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Some History of LGBT Related Laws

History of LGBT-Related Laws

Taken From WikiPedia

Throughout history and across cultures, the regulation of sexuality reflects broader cultural norms.

Most of the history of sexuality is unrecorded. Even recorded norms do not always shed full light on actual practices, as it is sometimes the case that historical accounts are written by foreigners with cryptic political agendas.

In the earlier centuries of ancient Rome (particularly during the Roman Republic) and prior to its Christianization, the Lex Scantinia forbade homosexual acts. In later centuries during, men of status were free to have sexual intercourse, heterosexual or homosexual, with anyone of a lower social status, provided that they remained dominant during such interaction. During the reign of Caligula, prostitution was legalized and taxed, and homosexual prostitution was seen openly in conjunction with heterosexual prostitution. The Warren Cup is a rare example of a Roman artefact that depicts homosexuality that was not destroyed by Christian authorities, although it was suppressed. A fresco from the public baths of the once buried city of Pompeii depicts a homosexual and bisexual sex act involving two adult men and one adult woman. The Etruscan civilization left behind the Tomb of the Diver, which depicts homosexual men in the afterlife.

In feudal Japan, homosexuality was recognized, between equals (bi-do), in terms of pederasty (wakashudo), and in terms of prostitution. The Samurai period was one in which homosexuality was seen as particularly positive. In Japan, the younger partner in a pederastic relationship was expected to make the first move; the opposite was true in ancient Greece. Homosexuality was later briefly criminalized due to Westernization.

The berdache two-spirit class in some Native American tribes are examples of ways in which some cultures integrated homosexuals into their society by viewing them, not with the homosexual and heterosexual dichotomy of most of the modern world, but as twin beings, possessing aspects of both sexes.

The ancient Law of Moses (the Torah) forbids men lying with men (intercourse) in Leviticus 18 and gives a story of attempted homosexual rape in Genesis in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities being soon destroyed after that. The death penalty was prescribed.

Similar prohibitions are found across Indo-European cultures in Lex Scantinia in Ancient Rome and nith in protohistoric Germanic culture, or the Middle Assyrian Law Codes dating 1075 BC.

Laws prohibiting homosexuality were also passed in communist China. (The People's Republic of China neither adopted an Abrahamic religion nor was colonized, except for Hong Kong and Macau which were colonized with Victorian era social mores and maintain separate legal system from the rest of the PRC.) Homosexuality was not decriminalized there until 1997. Prior to 1997, homosexual in mainland China was found guilty included in a general definition under the vague vocabulary of hooliganism, there are no specifically anti-homosexual laws.

In modern times eight countries have no official heterosexist discrimination. They are Argentina, Belgium, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, and Spain. This full non-discrimination includes the rights of marriage and adoption. Two additional countries have marriage rights for same-sex couples, namely Portugal and Canada, but in Portugal this right does not include same-sex adoption, and in Canada it varies by jurisdiction (it is legal everywhere except in Nunavut and Yukon). The Canadian Blood Services’ policy indefinitely defers any man who has sex with another man, even once, since 1977. LGBT people in the USA face different laws for certain medical procedures than other groups. For example, gay men have been prohibited from giving blood since 1983, and George W. Bush's FDA guidelines barred them from being sperm donors as of 2005, even though all donated sperm is screened for sexually-transmitted diseases and even the most promiscuous heterosexual men are not barred from donating.

Appreciation to AGM for his contribution.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Same-Sex Kissing Common In UK Male Students

Fancy A Snog? Same-Sex Kissing Common In UK Male Students
By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
27 October 2010 06:28 pm ET

Taken From LiveScience com

Forget homophobia. A new study finds that same-sex lip-locks among straight men are the norm in British universities and high schools.

The trend reflects a move toward a "nicer, softer" ideal of masculinity, study researcher Eric Anderson told LiveScience. Anderson, a sociologist at Bath University in England, reported the findings online Oct. 22 in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

"The mean, gruff, homophobic macho man of the 1980s is dead," Anderson said.

