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Groundbreaking Think Tank to Address Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student-Athletes

(San Francisco, California, September 22, 2009) — A groundbreaking think tank sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation Initiative: It Takes a Team! Education Campaign for LGBT Issues in Sport will gather national sports leaders, legal experts, and policymakers to address equal opportunity for transgender student-athletes. As increasing numbers of young people identify as transgender in high school or college, the convening will provide an opportunity to identify best practices and develop model policies for high school and collegiate athletic leaders to ensure the full inclusion of transgender student-athletes.

“NCLR is pleased to join the Women’s Sports Foundation in our second national think tank addressing the equitable treatment of LGBT student-athletes,” said NCLR Sports Project Director Helen Carroll. “By bringing together leaders in athletics and the legal field, we can develop effective strategies to ensure transgender athletes are treated fairly. Our goal is for individuals to be judged on their skills and abilities on the playing field, not on irrelevant factors such as gender identity and sexual orientation.”

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16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

November 25 - December 10, 2009

What is the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign?

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women, and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a human rights violation.

This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates, including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. 

The 16 Days Campaign has been commemorated by individuals and groups around the world who use a human rights framework to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

raising awareness at the local, national, regional and international levels

strengthening local work

linking local and global work

providing a forum for dialogue and strategy-sharing

pressuring governments to implement commitments made in national and

international legal instruments

demonstrating the solidarity of activists around the world

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Human Sexuality and Islamic Law in Iran


The complexities of human sexuality, and Islamic laws and regulations in Iran


By: Azad Moradian

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology


In the following paper, the complexities of human sexuality are explored as it occurs within the present day Iran. Attention is given to the Islamic laws currently demanded and practiced in Iran, as well as issues such as the existence of Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual, and Transgenders (LGBT) and gender identity within the culture. 
Historical and cultural relevance is given to each issue examined while remaining sensitive to the present day laws and regulations in Iran.

Interpersonal relationships in Iran

Currently under Iran's theocratic Islamic Government, based on Islamic law (Shari'ah), all interpersonal relationships are clearly expressed. As a rule the relationship between the sexes are narrowly restricted to lawful (Hallal) or illegal (Haram) categories. A relationship is considered to be legal only between a brother and sister, a parent and his or her children, and an uncle or aunt with his or her sibling’s children. Every other relationship, be they sexual on non sexual, outside of these narrow boundaries is forbidden and illegal.

A sexual relationship is only permitted within a heterosexual marriage. Homosexuality is completely forbidden (Duran, Khalid 1993), and the proximity of persons of opposite sex outside of marriage is authorized only within the limits set under Islamic law.

All sexual relations that occur outside of a traditional, heterosexual marriage (i.e. sodomy or adultery) are illegal and no legal distinction is made between consensual or non-consensual sexual activity.

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'I'm human, I’m not from Mars'

By Sophia Grootboom and Karabo Keepile (Mail & Guardian)

Many traditional African communities explain the birth of intersexed babies with cultural beliefs such as interventions by ancestors after the parents have broken customs. Sophia Grootboom and Karabo Keepile spoke to two intersexed Africans who have experienced severe discrimination and whose sexes were wrongly identified at birth

In the Heidelberg township community where 35-year-old Linda K lives, everyone -- including Linda K himself -- believes his parents got what they deserved.

He was born with a small vagina and a normal-sized penis and this is ascribed to the fact that his parents shared a surname and came from the same tribe, which is problematic as married couples should have different surnames and come from different tribes.

In Zulu culture, such marriages are forbidden, and “bad things will happen to you if you break the rules,” said Linda. His mother desperately wanted a daughter.

As a result, Linda was raised as Lindiwe, a girl, and had to endure years of mockery at school. “Schoolmates soon realised there was something different about me,” he said. “I was dressed in skirts, but acted like a boy. And I had two clear sets of genitals.”

When Linda joined the boys on the soccer field, they chased him away, shouting: “What are you? A girl? A boy? Or a homosexual?”

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Beyond The Irony

Is God male?

Does God really belong to a single gender?

Men (the patriarchy) like to claim God as their own and also use “Him” as a tool to demand obedience and submission to them. If God has a sex, should it matter to his followers what that sex is?  It’s a bit odd though that some people find the act of wondering if God is a “She” or even if God is without gender, or representing all genders, insulting and blasphemous.

