Showing posts with label Homophobia in Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homophobia in Government. Show all posts

October 2, 2018

How Our Forefathers Gay Activists Remade The Federal Government



By Rick Valelly 

The 40th anniversary of the Civil Service Reform Act — a signature accomplishment of President Jimmy Carter — fittingly falls during LGBT History Month. When Carter signed the bill into law on Oct. 13, 1978, he hailed the civil service reorganization for putting “merit principles into statute” and, critically, for defining “prohibited personnel practices.” Discrimination in the civil service on the basis of race, creed, sex, national origin, age, and disability were prohibited. But this definition also eliminated discrimination “on the basis of conduct which does not adversely affect the performance of the employee or applicant or the performance of others."
Why was that conduct language there? Because of gay and lesbian activism and legal struggles. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, gay and lesbian activists fought with and finally changed the Civil Service Commission — the agency that the act replaced with three new agencies (the Office of Personnel Management, the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Office of Special Counsel). In letters, face-to-face meetings and public protests — in front of the White House and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall — activists pointed out, over and over, that there was no relationship between sexual orientation and a person’s capacity to work for the federal government.
After bureaucratic and legal battles lasting 10 years, persistence paid off. But the coded language of conduct, rather than an explicit statement about sexual orientation, demonstrated the limits of this landmark piece of legislation, and the challenges that still faced the LGBTQ community as it labored to overcome discrimination in federal employment.
It was a struggle that went back decades. During the Cold War, the sexual orientation of federal employees became a target during what has become known as the “Lavender Scare.” Government agencies cracked down on employees suspected of same-sex attraction, arguing that it betrayed a moral weakness and created a security risk.
By the early 1960s, however, the Mattachine Society of Washington, working with the National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union, developed a litigation strategy for challenging the commission’s discriminatory policy. They found an ally in the courts. In the 1969 decision in Norton v. Macy, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declared discriminatory practices unconstitutionalThat case pitted Clifford Norton, a NASA employee arrested by D.C. police for homosexual solicitation and then interrogated for several hours by NASA security agents, against John Macy, the highly homophobic chair of the Civil Service Commission.
The court held that “the Commission has neither the expertise nor the requisite anointment to make or enforce absolute moral judgments … the notion that it could be an appropriate function of the federal bureaucracy to enforce the majority’s conventional codes of conduct in the private lives of its employees is at war with elementary concepts of liberty, privacy, and diversity.” In short, it argued that there was no relationship between conduct and an employee’s “efficiency of the service.” 
The legal battle continued over the next four years, culminating in a federal injunction against the Civil Service Commission. On Oct. 31, 1973, San Francisco federal judge Alfonso Zirpoli, a liberal appointed by President John F. Kennedy, issued an injunction against the commission after the firing of a gay employee in the Agriculture Department. The injunction held that sexual orientation was irrelevant, contrary to the position taken by the Civil Service Commission that the reputation of the civil service would suffer if it was widely known that lesbians and gay men worked for Uncle Sam.
The court forced the commission to start an internal review to study whether there was a “specific rational connection” between “conduct” and “ability to perform” or “the ability of the Federal agency to carry out its mission.” Within a few weeks, the commission issued a bulletin to federal agencies forbidding dismissals of employees for homosexuality alone and barring any reliance on “‘unsubstantiated conclusions regarding embarrassment to the Federal service.’”
The commission thus — finally! — embraced Norton. It did so because one of the commission’s long-serving lawyers, Anthony Mondello, had decided on the merits that the time for policy change had come. (I know this thanks to read copies of documents from the commission’s Office of General Counsel that were unearthed in the National Archives by Charles Francis and shared with me during a visit to the D.C. law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery.) 
A year and a half later, in July 1975, commission officials fully complied, announcing that open homosexuality no longer constituted a cause for dismissal. On the front page of the July 4 Washington Post, the headline read: “Civil Service Ruling: Homosexuals Win Job Right.”
While an achievement for the Ford administration, it soon became Jimmy Carter’s responsibility to implement these changes. Carter was the first president to have openly campaigned in favor of gay rights (a little-known fact about him). The administration even held a White House conference on gay rights early in his administration.
But by the fall of 1978, Anita Bryant and her homophobic “Save the Children Campaign” had spread throughout the country. Their targets? Those cities and municipal governments that had, in the early and mid-1970s, put clear and explicit protections for gay and lesbian municipal employees into their long-standing civil rights ordinances. 
It is quite likely — although not certain — that Bryant’s campaign is why the final Civil Service Reform Act used the opaque language of conduct.
What was not done in legislation was done by bureaucratic means. In 1980, Alan Campbell, who had just transitioned from his role as Civil Service Commission chair into that of director of the Office of Personnel Management, clarified the language of conduct through the simple device of a binding memorandum — today is known as the Campbell Memorandum in law school casebooks and in law review articles. It read: “Applicants and employees are to be protected against inquiries into, or actions based upon, non-job-related conduct, such as religious, community or social affiliations, or sexual orientation.”
This policy gradually spread through the federal government, but it took activism for that to happen. Over the next decade and a half, several federal agencies — in response to demands from organized gay and lesbian federal employees — explicitly announced that they did not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Then on May 28, 1998, President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 13087, which amended an equal opportunity order issued by Richard Nixon to include “sexual orientation.”
As we take note, then, of CSRA’s 40th anniversary, we should also take note that the commemoration’s coincidence with LGBT History Month (October of every year) teaches us a crucial lesson about the power of activism: It can stop a government from persecuting its own civil servants because of their sexual orientation.

