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IDAHO: Lewiston City Councilors Speak Out on Why They Oppose LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance - VIDEO

Rj johnson Lewiston Idaho

City councilors in Lewiston, Idaho, have spoken out against a proposed non-discrimination ordinance that would make it illegal to discriminate in housing, employment and public accommodation based upon sexual orientation and gender identity, reports KLEWTV.

Lewiston City Council Mayor Pro Tem R.J. Johnson said that although all seven members of the council are against discrimination based on sexual orientation, ordinance 4614 would infringe “on our basic civil liberties."

According to Jesse Maldonado, the youngest person ever elected to the Lewiston City Council, it is currently “legal to discriminate in the workforce, hiring or firing, or refusing someone service or not giving someone housing if they are gay lesbian, or transgender and there's no ramifications for doing so. So basically what this ordinance would do would make it a misdemeanor to do that which could then be punishable by jail time or a fine."

However, councilor Clinton Daniels said that 4614 could lead to retailers being “put in jail for six months” with a fine of $1,000 for refusing to serve LGBT customers. In a statement, Daniels said:

"My strong belief in liberty compels me to oppose ordinances that do not respect private property, freedom of association, and voluntary contracts; even when the stated goal of such ordinances is something I support.

When you engage in commerce, whether it be for a personal sale or a commercial one, it is a form of a contract, and in a free society all contracts should be voluntary."

Maldonado has since asked supporters to attend the next of two further readings of the ordinance on September 22nd.

 

Watch a KLEW TV reports, AFTER THE JUMP...

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President Obama, John Kerry Release Statements Marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

2_obamaTomorrow is IDAHO, and the President has taken note:

Tomorrow, as we commemorate the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we recommit ourselves to the fundamental belief that all people should be treated equally, that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, and that no one should face violence or discrimination -- no matter who they are or whom they love.

This year, the United States celebrates the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In doing so, we reflect on lessons learned from our own civil rights struggles and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the human rights of all people are universally protected.

At a time when, tragically, we are seeing increased efforts to criminalize or oppress LGBT persons, we call on partners everywhere to join us in defending the equal rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters, and in ensuring they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

KerrySecretary of State John Kerry also released a statement:

Today of all days, we are reminded that the cause of justice can and must triumph over hatred and prejudice. This is a day of action for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities and their allies all over the world. It is time to reaffirm our commitment to the equality and dignity of all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

It’s not lost on anyone that this year’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) coincides with the 60th anniversary of the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Our commitment to advancing the human rights of LGBT persons is part of this country’s long history of fighting to ensure that all people can exercise their human rights.

We have seen incredible progress in the fight to advance the human rights and fundamental freedoms of LGBT persons.

And the United States is proud to be doing its part. This past week, we convened religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations to think about how we work together to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons. Next week, we will convene meetings with our private sector allies to discuss the important role of the business community in promoting equality and the ways we can partner through the Global Equality Fund.

But this must be more than a moment to celebrate how far we have come. We know that our work is not complete when countries enact laws targeting LGBT persons and their supporters. We know that our work is not complete when LGBT persons and their allies are harassed, arrested, and even killed simply because of who they are and who they love.

The United States condemns these senseless acts of violence and discrimination. Human rights are universal, and LGBT persons and their allies must be free to exercise them without fear of intimidation or reprisal.

When our LGBT brothers and sisters are threatened anywhere, it is a threat to freedom, justice and dignity of people everywhere. The United States will continue to protect and promote the human rights of LGBT persons worldwide this day and every day. Onward.


Chinese Gay Activist Detained for 12 Days Over Pride March: Video

Xiang

A few weeks ago we reported on the LGBT rights march in the city of Changsha in central China for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO).

Today, Queer Comrades posted a video of the march to their YouTube account. The march, organized by Xiang Xiaohan, had over 100 participants from several cities and seemed to be well-received by those who witnessed it, though Xiaohan was was punished with 12 days of administrative detention by the local Changsha police for having organized the parade without obtaining Public Security permission.

Said Xiaohan after his release, "Next time they might detain me for 15 days. If that's what it takes to hold another event, then that's fine by me."

Watch the video of the march, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Chinese Teen Arrested, Jailed for Organizing LGBT Rights March: VIDEO

Changsha

A gay teen has been arrested and jailed for organizing an LGBT rights march in central China, the AP reports:

The man, identified only by his surname Xiang, was detained following the Friday event in the city of Changsha and ordered to serve 12 days in a detention center for organizing an illegal march, according to a notice on the local police's microblog account.

Changsha newspaper Xiaoxiang Morning News quoted Xiang as saying before the march that he hoped it would make people question discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, and "let more people have a correct understanding of us."

Approximately 80 people took part in the march, which was held on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia.

Watch a news report about the organization of the march, AFTER THE JUMP...

The South China Morning Post adds:

Xiang has been transferred to the Changsha Municipal Detention Centre, said A Qiang, a fellow demonstrator and well-known activist from Guangzhou. Xiang has been active in the local LGBT community since age 14. A Qiang said Xiang had approached police about the protest before it took place on Friday afternoon...

...A Qiang said police did not interfere with the protest, except towards the end, when police approached the protesters, telling them not to shout slogans and impede traffic.

By 2.45am on Saturday, Xiang and three other people were taken away by police from a hotel room they were staying in. All except Xiang were released by the afternoon.

A Qiang said the protest was one of at least 10 across China on Friday. Demonstrations took place in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengsu, and also in second-tier cities such as Nanchang.

He said he did not recall anyone else ever having been but briefly detained for organising such protests.

(images via sohu)

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U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice Records 'International Day Against Homophobia' Message: VIDEO

Rice

Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has posted a video marking today's International Day Against Homophobia.

Says Rice in the clip:

Today, as we commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, we rededicate ourselves to a basic but essential truth – that human rights are universal and must be protected for all. Homophobia, sadly, is present in every corner of our world. And, it is a problem we continue to face here in the United States.

At the United Nations, the United States is standing up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and fighting to ensure that their voices are heard and protected. The United States was proud to co-sponsor and adopt an historic resolution at the UN Human Rights Council condemning human rights abuses and violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We will continue to work in every possible arena to protect communities and promote societies in which everyone – especially LGBT youth – can live safely and without fear regardless of who they are or whom they love. We call on all nations and all peoples to join us in ensuring that human rights are universally protected everywhere every day.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Massive Survey of 93,000 Shows Most European LGBT People are Living in Fear: VIDEO

Survey

A massive survey of 93,000 Europeans taken by The European Union's Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and released to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, which is today, shows that most LGBT Europeans are living in fear.

Check out the results of the survey in an interactive map.

The FRA writes: Fra

According to the data collected, LGBT people start facing difficulties early at school, where they regularly experience bullying and harassment. For this reason, anti-bullying policies should be developed and implemented and teachers should be trained about how to better tackle bullying against LGBT students.

FRA research also shows that LGBT people face discrimination in many other walks of life, including work, housing, social services, and in access to goods and services. About half of all respondents had personally felt discriminated against or harassed in the year before the survey because they were LGBT.

Morten Kjaerum: “What is even more worrying is that LGBT people are frequently victims of hate crime and harassment. About a quarter of all respondents said they had been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years. High levels of under-reporting were also detected: just 22% of the most serious violent incidents against LGBT people in the five year preceding the survey were reported to the police.”

These experiences of hate and discrimination result in LGBT people living in fear: two thirds of the respondents across all EU Member States were scared of holding hands in public with their same-sex partner. For gay and bisexual men this rose to about 75%.

Watch the FRA's video about the survey and a BBC report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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