Based on in-depth interviews of 145 British university and high-school students, Anderson and his colleagues discovered that 89 percent had kissed a male heterosexual friend on the lips at some point. A total of 37 percent had engaged in "sustained" kissing with another man, Anderson said. The men all identified as straight, and they didn't see the kisses as sexual.

"These men have lost their homophobia," Anderson said. "They're no longer afraid to be thought gay by their behaviors, and they enjoy intimacy with their friends, just the same as women."

A recent trend

The trend toward male same-sex smooches has skyrocketed in recent years, Anderson said. It began on the professional soccer field, where players often share exuberate kisses after goals. That made kissing between men acceptable for college and high-school players, Anderson said. Then the players took the same behaviors to nights out in pubs, spreading the trend to non-athletes.

Despite stereotypes of the homophobic jock, athletes were more likely to have kissed another man than non-athletes. Just over 80 percent of non-athletes had kissed a man, compared with 95 percent of athletes. [Related: Sex Quiz: Myths, Taboos and Bizarre Facts]

Of the guys in the study who hadn't shared a same-sex kiss, all found the practice acceptable. One student who had never kissed another lad joked with the researchers that when he told his friends about the study, they'd probably ensure that his classification changed. That night, Anderson received a text from the student reading, "I'm in the majority now."

Affection, not sex

Again contrary to stoic male stereotypes, the men in the study reported that they kissed their friends out of affection. One remembered kissing a friend after a meaningful holiday trip. Others compared it to shaking hands.

"I don't want to give the impression that it's like, 'Oh, I love you, mwah,'" Anderson said. "It's like, 'John! Rawr!' More exuberance."

Even extended kisses weren't viewed as sexual, the researchers found. One student recalled kissing his male friend in order to convince two girls to kiss each other, but most of the men interviewed kissed each other for fun.

These longer kisses are often photographed and posted on Facebook and social-networking sites, Anderson said. While they often happen in the context of a night of drinking, the men aren't ashamed of or questioning their sexuality. Nor are they mocking gay behavior, Anderson said. In fact, the practice has made it easier for gay men to display their affection publically.

"It's opened up the same space for gay men to kiss," he said. "Sometimes you see two men kissing and you don't know whether they're straight or gay."

Changing norms

The United Kingdom is less homophobic as a whole than the United States, Anderson said, but Americans should expect acceptance of men kissing on our shores soon enough. Research on American college soccer players suggests that 20 percent of those men have kissed another man, which is a harbinger of the trend, Anderson said.

It's not yet known how the trend of men kissing extends to non-University segments of the British population. Anderson plans to extend the research to minority men and low-income men who aren't in college.

Growing acceptance of same-sex kissing doesn't mean that homophobia is gone, just that masculine ideals are changing, Anderson said. His theory, put forth in his book, "Inclusive Masculinity: The Changing Nature of Masculinities" (Routledge, 2009), is that in times of homophobia, men police their behavior to avoid being seen as gay. When homophobia fades, men can relax and explore behaviors that don't jive with the traditional masculine ideal.

"Decrease in homophobia has positive effects for heterosexual men as well," Anderson said.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

US School Official: "Queers and Fags should kill themselves"

 US School Official: "Queers and Fags should kill themselves"

Taken from PinkNews co uk

Gay rights groups are calling for a US school board official to resign after he posted an anti-gay rant on his Facebook page.

Clint McCance, who is the vice-president of the Arkansas school district, wrote on his page that “queers” and “fags” should kill themselves.

He made the remarks after Spirit Day last Wednesday, which encouraged people to wear purple to mark a spate of suicides among gay teenagers.

According to The Advocate, which got a screengrab of his page, Mr McCance wrote that the teenagers had “sinned”, that he would disown his children if they were gay and that he was pleased that AIDS kills gay men.

He wrote: “Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves.

