Law - Gay, LGBT Hub




Conservative Group at Northwestern Offers Chick-Fil-A At Gay Marriage 'Debate', Infuriates Students

ChickThe Northwestern Law School chapter of the Federalist Society on Monday sent out an invitation to a debate on same-sex marriage that prominently featured food from notorious anti-gay fast-food chain, Chick-fil-a. As Above the Law reports, the Chick-fil-a logo is noticeably the largest item on the invitation, which was sent to the entire school’s listserv, egging on students who support equality. The response to the invite was fast and furious. One student replied,

As tired as I am of having my rights challenged and up for debate, I am all about conversations and discussions. I look forward to the day when this topic is as inappropriate as a panel on the legitimacy of marriage between those of different races, but I’m willing to be patient.

I am all about free market economy and supporting companies that share your values.

Still, I feel like serving Chick-fil-a is an extremely inappropriate and insensitive decision on behalf of the Federalist Society.

I’m disappointed.

Hope your event goes well. I will not be attending.

While another chose to respond satirically,

Kkk

Quickly, a coalition of student organizations rallied together in protest of the Federalist Society’s hateful stance, calling on students to wear purple to the event and boycott the “hate chicken” provided:

A coalition of student organizations at Northwestern Law, including OUTLaw, DivCo, ACS, BLSA, LLSA, and NU Dems, highly encourages students to attend tomorrow’s FedSoc function in RB180 on marriage equality. Dialogue and discussion on the marriage equality issue are welcome, especially as the anti-equality movement (as exemplified by the FedSoc’s speaker, Ryan Anderson) continues to find itself in the minority. A pro-equality message, one that Northwestern Law aims to exemplify, should be heard at the event.

Ryan Anderson, mentioned above, was cited by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in his hateful dissent in United States v. Windsor


PA State Senator Jim Ferlo Comes Out: 'I'm Gay, Get Over It' - VIDEO

FERLO

Pennsylvania State Senator Jim Ferlo came out as gay today at a press conference in Harrisburg in which lawmakers called for hate crimes legislation that would protect LGBT citizens in the Quaker State. From ABC 6:

"Hundreds of people know I'm gay. I just never made an official declaration. I never felt I had to wear a billboard on my forehead. But I'm gay. Get over it. I love it. It's a great life," Ferlo said.

The proposed hate crimes legislation was drafted by Ferlo and was created in response to a recent attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia's city center. Out state representative Brian Sims was also present for the press conference to lend his support to Ferlo and the legislation. 

Watch a video of Ferlo's announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "PA State Senator Jim Ferlo Comes Out: 'I'm Gay, Get Over It' - VIDEO" »


Indonesian Sharia Province May Punish Gay Sex With 100 Lashes

Caning aceh indonesia

Politicians in Aceh province, Indonesia, are considering passing a new law that will punish gay sex with 100 lashes, reports Malaysian Digest.

Aceh is the only part Indonesia to enforce Islamic Sharia law, which is has been slowly implementing since 2001.

The draft law, which also punishes adultery with 100 lashes of the cane, would criminalize anal sex between men and "the rubbing of body parts between women for stimulation.” It would also apply Islamic laws and punishments to non-Muslims.

Aceh Party's Ramli Sulaiman, who heads the commission that drafted the law, said:

"We have studied the implementation of sharia in countries like Saudi Arabia, Brunei Darussalam and Jordan to draft this law and we are happy with it.”

Amnesty International has expressed concern over the bylaw and has said that caning goes against international laws on torture and rights, as well as Indonesia's own constitution.


Will South Africa Become a Roadblock To International LGBT Rights?

South Africa, which was once an essential nation to advancing LGBTI rights in international diplomacy, has since become a potential roadblock, according to Huffington Post.

South africaIn 2011, South Africa sponsored a resolution before the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) that, for the first time, recognized LGBTI rights as human rights. Supporters of the resolution believed that it required at least one prominent African backer in order to prevent it playing into the hands of LGBTI rights opponents in Africa and other parts of the world.

However, when an updated version of the resolution was tabled last week at a HRC meeting, South Africa’s name was not on it. With a vote expected this week, some LGBTI rights supporters are now concerned that South Africa  could turn against the resolution.

This comes following a move by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party to block a parliamentary motion to condemn Uganda’s severe anti-gay laws - which have since been struck down.

According to Mmapeseka Steve Letsike, a lesbian activist who chairs the South African National AIDS Council’s Civil Society Forum:

“We currently have leadership that fails to represent the ethos of what the constitution says and the equality principles they have to uphold. We have leadership going out of this country putting their personal beliefs before its own people. We have leaders that fail to protect their own.”

MandelaSome South African activists regard these decisions to move away from supporting LGBTI rights internationally as part of a larger trend in the country’s leadership.

While Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the African National Congress embraced LGBTI rights, that commitment is not as strong among the younger generation of leaders, most notably President Jacob Zuma, who called same-sex marriage “a disgrace to the nation and to God” around the time the unions won legal recognition in the country.