August 9, 2018

In Japan, Straight People Unable to Bear Children Blast Lawmaker For Saying LGBT Were Unproductive because They can't Reproduce

 *'My mom is lsevian'

 *'Some of our parents were closetted gays'

A group of people who can’t have children due to disability or illness protested Tuesday over a recent article written by a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who said gay and lesbian couples are unproductive because they don’t reproduce.
Speaking at a news conference at the health ministry, they said such views deeply hurt the feelings not only of sexual minorities but also of people who cannot have children due to illness or disability.
“I cannot have children because of the effects of medication, but I don’t believe that human value is decided by whether one can have children or not,” said Hiroko Uchiyama, 43, from the city of Hachioji in western Tokyo.
In the magazine article, Mio Sugita, a House of Representatives member with the ruling LDP, wrote that there is no justification for efforts by the state and municipalities to invest taxpayers’ money into policies supporting same-sex couples because “these men and women don’t bear children — in other words, they are ‘unproductive.’ “
Shoji Nakanishi, 74, also from Hachioji, who is partially paralyzed due to a cervical spine injury, said Sugita’s view was akin to that of the man indicted for killing 19 mentally disabled people at a care home in Kanagawa Prefecture in 2016. The man had said disabled people “should be eradicated from society.”
Nakanishi said he is concerned about “a growing trend to eliminate heterogeneity from society.”
The LDP posted a message on its website last week stating that Sugita’s views did not conform with the party’s official stance on issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
However, LDP No. 2, Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, said in late July in reference to Sugita’s article that the LDP “is a gathering of wide-ranging people from right to left. Each (LDP politician) has his or her own political position and life philosophy.”
Nakanishi denounced Nikai’s remarks, saying he “tolerates and facilitates eugenics ideas.”

by KYODO.    Japan Times

* The quotes attributed to the characters in the pictures were just to make the point that gays do have children and to show how shamesly this lawmaker in Japan was about human biolagy and sexuality. I thought  that only applied to American lawmakers. No the baby could still not talk. adam

July 16, 2018

Israel Knesset New Surrogacy Bill Excludes Gays

 Thousands Protest Knesset's surrogacy bill on Saturday night in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: SHIRA LEVRON)

Several thousand people demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday night against a looming bill on surrogacy that, if passed, would exclude gay couples.

The bill, which is expected to pass into law in its final readings at the Knesset on Monday, updates current legislation that only grants state-supported surrogacy for married heterosexual couples, by expanding the eligibility to single women. 

But it still leaves out gay couples.

Hen Arieli, the chairman of the LGBTQ Association opened her speech with a message to the South, at the end of a day in which Gaza border communities had been pounded by projectiles from Gaza.
“Our heart is with our LGBTQ sisters and brothers in the Gaza perimeter and in the IDF,” she said. “We are holding the demonstration to make our voices heard because the discrimination applies equally to all of us, and now that they are carrying the security burden, it is our duty to bear the burden of protest and struggle for them.”