“The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”

In response to a commenter who criticised his remarks, he added: “No because being a fag doesn’t give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves.

“It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it.”

In later comments, he wrote: “I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.”

Tom Kimbrell, Arkansas commissioner of education, said in a statement Wednesday that he had “grave concerns” about the situation.

He said: “I strongly condemn the statements that appeared on Mr Clint McCance’s Facebook page … The statements attributed to Mr McCance constitute a significant departure from statements we expect from our school leaders.

“The divisiveness and disruption of these comments cause me to seriously question the ability of Mr McCance to remain as an effective member of the Midland School Board.”

Mr McCance is an elected official, the statement said, and the local education department cannot deal with him directly. But the department promised to deal quickly with any instances of homophobic bullying.

Facebook groups and gay rights campaigners are calling for Mr McCance’s resignation.

Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said: “McCance shouldn’t be allowed near children, let alone managing their education. We call for his immediate resignation from the school board.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Iraqi Police Crackdown on Gays Continues With Raid, Arrests at Baghdad Male Beauty Parlour

Iraqi Police Crackdown on Gays Continues With Raid, Arrests at Baghdad Male Beauty Parlour

Activists call for UK and US protests
Taken From UK Gay News

LONDON, July 13, 2010  –  Hard on the heels of an Iraqi police raid on a Kerbala ‘safe house’ for gays, run by the London-based Iraqi LGBT, comes news that there has been another raid – on a Baghdad male beauty parlour, with five men arrested.

Iraqi LGBT reported this evening that five gay mean were seized by “Interior Ministry forces” in the raid on June 25.

The latest raid was on a house used as a business for services such as waxing and massage in the Baghdad district of Karada.

Such services have long been used in a country with a body building tradition.

Iraqi media coverage, which included three days of TV reports, however described the house as used for prostitution, according to Iraqi LGBT.

However, witnesses have told Iraqi LGBT that this was not the case.  Neither waxing nor massage is illegal in Iraq however it is ‘forbidden’ by Shia clerics.

Despite claims to the contrary, homosexuality is illegal  in Iraq, and it is on this basis that the raid happened and the men were arrested, the London group claims.

The house was managed by Sabah and the workers arrested are Ehsan, Samer, Alaha and Mustafa.

Eyewitnesses who were outside the building say Ministry of Interior forces raided at 3pm.  Those on rooftops heard screams for help and saw the men being severely beaten by uniformed men carrying cattle prods.

They say one was taken into custody on a stretcher, Iraqi LGBT reports.

One of the eyewitnesses who spoke with Amnesty International has since disappeared.

Iraqi LGBT has received no information about where the men were taken.  However, previous seizures of gays, lesbians and transgender people have resulted in them being handed to religious militia and their subsequent torture.  Often this is followed by the discovery of their mutilated bodies.

An Iraqi online news site quoted “security sources” in a local newspaper [report in Arabic]saying: “After gathering evidence and information the police issued an order from a judge to raid the house where the house-owner of the shop and a number of gay, mostly college students were caught red-handed, and have confessed openly their shameful work which is contrary to public decency, they were seduced by the devil to commit these acts.”

The newspaper went on to say that forces had “captured a laptop computer and CDs from a pornographic network”.

This evening, Iraqi LGBT is calling on the British and American governments to follow the lead of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and investigate – and condemn – the raids.

However, Iraqi LGBT notes that in her latest speech outlining the American government’s support for oppressed LGBT people throughout the world, made just two days before the latest known raid, , Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to mention Iraq.

Iraqi LGBT is scheduled to meet the British Foreign Office tomorrow (Wednesday) and will press for an investigation and public condemnation by Minister William Hague of this latest attack on their friends by the Iraqi government.

The Foreign Office’s latest Human Rights Report accepts Iraqi government claims that “homosexuality is not a criminal offence in Iraq”.

“It is past time for the British and Americans to publicly condemn what they know are the actions of the Iraqi government,” Ali Hili told UK Gay News this evening.

