Face of Hatred - A Hate Crime Survivor

 This is a powerful, moving video from a man - Michael, who was recently attacked and brutalized because he is gay.  The police arrested him rather than seek the attackers.  They arrested the man lying on the ground in his own blood. 

[From Michael]

Something I left out of this video, after I called the Saint Petersburg Police Dept here in Florida, they found my broken and battered body on the ground. I explained that I was attacked, instead of wanting to help me they asked if i had been drinking, I then pointed to where i last remembered the men running away, the cops were not interested.

I then got angry and said "why are you not going after them? The cop did not answer me, I then told him I have a serious blood disease, I am beaten and you might as well finish me off if you're not here to help me, and said some more sarcastic angry things because I was in shock and excruciating pain.

I was then handcuffed and was told that I was being "baker-acted" because I am a threat to others and to myself.

This is my way of trying to be strong after being beaten.  It's important that people see what hatred upon another for no other reason than for being born the way I am, to bring about change. I do not hate my attackers, I forgive them and pray they will lose the hatred in their hearts.

Be well, Michael

The people in St. Petersburg, FL have homophobic, lazy cops!  Please call St. Petersburg Chief of Police, Charles " Chuck" Harmon at (727) 893-7588 to demand the apprehension of the men that beat Michael and to institute policy changes in his donut-eaters.

arvan's picture

Advocacy groups denounce Salvation Army’s human trafficking campaign

By Pivot Legal Society and FIRST

(From Cybersolidaires)

Advocates for sex workers’ and women’s rights are demanding an end to the Salvation Army “The Truth Isn’t Sexy” campaign. On September 25, 2009, the Salvation Army is asking its supporters to participate in “group prayers” where they will place mannequins in tattered white dresses stained with fake blood outside strip clubs and massage parlours. In 2008, the Salvation Army launched the campaign with a series of shocking public advertisements depicting women in situations of danger and violence.

The upcoming “weekend of prayer” will take place in cities around the world and will involve actions targeting sex workers and their workplaces. In May of this year, the Salvation Army was forced to apologize for a similar campaign in Australia.

arvan's picture

The Safe Houses Project

IRAQ: Emergency Shelter, Human Services and Protection for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People:

IRAQI LGBT started to establish a network of safe houses inside Iraq in March 2006.

As of today, we have only two safe houses open and running funded by HIVOS a Dutch based human rights organization.

The members of our group inside Iraq urgently need funds to open at least four safe houses. These funds will allow us to keep the four safe houses open and running, and provide safety, shelter, food and many other needs for our LGBT friends inside Iraq. Any funds we receive that go beyond what we need for these four safe houses could be used to open more safe houses in the near future. We desperately need to add more because we have so many urgent cases in other cities. We receive requests for shelter every day, but we are not able to help yet.

Every safe house has around 200 square meters of living space, but harbors 10 to 12 people, so is very overcrowded. The residents are struggling badly because of the shortages of almost all the basic necessities in Iraq.

Rent: We have paid three months rent in advance. The most recent payments were in August. The average rent per safe house per month is $ 600 US Dollar.

Security: We paid the salaries of two guards per house, at $ 200 US Dollar per guard per month.

Other expenses of each house: We have paid $ 600 a month for each house approximately for natural gas and kerosene for cooking, and for food, fuel for generators which provide the electricity supply.

Urgent priority needs: Our priorities at this stage are: natural gas or kerosene for cooking and heating; fuel for generating electricity; food; mobile phones and calling cards; money for transportation to allow residents some freedom of movement; beds, mattresses, blankets, sheets and pillows; cameras; printers; two computers; house supplies, such as cooking pans, dishes, and flatware; some furniture; clean water for drinking and bathing; soap for washing and bathing, tooth paste, razors and of course housing, guards etc.

arvan's picture

Iraqi LGBT welcome Human Rights Watch report on pogrom, urges practical aid

The Iraqi LGBT group today welcomed the release by Human Rights Watch of its report 'They want us exterminated' which documents the killing of LGBT people in Iraq, in particular the extensive media coverage it has generated. Much of the information in the report is sourced from Iraqi LGBT members.

"This report underlines what we have been saying since our group's formation in 2006," said Iraqi LGBT spokesperson, Ali Hili. "We have information on over 700 killings including honour killings."

However Hili says that the group, which has 100 members inside Iraq (as well as refugees in neighboring countries) and supports LGBT people through safe houses, offers practical support (food etc.), psychological and educational support, is chronically underfunded.

"We are the only people offering support to our fellow Iraqi LGBT inside Iraq but because we do not have the funds we have had to turn people away," he said.

arvan's picture

Two sisters murdered by brother after Saudi religious Police hand them over to him for 'honor killings'

The Society for the Defense of Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia has strongly condemned the Saudi religious police after the murder of two sisters who have been "honor killings," said Tuesday a dispatch site The Media Line.

Two sisters, aged 19 and 21, were arrested by the religious police before being handed over to their brother.

Their brother, who were accused of having relations with a stranger, would have then killed in front of their father.

"It's very shocking, because it happens in the street and local newspapers have spoken," said Waheja Huweidar, activist for women's rights in Saudi Arabia.

The "honor killing" is a common practice in Saudi Arabia, subject to the Sharia Islamic law.  These murders are often staged to appear as suicides or accidents.


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