justice

arvan's picture

In Armenia, Gays Live With Threats of Violence, Abuse

By Marianna Grigoryan [Eurasia.net]

Two years after Yerevan signed an international agreement to uphold the civil rights of gays, homosexuals in Armenia still face the constant threat of physical abuse and social isolation because of their sexual orientation.

"When my parents learned that I was homosexual, they first beat me and then kicked me out," Armen, a 22-year-old Yerevan resident who works as a teacher, told EurasiaNet.org. "Even now, after years have gone by, my mother doesn’t let me in, and some of my friends keep asking whether I’m really one of ’those’ people."

Armen (not his real name) says he realized he was gay at the age of 13 when he fell in love with his classmate. He met his first boyfriend in an online chat room when he was 20.

"I introduced him to my parents as just one of my friends. But one day my mother saw me kissing him, and that’s when all this started," Armen said. "My mother yelled that I’d better be dead, and my brother left the army to come home and beat me. So I went to live in the streets." Armen now lives with his grandmother.

Homosexuality has not been a criminal offense in Armenia since 2003; two years ago, the country signed the United Nations Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, which asserts the right to equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation or gender. It has also ratified a protocol to the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms that bans all forms of discrimination.

arvan's picture

Janice Raymond's Anti-Prostitution Screed Debunked in 2-part Video

I saw one of these excellent videos over at Harlot's Parlor this morning.  I think they both deserve to be seen. 

The anti-prostitution folks and abusive pimps have much in common - they all want to make money off whores without telling the truth or sharing the revenue.

I personally hope to see more from Laurel.  She has other videos on this topic at her youtube channel.

-arvan

Sifting Through B.S. Propaganda {Janice G Raymond Edition} Pt.1

{a video by Laurel}

Sifting Through B.S. Propaganda {Janice G Raymond Edition} Pt.2

arvan's picture

Cruel and Unusual: Film Screening and Discussion

Saturday April 3, 2010
2pm to 4pm
 
Biblioteca Popular
1921 S. Blue Island
Chicago, IL
 
Cruel and Unusual is a 2006 documentary film that tells the individual stories of five transgender women living and surviving in the US prison system.  The film provides a glimpse into the ways in which trans and gender non-conforming people are targeted and criminalized by the prison industrial complex, and reveals the many ways these individuals and their communities are directly affected by intersecting oppressions on multiple levels.
 
The film will start promptly at 2pm.  Please join a discussion following the film.
 
Please bring a $5 donation for the Write to Win Collective or stamps to send letters to prisoners.  No one will be turned away for a lack of funds.
 
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The Write to Win Collective is a Chicago-based penpal project for transgender, transsexual, gender non-conforming, gender self-determining, and gender-variant people who are living and surviving inside Illinois prisons.
 
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Cruel and Unusual on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruel_and_Unusual_(film)
 
Write to Win Collective:
http://writetowin.wordpress.com
 
Biblioteca Popular:
http://bibliotecapopularpilsen.wordpress.com

arvan's picture

Calls for IRS to investigate FL Church for engaging in gay hate in political campaign

Fran over at BlueGal sent this to me.  Typical fundie horse-crap, pitching the message of hatred, intolerance & greed.  Read the letter yourself.  It's from Beth Corbin at Americans United.  Some (or should I say "yet another"?) church is telling people to vote for the "not a homo" candidate.  

I think they're right to contact the IRS.  The only thing a church will respond to quicker than a hand-out is the threat of paying taxes. 

-arvan

IRS SHOULD INVESTIGATE FLORIDA CHURCH FOR OPPOSING MAYORAL CANDIDATE, SAYS AMERICANS UNITED

Dove World Outreach Center’s ‘No Homo Mayor’ Sign Constitutes Illegal Intervention In Gainesville Election, Says Watchdog Group

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a church in Gainesville, Fla., that posted a sign opposing a mayoral candidate.

Dove World Outreach Center erected a sign on its property reading, “No Homo Mayor.” The reference is to Craig Lowe, a mayoral candidate who is gay.

Contacted about the matter by the Gainesville Sun, a top church official admitted that the church had erected the sign.

“We don’t feel as though the city should be represented by a homosexual,” said Terry Jones, senior pastor at Dove World Outreach Center.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, called the church’s actions a blatant example of illegal politicking by a tax-exempt group.

“This is an open-and-shut case,” Lynn said. “The church freely admits that it intended to intervene in the election in violation of federal tax law. I urge the IRS to act promptly.”

Americans United sent a letter to IRS officials today, asking them to investigate the matter.

Jones told the Sun he believes the church is acting within its constitutional rights. But as Americans United pointed out in its letter to the IRS, groups accepting tax exemptions must meet certain conditions, including refraining from election interventions.

AU also noted that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the free speech defense in a 2000 ruling in the case Branch Ministries v. Rosotti.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Please feel free to distribute widely!!