“Hundreds of lesbians and gays have been killed to near silence by the world,” he said.

“What needs to happen – what can we do – before the world pays any attention, and before people start pressing their leaders to tell the Iraqi government to stop?  What?  We plead for an answer.,” he said in desperation.

“We know why politicians would rather people forgot about what is happening in Iraq.  But Iraqi lesbians, gay men and transgender people particularly feel that they have been forgotten by their fellow LGBT, especially those in power in the West.  Why?”

Over the past five years, Iraqi LGBT has documented 738 deaths of LGBT persons.

Iraqi LGBT is a human rights organisation that was established in September 2005 after the rise of wave of violence against the LGBT community in Iraq.

“We felt it is our responsibility to stand up and start an action to alert the world on this genocide, with members working secretly undercover in Iraq, the UK and other countries,” Mr. Hili said.

Fears of Witch Hunt against Iraqi Gays after Police Raid on Karbala Safe House

Taken From UK Gay News
UK media, politicians have been too quiet for too long about the violence LGBT people in Iraq” –  Hili
■ Arrested by the police, and then he was discovered in hospital.  How, and by whom, the pictured neck and throat injury was inflicted is not known.  The victim, a gay man, also suffered other injuries.
photo courtesy Iraqi LGBT

LONDON, June 22, 2010    There is growing concern that the Iraqi government is stepping up a witch-hunt against gays and lesbians in the country after a police raid on a Karbala safe house, the London-based Iraqi LGBT said at the weekend.
Last week, twelve police officers are reported to have burst into the safe house, and then violently beat up, and blindfolded the six occupants sheltering there before bundling them off in three vans.
According to a source who witnessed the raid, the police also confiscated computer equipment before burning down the house, the London group said in a statement.
According to reports reaching London, one of the arrested people has turned up in hospital.  However, nothing is known about the whereabouts of the other five individuals, which include two gay men, one lesbian and two transgender people.
It is feared they may have been taken to the Interior Ministry in Baghdad, where, it is reported, many gay people have been tortured and executed in the last two years.
Government forces have previously sized people particularly at roadblocks and handed them to militias who have then tortured them and their bodies have later been found.
None of the previous occupying powers have taken any action or delivered any criticism for these atrocities.
Iraqi LGBT feels that the reason that both the British and United States governments in particular have not criticised the Iraqi government is “because of the legacy of the occupation”.
He US and UK  have both criticised Malawi and Uganda over LGBT human rights. There is strong religious opposition to homosexuality in both African countries — as there is in Iraq, Iraqi LGBT pointed out.
“Since the fall of Saddam, militias loyal to Shi’a clerics Grand Ayatollah al Sistani and Muqtada al Sadr, both of whom have called for homosexuals to be put to death, have been only too keen to carry out their leaders’ wishes,” the group says.
“Over 720 LGBT people have disappeared or been murdered, many of whom have been tortured to death.
“There is strong evidence that the government is colluding with these militia groups, by rounding up known homosexual and transgender people.”
A small number of safe houses, set up for LGBT people to live in relative safety, have been funded by Iraqi LGBT.  In the current climate, these homes have been life-savers for those taking refuge in them.
The house which was raided on last week had been established in January this year.
With the arrests and the seizure of computers last week, activists fear that the government will step up efforts to round up more of the country’s LGBT population.
“The UK media and politicians have been too quiet for too long about the violence LGBT people in Iraq,” said Ali Hili, leader of Iraqi LGBT.
“The militia and the powers that be know they can get away with it while that silence continues.
“It really is time for the Iraqi government to act on this and stop playing the role of guilty bystanders, while our brothers and sisters are murdered in silence.”
Currently the UK Border Agency is deporting many Iraqis, some who left the country in fear of their lives after death threats from gangsters and religious militia.
“The government is grossly underestimating the danger faced by Iraqi refugees.” Mr. Ali pointed out.  “The raid [last week] proves, for LGBT people especially, [that] Iraq is a no-go zone”.
  The UK coalition government pledged last week that it would stop the deportation of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution.
The pledge was contained in the Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality document launched by Home Secretary Teresa May, who is also Minister for Women and Equalities.
■ The damaged 'safe house' in Karbala following the raid by police last week. photo courtesy Iraqi LGBT London