“According to the prime minister’s fluent English we are in an LGBTQ paradise, but in reality, our lives do not allow us to marry, we are not allowed to have children, and if we have already succeeded, we are overwhelmed by unnecessary difficulties. There is a limit to how much ‘no’ we can hear and we will not remain silent until the discrimination ends,” Arieli added.

Oded Fried, the LGBTQ community’s representative in the Knesset, said: “If there was a law that states that only women born in Israel can be mothers or a law that couples of settlers are forbidden to establish a family, no one would remain silent and hide behind excuses like coalition discipline. Whoever votes in favor of the surrogacy law this week – this is a vote against us. And we will not sit quietly while legislators make laws against us and trample on our basic rights."

Appeared on the Jerusalem Post

May 31, 2018

ICE Repudiation of Its OWN Rules Are Placing LGBT Detainees At Risk

The perimeter fence of the T. Don Hutto detention facility of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement center is seen.
Getty/Corbis//Robert Daemmrich Photography IncThe perimeter fence of the T. Don Hutto detention facility of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement center is seen. 
Laura Monterrosa is a queer asylum seeker from El Salvador. After being targeted by homophobic gang violence and having her life threatened, she decided to seek safety in the United States. In May 2017, she presented herself at the border, seeking asylum, and was detained at the T. Don Hutto detention center, an all-women immigration detention facility run by the private prison company CoreCivic. In November, she reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that a guard had sexually abused her on multiple occasions. After ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the local sheriff’s office looked into the allegations, ICE closed her case, saying that her account “could not be corroborated” and “lacked evidence to pursue any further action.” Laura’s attorney reported investigators even asked if the relationship with the guard was consensual. After ICE closed the case, the FBI intervened and picked up the investigation. Despite a pending FBI investigation into these incidents, ICE would not release Laura—nor would it fire the guard. Laura remained trapped inside Hutto with her alleged abuser. Desperate, Laura ingested 51 prescription pain pills in an attempt to kill herself. In February 2018, ICE reportedly placed her in isolation for three days, during which time she claimed ICE tried to get her to recant her accusation of sexual abuse. A month later, Laura was finally released from detention after a judge orderedICE to provide mental health care outside the detention facility.
The Center for American Progress received information about ICE’s treatment of LGBT immigrants in detention for fiscal year 2017 from a congressional letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen from Rep. Kathleen Rice’s (D-NY) office. This information reveals that LGBT immigrants are being held in detention for long periods of time, in unsafe conditions, and at a far greater risk of sexual violence than the general population. These facts indicate that Laura’s story is not unique under the Trump administration’s policy of treating every unauthorized immigrant as a deportation priority.

LGBT immigrants in detention report high rates of sexual assault and sexual abuse

ICE’s 2014 Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations require an annual publication of sexual assault data. Making the data publicly available is important as a means of helping advocates hold ICE accountable for its response to sexual assault in detention. While ICE has not yet publicly released any of the required annual data since 2014, Rep. Rice requested data from ICE on sexual assault of people in detention, and these findings are staggering—even compared with the high rate of sexual victimization of LGBT people in U.S. jails and prisons. ICE reported to Rep. Rice that it received 227 reports of sexual abuse and assault in FY 2017. Twenty-eight of these reports involved an LGBT victim. In FY 2017, ICE detained 323,591 people. ICE reported to Rep. Rice that in FY 2017, 467 immigrants disclosed being LGBT during intake to a detention facility. This means that although LGBT people were 0.14 percent of the people ICE detained in FY 2017, they accounted for 12 percent of victims of sexual abuse and assault in ICE detention that year. In other words, assuming each report of sexual violence is substantiated and involves a separate victim, LGBT people in ICE custody are 97 times more likely to be sexually victimized than non-LGBT people in detention.