March 26, 2010

arvan's picture

OII’s Objections to the APA DSM-V Committee’s Proposals on Intersex

  1. We believe that the term ‘disorder of sex development’ (DSD) is not the best way to refer to intersex, intersex people or any medical issues they experience.
  2. When an intersex person rejects an assignment made on their behalf at or near birth, or puberty, we do not regard them as having any sort of identity disorder, or gender incongruence.
  3. When a person prefers to identify as intersex, and does not want to conform to any clear gender, we do not regard them as having any sort of identity disorder, or gender incongruence.
  4. In situations where an individual rejects an earlier assignment made without their consent, we regard this as being due to an erroneous earlier assignment, and thereby any problems arising from that as iatrogenic rather than as a psychological disorder or incongruence. When no consent was sought from an individual, when it becomes possible for that person to exercise their choice to reverse such an error, this cannot be considered a disorder or incongruence.
  5. We see no need to further medicalize and stigmatize intersex people by referring to them as necessarily disordered (DSD), and where mistakes in assignment have been made, we see no value in medicalizing and stigmatizing them further by applying another form of disorder called ‘gender incongruence’.
  6. We ask that the same standards applied in the situation for homosexuality starting with the DSM-II revision be applied to intersex; we request that the DSM-V committee recognize that intersex and all intersex expressions of gender identity are part of normal human variation, and that treatment be confined to those genuine medical issues facing intersex people, and issues they themselves seek medical assistance with.
  7. In the case of children where there is some doubt as to which gender assignment will offer the best outcome, once a decision has been made on their behalf, they should be dealt with in a sensitive and flexible way that will allow them to express their own preferences as they get older, and that should be managed in a way that can most effectively accommodate their own choices and decisions. With an awareness of the potentially disastrous consequences of altering children’s genitals surgically prior to an age when they can make informed consent, we call for the minimum of non-essential medical treatment and assignment relating to their gender role, presentation and sex characteristics, until they are in a position to decide upon an appropriate gender (or some other arrangement) for themselves.
  8. To summarize: If an intersex child is assigned a gender without their consent, when they come to exercise their own choice for assignment, this cannot be considered a psychological disorder, or gender incongruence.

(Posted at Intersex in Australia)

Clarisse Thorn's picture

Get your gun: it’s open season on BDSMers

I don’t normally blog about every little link that crosses my screen, but a recent email update from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom drew my attention to this article from Indiana: Bloomington Man Sentenced to 30 Years For Manslaughter of a kinkster.

Here are some excerpts (I’ve run some paragraphs together):

Moore said he was working in Afghanistan as a defense contractor for Blackwater in 2008 when his wife, Laurie, sent him a disturbing e-mail. She said she was having an affair with Morris. Their marriage of 24 years was over. Moore’s time overseas had been the most stressful of his career, and he decided to fly home to deal with the affair in person. Back in Indiana, Moore learned that his wife met Morris through a “bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism” Web site.

“She said a man had been keeping her in a relationship she didn’t want,” Moore said. “I could tell it wasn’t her.”

Really? What were her exact words about her relationship? Did you actually, you know, ask her what she wanted? Or could you just, you know, tell?

arvan's picture

Iran: Shadi Sadr's Speech for the International Women of Courage Award Ceremony

Sadr dedicates her Award to imprisoned women’s rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahari

Your Excellency Mrs. Clinton, Respected Members of the Jury, Ladies and Gentlemen, (cont...)

arvan's picture

Petition: Support Victims of Violence against Women & Women's Rights Defenders in Albania

Please, sign the petition below by February 28, 2010, by sending an email message to info@stopdhunes.org that says:

I sign the Petition in Support of the Victims of Violence against Women and Women’s Rights Defenders in Albania.

Please, provide the following information in your message: first and last name, organization, country, and email address.  Thank you for your support!

TO:

Directors of public and private TV and radio stations in Albania

Editors-in-Chief of daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Albania

The Albanian National Commission on Radio and Television

 

Dear Madams/Sirs:

We would like to bring to your attention recent regrettable cases of incorrect and unfair media reporting on cases of violence against women and the work of the organizations that provide support and shelter to the victims of this violence in Albania. The most recent case was a report by the program “Fiks Fare” in Top Channel related to the case of a woman victim of extreme domestic violence that has included severe and repeated physical violence. Inexplicably, “Fiks Fare” sided with the perpetrator, who exploits the victim’s children to stop his wife from divorcing him after years of severe domestic violence. This perpetrator, other than repeatedly abusing his wife, has over the last four years threatened and intimidated several women’s rights defenders who provided assistance to her.

arvan's picture

Urgent appeal to support Aboriginal women

By Nicole Nepton [Cybersolidaires]

The Minister of State responsible for Women's Helena Guergis has made several announcements in recent weeks for small grants to various organizations here and there in Canada, including those that promote and coordinate educational projects to support women entrepreneurs in the spirit of the new slogan of Status of Women Canada, "The strength of women is the strength of Canada." By cons, no announcement has talked about funding the initiative Sisters in Spirit of the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC). "We have not said anything," says the director of Sisters in Spirit, Kate Rexe. "The government remains silent on the issue."

Sisters in Spirit held an initial grant of $ 5 million in five years compiling a database of more than 520 women have disappeared or been murdered over the past 40 years. The organization has prepared kits for use by families and police when a woman disappears and developed policies and programs aimed at breaking the cycle of violence.

NWAC is ready to implement policies and community programs focused on three priority areas: the judiciary, the welfare of children and poverty. But these initiatives remain unresolved because Ottawa refuses to say whether he intends to continue to fund this work. "It's incredibly frustrating. We have all the knowledge and dynamism. We can initiate change now, but we can not even know if we can continue this planning. "

arvan's picture

Curbing sexual violence in conflict is ‘mission irresistible’ for new UN envoy

9 February 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s newly appointed Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict promised today a more coherent and effective battle against the scourge, citing recent mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and calling her new task “mission irresistible.”

“Sexual violence against women is not cultural, it’s criminal. It’s not a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue. It’s for both men and women to make sure that women have the right to their body,” Margot Wallström, a Swedish politician with a long history in defending women’s rights, told a news briefing in New York, citing the need to end impunity as a priority area. “Women carry half the sky, so they have to be valued that way.”

Ms. Wallström was introduced by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro who said the new appointment was “a major step” towards protecting civilians subjected to sexual violence not only in conflict but also in post-conflict situations.

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