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Poll Of Russians Reveals Rampant Homophobia

Anti-Gay Feelings Still Running High in Russia, New Poll Suggests
Taken from UK Gay News

MOSCOW, August 9, 2010 (GayRussia)  –  The attitude of Russian society towards homosexuality, gay pride marches and same-sex marriages is hardening, a new opinion poll is suggesting.

The Moscow based Levada Center had released the findings of the poll which shows that on three questions, the figures tend to show a slight increase of the negative perceptions of homosexuality.

Conducted between July 23 to July 26 on a sample of 1600 Russians aged 18 and older in 130 cities and 45 regions, the poll shows that homophobia is rife across Russia, with 74% of respondents believing that gays and lesbians are “morally dissolute or mentally defective persons”.

Only 15% said that homosexuality is equal with the traditional sexual orientation – and 11% found the question difficult to answer.

The margin of error is 3.4%.

Only a quarter of respondents (25%) believe that there should be no special measures taken against homosexuals and that they should be left to live their lives as they wish.  24% said they should be offered psychological support, while 39% of Russians believe that homosexuals should be forced into treatment or be otherwise isolated from the society.

And 4% of respondents expressed the view that persons with different sexual orientations should be eliminated.

On the question of whether gays and lesbians should have equal rights along with those of traditional sexual orientation, Russian society is divided almost equally. 45% support equality while 41% support limiting the rights of gays and lesbians. And those undecided were 15%.

According to the Levada Center  poll, 84% of Russians oppose legalising of same-sex marriages in the country – just 14% supported such a move.

On the matter of Gay Pride marches, 82% of Russians said they do not wish to see them in cities.  Just 8% approved.

In terms of attitudes towards same-sex marriages and gay parades, the attitudes of society has not significantly changed since 2005, when a similar poll was conducted by the Levada Center.

The enactment of the law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation also caused a split in public opinion.  41% of respondents supported this measure, 31% in one degree or another opposed such a law, and 28% were undecided.

Over the past five years, Russian society has fallen slightly in the level of tolerance towards homosexuals and intensified homophobic sentiments. There are 5% less Russians who offer to leave homosexual people alone, a 4% increase in the number of those who believe that such persons should be treated and 6% of those who propose to isolate them from society.

Homophobia in Russian society is most common among men, older respondents (over 55 years), those with only a secondary education, and low income individuals.  These groups often refer to homosexuality, promiscuity and bad habits.

Tolerance of persons with different sexual orientation, and understanding of problems of gay men and women, is often higher among women, young Russians (18-39 years), the more educated and wealthier respondents.

Among these groups it is the more common view that homosexuality has a right to exist along with traditional sexual orientation.  These categories of respondents increasingly offer not to take any special actions against gay and lesbian people and let them live the way they want.

Those, who responded that homosexuality is a disease that requires medical intervention and that homosexuals should be isolated from society, are respondents older than 40 years, as well as individuals with middle-and lower-middle-low income residents of villages – that is, categories of peoplethat preserve the inertia of Soviet thinking.

“The conclusion we can make from these results is that we only have more work ahead,” said Moscow Pride organiser Nikolai Alekseev.  “The attitude of Russians towards gay prides, same-sex marriages cannot improve when officials are using the media to call for hatred towards the LGBT community.”

Gay advocates have unsuccessfully initiated law suits in Russian courts against the Mayor of Moscow who said that “gays are fagots and weapons of mass destructions”, and the Governor of Tambov region who said that “gays should be torn apart and their pieces thrown into the wind.”