Insulting and blasphemous? Insulting? What does this say about the male perception of women? Perhaps this is more revealing about the insecurity of God’s followers than the nature of God itself?

Consider the following: Why would God need to have a gender? Is there another God out there? A Mrs or Ms God? Religious doctrine, particularly Christian, Jewish and Islamic scriptures and tradition tell us this is not so. They claim there is only one God – whose gender they are very specific about. Okay, so why is this God a “he“? What need does a singular all-powerful entity need of gender or genitalia? Is God a “he” in the same way that men refer to ships and cars as “she” (or “he” in Spanish)? Or is God a ”he” simply because the patriarchy identifies with God and because it says so?


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Armenia’s Progressive New AIDS Policy

Ratevosian and Hagopian: Armenia’s Progressive New AIDS Policy Suggests It Can Be A Regional Leader

By Jirair Ratevosian and Amy Hagopian

Earlier this year, we visited Armenia en route to a meeting of the 12th World Congress of Public Health Associations. We stopped in Yerevan to help celebrate with local organizations their recent success in persuading the government to repeal unwarranted requirements for foreign travelers to be tested for HIV.

In crafting the change in the law, Armenia’s president and parliamentarians realized that longstanding regulations “did not meet the present-day requirements in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” and acknowledged the lack of public health justification for barring immigrants with HIV. The parliament said the new rules were passed with the aim of “strengthening legal reforms and sustaining large-scale HIV/AIDS awareness raising activities” and “safeguarding human freedoms, dignity, and rights.” This was a huge victory for public health and a proud moment for all Armenians.

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October 10th - 11th: Seattle LGBT Equality Weekend

Please forward widely…

Seattle LGBT Equality Weekend October 10 – 11, 2009

Seattle OUTProtest has brought together a grassroots coalition of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and straight people and organizations to organize a series of solidarity events to coincide with the National March for Equality this October.

Whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity may be, the best way to ensure that all of our struggles for social and economic justice progress is to stand together in solidarity. As the old labor slogan so aptly expresses,

“An Injury to One is an Injury to All.”

This year, on the fortieth anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, on the thirtieth anniversary of the first LGBT March on Washington, on the ninetieth anniversary of the Seattle General Strike, and on the tenth anniversary of the Battle in Seattle, we are excited to build a grassroots movement for civil rights and equality for all, starting with approving Referendum 71 and keeping domestic partnerships legal.

Please, plan to march with us in Seattle on October 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm.

arvan's picture

"If we're the same, then how am I better than you?"

Here is a great discussion on why heterosexuals can be threatened by the idea of gay marriage.  It is presented by Dr. Michael Schmitt, Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University and Director of the Self in Social Context Lab (SISC).

This video has some background info, so if you're impatient or don't like academic presentations - skip to 30 minutes in and dig the phat tracks he lays down.

Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage: The Role of Heterosexual Identity


h/t to LGBT Latest Science

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Gay, bisexual teens at risk for eating disorders

Reuters Health

Thursday, September 17, 2009

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers may be at higher risk of binge-eating and purging than their heterosexual peers, starting as early as age 12, a new study finds.

Past research has found connections between sexual orientation and the risk of eating disorders in adults -- showing, for instance, that gay men have higher rates of symptoms than their heterosexual counterparts.

Less has been known about how sexual orientation affects teenagers' risks of various eating disorders.

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UNAIDS Forum on HIV, Human Rights and Men Who Have Sex with Men

As part of his official visit to Washington, D.C., UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé participated in the Forum on HIV, Human Rights and Men Who Have Sex with Men on 16 September 2009.

The event was organized by UNAIDS in collaboration with the HIV Policy Working Group on Men Who Have Sex with Men and Other Sexual Minorities, and in cooperation with the Honorable Howard Berman (D-CA) and the Honorable Barbara Lee (D-CA).

The Forum was held to raise attention to the human rights issues that affect men who have sex with men (MSM) and other sexual minorities, as well as the policy and structural barriers that prevent MSM and other sexual minorities from accessing HIV services, including prevention, treatment, care and support.

“We are here because it remains an undeniable fact in all regions of the world—including here in the US—that men who have sex with men lack universal access to HIV services,” said Michel Sidibé.

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