The resolution’s supporters are optimistic that they will have the votes to pass the resolution and nobody believes it is possible that South Africa would vote against it on the final vote. It could abstain on a final vote or vote for a procedural motion that would kill the resolution by denying an up or down vote — exactly what it did to keep the inclusive language out of the Protection of the Family resolution in June.

The lack of support for the updated HRC resolution actually comes at a time that there is a new commitment from the government to fighting anti-LGBTI hate crimes inside the country, spurred by a series of horrific rapes and murders of black lesbians.


Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Recommended For Asylum In The U.S. - VIDEO

John Abdallah Wambere

Immigration officials are recommending that the U.S. grant asylum to John Abdallah Wambere, a prominent gay rights activist in Uganda who lives in fear of death threats and repression at home, reports The Boston Globe.

Wambere arrived from Uganda on February 21 on a temporary visa, three days before Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed off on his country’s new law punishing gay sex and the “promotion of homosexuality” with life imprisonment.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a letter on September 11th recommending Wambere for asylum, although final approval is still pending a mandatory background check.

Wambere said he has been evicted, arrested three times, beaten unconscious and has received anonymous death threats, including in 2011, after gay rights leader David Kato was bludgeoned to death.

Although Uganda’s constitutional court in August overturned the country’s anti-gay laws on technical grounds, some lawmakers have vowed to refile the overturned bill.

According to Allison Wright, one of Wambere’s lawyers at GLAAD:

“The antigay sentiment has just been rising and rising over the years. Just because the act is gone doesn’t mean that hostility is not there. That hostility is very much still alive.”

In an interview earlier this week, Wambere hailed the decision and vowed to continue advocating for gay rights in Uganda from abroad.

“I’m so excited; I’m overwhelmed. I felt like standing on the streets and shouting out to the whole world.”

On adjusting to life in Massachusetts, he said he had been shocked at the sight of a gay couple openly holding hands on Boston Common:

“To me, it was amazing. Nobody cared about it. Even they themselves were not even freaking out.”

Watch an interview with Wambere and a report on the asylum case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Is Egypt Surveilling Social Media To Hunt Down Gay People? - VIDEO

Egyptian surveillance

Concerns are mounting in Egypt that authorities will use new online monitoring software to hunt down LGBT people, reports Buzzfeed.

Earlier this month, Egyptian authorities arrested nine men for "debauchery" but later concluded that "the men tested negative for homosexuality."

Using U.S. technology, Egypt is now monitoring online communications, giving the government an unprecedented ability to comb through data from Skype, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp and Viber.

In recent weeks, Egypt’s LGBT community has issued warnings to avoid using Grindr after rumors spread that officials were using the app to arrest gay men.

Although Egyptian officials have said their monitoring of online activity will focus on preventing terrorist attacks, one Interior Ministry official said the current mandate was “much broader”:

“We are looking at any conversation, any interaction, we might find worrying or would want to keep a closer eye on. We are watching conversations between Islamists, or those who discuss Islamism. We are watching communities, which we consider at risk.”

EgyptThe official went on to say that those taking part in “debauchery” or “homosexual acts” would be watched “for the protection of Egypt.”

He added that although he wasn’t familiar with Grindr, there were “dozens of Facebook groups” used by the LGBT community that are being watched.

Gen. Hany Abd el Lateef, a spokesman for Egypt’s Interior Ministry, denied that the government plans to monitor citizens’ private lives.  

However, a copy of the tenders issued by the Interior Ministry which specifies the type of online communications it will be searching for suggests otherwise.  The list includes:

  • Blasphemy and skepticism in religions
  • Spreading of rumors and intentional twisting of facts
  • Sarcasm
  • Pornography, looseness, and lack of morality

Providing the service to the Egyptian government, See Egypt is the sister company of the U.S.-based Blue Coat.

Ali Miniesy, the CEO of See Egypt, said that the company had been contracted to provide Egypt’s State Security with the system, and to teach officials how to comb through data gathered from email accounts and social media sites.

He added that although the software can be used to penetrate social media and other software, it is a system similar to that used by most Western governments, including the United States.

According to Eva Blum-Dumontet, an advocacy officer with the U.K.-based NGO Privacy International:

“This new software makes it very easy to target anyone, en masse. The user simply says, ‘I want to look for atheists, or homosexuals,’ and the company gets all the data. It’s extremely easy.

"There is a difference between what you do on social media and what you do in the real world. The concern is that people who are not necessarily our protesting would suddenly be on the radar of the Egyptian authorities because they liked a status on Facebook or retweeted something.”

Egyptian Human Rights groups filed a lawsuit on June 17 alleging that the system used by Egypt “threatens private life and public freedom.”  However, the lawsuit could take years to work its way through the courts, and in the meantime the See Egypt technology will continue to be used.

Watch a report on this story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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