“The cases we introduced against the hatred of Russian officials at the European Court might help us, though that's a long term hope,” Mr. Alekseev said.

“We need to work more to get the Russian justice accepting to recognize us as part of a social group.  This is the only legal way to get protected from hatred by the justice under the existing legislation.

“But when some gays themselves are openly saying that there is no homophobia and that they don't need anything, it does not help us to convince society that we do need equal rights.

“We still have to be cautious with these figures as it remains unclear who ordered this complete research on homosexuality in Russia, but from what we know it does not come from any of the Russian LGBT groups. Furthermore, people still consider homosexuality as a sensitive question and that might affect the answer they give when being asked a question face to face by a polling institute,” Mr Alekseev added.  “This result can only give a boost to the LGBT movement in Russia.”


I have a personal story relating to this article to share with you.

My sister-in-law was an immigrant who moved to the United States in 2005. She died recently and I miss her greatly. Irina was a beautiful, strong and intelligent individual. She left her family and homeland to be with my brother after they met during a chance encounter.

Irina and I bonded the first moment we met. She embraced me with her whole heart. We shared stories of our experiences with homophobia. Her heritage was mixed - part Jewish and part Christian. Her grandfather was persecuted during World War II and the stigma of her heritage followed her throughout her life. She could easily relate with homosexuals and their suffering at the hands of hate-mongers.

She told me that she had many gay friends in Moscow - what we might call a fag-hag but really she was simply a good soul who would not discriminate against anyone and who comforted those who were oppressed by a society that had legislated hatred towards them.

Irina said that one of her friends was a beautiful blond young man who she met while in Vienna. They were both on the same train and just struck up a friendship. When they returned to Moscow the kept in touch. She had known him for over 20 years. His name was Petr. Petr worked at one of the power plants that feeds electricity to the city.

After the Communist Party was "out of power" and the new constitution was enacted some people believed things would change for the better for all Russians. This was not the case. The same political machine was controlling Russia and Moscow that had done so for the last century. The KGB had not disappeared but had only changed it's name. In Russia no one knows who might be an undercover agent working for the "Not The KGB".

Petr had always been careful who he took into his confidence. The fear of losing his apartment and job was justified by history. Irina had not heard from Petr for some time and decided to visit him. She went to his apartment building but he no longer lived there. The woman who had been his neighbor for years watched as Irina was talking with the new tenant of Petr's apartment. As Irina was leaving the neighbor spoke to her.

The neighbor asked Irina to come inside which she did. The neighbor told Irina how Petr was attacked by some men behind the apartment building and beaten very badly. She told her how Petr would not report the attack for fear of repercussions from the police, apartment manager and his employer. His face was terribly bruised and he had lost some teeth. He was bruised from head to toe.

Petr's condition was so bad he could not go to work for a long time. The neighbor had helped him as much as she could (at least that was her side of the story) but he had no other friends or visitors. The neighbor told Irina that one day Petr was found on the ground directly below his 10th floor apartment window. Apparently he had jumped to his death (that was the official ruling).

Irina broke down into tears retelling the story to me. She felt terrible that she had not checked on him sooner. She blamed herself for letting him feel abandoned, isolated and unloved. Her suspicion was that he had not jumped voluntarily. She said many times the death of an "unwanted" person in Russia would not even be investigated and when it was the ruling was always "suicide".

I cannot imagine how it would feel to be in Petr's shoes. He wanted what all of us want - to feel loved and welcome. He did have at least one friend who mourned his death. I hope he knows that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Everything Is Relative

As a Gay man living in America my perception of the Gay Rights issue is based on the discrimination and brutality I have encountered over the course of my lifetime up until now.

I had a conversation recently with a new friend I met online. We have talked about the similarities we share despite the years and miles that lie between us. I am of a different generation than he is and he lives on the exact opposite side of the world from me. We find each others tastes in many things familiar.

I have a partner of many, many years and a loving, supportive family and circle of friends. We live a comfortable life surrounding by love and acceptance with our beautiful beagles, cats and birds. My new friend remarked how he envied the life I had with so many wonderful people surrounding me. I told him I envied him because he had a son and I would not have been able to be a father in the traditional sense because I just can't pretend to be straight and make babies with a woman, lol.

This is when my eyes were opened about how good life really is for me and all Gay Americans.

He said that to avoid arrest he must pretend to be straight at all times. He goes with women even though he would prefer to be with men. He told me he did have a boyfriend but they could never be together the way I was together with my partner. In the country where he lives homosexuals are routinely arrested and sent to prison. The fear he must feel each time he has thoughts about a man must be difficult to endure. His life is completely controlled by his government. His freedom is dependent on his ability to fit into the straight world. I can't imagine living in such fear.

The next time I feel that the government is oppressing Gays by not repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell or by not allowing Gay Marriage I will just think about my friend who lives a life that is dictated by a hellish group of religious monsters who force their will on everyone in his country.

He lives in Singapore and if you read one of the earlier posts here on this blog you will get an idea of what is going on there.

Here's to you my friend!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Singapore's Sodomy Laws Challenged

Singapore sodomy law challenge
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Singapore’s colonial-era sodomy laws are to face a High Court challenge to their constitutionality.
Section 377A of the Singaporean Penal Code states, “Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.”
The challenge to Section 377A has been launched by Tan Eng Hong, a man charged with having consensual oral sex with another man after an alleged incident in a shopping centre toilet earlier this year.
“The continuance of Section 377A on the statute book operates to brutalise a vulnerable minority segment of the citizenry for no fault on its point,” Tan’s lawyer wrote to the court.
“A section of society has been thus criminalised and stigmatised to a point where individuals are forced to deny the core of their identity and vital dimensions of their personality.”
Since former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew made a statement in support of tolerance for homosexuals in 2007, Singapore’s Government has repeatedly stated it would decriminalise homosexuality without delivering.
In 2007 the Government legalised anal and oral sex between heterosexuals but left gay men out.
Singapore’s peak GLBT lobby group People Like Us noted that Singapore already had legislation that could be used to police indecent behaviour in its Miscellaneous Offences Act which did not discriminate on the basis of a person’s sex or sexuality.
“That said, People Like Us do not condone sex in public spaces where conflict with other members of society can occur. At no time do we say that these should not be prosecutable offences,” the group said in a statement.
Similar court challenges led to the repeal of colonial-era sodomy laws in Nepal and India in 2007 and 2009.

Iranian Teenager Faces Execution After False Accusation Against Him

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

An 18-year-old Iranian man is facing execution over a false sodomy charge, campaigners say.

Ebrahim Hamidi was sentenced to death two years ago at the age of 16 for an unspecified assault on another man.

Although the allegation was withdrawn and the Iranian Supreme Court has rejected the guilty verdict and execution order, a lower provincial court is insisting on Mr Hamidi's execution.

Now, his fate lies in the hands of the Supreme Court, which must decided whether to uphold the execution order.

Previously, he was represented by the human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei but Mr Mostafaei has gone into hiding after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

The lawyer is also representing Sakineh Ashtiani, the Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning on charges of adultery.

Supporters of Mr Hamidi say that while Ms Ashtiani is unlikely to face death because she has international support, he could be executed at any time.

They are asking for people to contact their MPs to raise awareness of Mr Hamidi's plight.

He was arrested in 2008 with three other men after a fight between two families outside the city of Tabriz.

The four men were told by police that one of the men they had been fighting had claimed they attempted to strip and sexually assault him.

The men say they were tortured in prison and Mr Hamidi signed a confession which he said was not true.

All four were tried in two consecutive provincial criminal courts and were sentenced to execution.

During their third trial, three of the men were cleared of all charges but Mr Hamidi was again sentenced to execution.

He was sentenced to die on June 21st this year.

On July 7th, the man who made the original accusation against Mr Hamidi withdrew it, telling police in a written statement that he had made up the claim under parental pressure.

The Supreme Court of Iran has twice rejecting the lower court's rulings on the case because of shortcomings in the judicial investigation.

However, Mr Hamidi's supporters say that the lower court is intent on his execution.

Dan Littauer, the editor of Gay Middle East, who has been reporting on the case, says that Mr Hamidi currently has no legal representation.

In a statement today, he urged people to support the accused man's case by contacting their MPs.

"There is no evidence that Hamidi is gay or that he committed any crime. This execution must be stopped. We need your help," Mr Littauer said.

UK-based gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell added: "Ebrahim's case shows the flaws and failings of the Iranian legal system. It is further evidence that innocent people are sentenced on false charges of homosexuality."

"An international campaign can help stop Ebrahim's execution, just as a similar global campaign has, so far, halted the stoning to death of Sakineh Ashtiani."

Punitive Laws Thwart HIV Prevention

Punitive laws thwart fight against HIV in homosexual men in Asia-Pacific – UN

21 July 2010 – The continued criminalization of male-to-male sex in the Asia-Pacific, resulting in harassment and other human rights violations, is hurting the region’s response to HIV, a new United Nations Development Programme has found. Of the 48 countries in the region, 19 of them – including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Kiribati and Malaysia – have outlawed sex between consenting male adults, with these laws often used by vigilantes in ways that lead to abuse and rights violations.
The new report notes that police selectively target men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people, leading to assault, extortion and detention in some Asia-Pacific countries with repressive legal environments.
It said that police harassment of outreach workers, many of whom are themselves are MSM or transgender, interrupt HIV prevention services.
Police often raid events where HIV education takes place and censor materials containing information on the epidemic, UNDP said, while laws banning sodomy discourage the formation of support groups, which are vital for effective peer-based HIV prevention, care and support.
HIV prevalence among this group is significantly higher that it is in the general adult population in Asia, it noted, warning that nearly half of all new infections will be among MSM by 2020 unless prevention efforts receive a boost.
Nearly half of the countries in the Asia-Pacific identify MSM as being most at risk in their HIV programmes, even though some of their legal environments remain repressive.
“Legislation and law enforcement often lags behind national HIV policy, with the result that the reach and effectiveness of programmes for MSM and transgender people are limited,” the report found.
It also pointed to the multiple forms of stigma that they confront in most of the region, including discrimination in accessing health care, education, employment and justice.
UNDP did note some positive developments in the region, with eight jurisdictions now recognizing that some constitutional protections extend to sexual minorities.
In Nepal, for example, the Supreme Court has interpreted the interim constitution as guaranteeing equal rights to people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Government is also considering proposals to introduce wide-ranging legal protections from discrimination regarding sexuality as it drafts its new constitution.
“However, these are exceptional developments,” UNDP said. “Examples of high-level political action and law reform to introduce enabling legal environments for MSM and transgender people are rare.”
Among the new report’s recommendations are the repealing of laws criminalizing sex between consenting adults, as well as supporting community-based education and advocacy on the human rights of MSM and transgender people.
It also calls for anti-discrimination laws to be enacted across the region in relation to sexual orientation and transgender status.

Friday, October 15, 2010

We Need Your Help

I am trying to research which countries have enacted criminal laws against homosexuals. That is to say, countries where the government has actually criminalized, arrested, convicted, imprisoned or executed homosexuals. I realize we are despised by many religions and societies but I am talking about laws against us.

If anyone has information about this please post a comment here on New Gay Earth. Your contributions will be acknowledged in the eventual publication.



Knowing When You Are Not Welcome

My first post on this new blog.

I decided to start another blog to deal with the issue of nations where not only are we despised by the society at large but we are criminalized by the government.

I was chatting with a friend who lives on the opposite side of the earth from my home. We have so much in common that I assumed his life wasn't that much different from mine. I could not have been more mistaken.