ICE is housing transgender immigrants in unsafe situations

ICE is placing LGBT immigrants in harm’s way by not releasing them from detention when they should be and has reverted to its practice of detaining transgender women with men or in solitary confinement, contrary to its own rules. In recognition of their heightened vulnerability to sexual abuse, DHS’ PREA rule requires an individualized placement determination for transgender people. In its response to Rep. Rice, ICE claims it is making these assessments. However, the custody data that Rep. Rice received indicate this is not the case. Despite the continued existence of an Obama-era memo on caring for transgender immigrants, not one of the nearly 250 facilities ICE detains immigrants in is bound to comply with this guidance. Rather than automatically applying across DHS detention facilities, this guidance requires a contractual agreement with the facility. ICE opened a pod for transgender immigrants in Cibola County, New Mexico, but that facility’s contract with ICE does not include a requirement that it comply with the transgender care memo. ICE reported to Rep. Rice that it detains transgender women in 17 facilities. Four are all-male facilities. Thirteen have a mix of male and female populations. Except for the transgender pod at Cibola, ICE has not provided information about whether ICE detained transgender women with other women, with men, or in isolation in these facilities. The average amount of time transgender people were detained in FY 2017 was 99 days, more than double the 43.7 day average all immigrants spent in ICE custody. With nearly 80 countries criminalizing LGBT people, the extended period of time they spend in detention may be due to waiting for a judge to review their cases for relief from deportation, such as asylum.
Rep. Rice’s office also obtained information about the use of solitary confinement for LGBT immigrants in detention. In recognition of the risks that come with placing vulnerable populations, such as LGBT people, in solitary confinement, ICE’s own rulesstipulate that solitary should only be used as a last resort. In those cases, solitary confinement should “not ordinarily exceed a period of 30 days.” According to Rep. Rice’s office, 1 in 8 transgender people detained by ICE were placed in solitary confinement in FY 2017. The United Nations recognizes the placement of LGBT people in solitary confinement for their own protection as a form of torture. After 15 days, solitary confinement may cause irreversible psychological damage. According to the information that ICE provided Rep. Rice, LGBT immigrants who were detained in solitary for more than 14 days spent an average of 52 days in solitary confinement.

ICE must stop wasting resources on detaining vulnerable populations

Rep. Rice’s office emailed ICE on February 14 asking how it could justify expending its limited detention resources on vulnerable populations such as LGBT people. Rice’s office shared this exchange with CAP, including ICE’s reply, which was dated April 3:
ICE is committed to faithfully executing our duty to enforce immigration laws. In Executive Order (EO) 13,768, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, the President directed that ICE “[m]ake use of all available systems and resources to ensure the efficient and faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States.” 82 Fed. Reg. 8799 (Jan. 25, 2017). As made clear in former Secretary Kelly’s February 20, 2017 memorandum, Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest, “the Department no longer will exempt classes or categories of aliens from potential enforcement.” To that end, in EO 13,767the President directed that the “Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate actions to ensure the detention of aliens apprehended for violations of immigration law pending the outcome of their removal proceedings or their removal from the country to the extent permitted by law.” 82 Fed. Reg. 8793, 95 (Jan. 25, 2017).
This response indicates that ICE does not prioritize how it expends its enforcement resources and no longer meaningfully takes into account the threat that detention poses to vulnerable populations, such as LGBT people, in making its custody decisions. This is reckless and unacceptable and will lead to more LGBT people being sexually victimized on ICE’s watch.


The Trump administration’s policy of detaining immigrants without parole or bond pending the resolution of their case or deportation—combined with its rejection of policies meant to protect vulnerable populations from abuse in detention—has led to horrifically high rates of sexual abuse and solitary confinement of LGBT immigrants. Not only are these abusive conditions inhumane, but they are also in violation of the department’s own rules implementing the PREA. ICE must end its dangerous practice of arbitrarily detaining LGBT people in unsafe conditions and ensure that its standards, guidance, and rules are rigorously enforced.
Sharita Gruberg is the associate director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress.

April 14, 2018

Mike Pompeo Just Can’t Say if He thinks Gays Are a Perversion or Not (What Did Hillary Say?)

Trump’s pick for a new secretary of state, CIA director Mike Pompeo, struggled under a string of questions on minority rights in his confirmation hearing today. The exchange culminated with Pompeo refusing to say whether he still stood behind his own past implicationthat homosexuality is a “perversion.”

In response to Democratic senator Cory Booker, Pompeo said he didn’t support gay marriage but that he treated married gay people at the CIA in “the exact same way as everyone else.” Asked repeatedly if he believed that “gay sex is a perversion,” Pompeo refused to answer the question, saying, his “respect for every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation, is the same.”

Booker was referring to a 2015 rally in Georgia where Pompeo quoted a Christian religious leader who decried Americans as having “worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism and…endorsed perversion and called it an ‘alternative lifestyle'” (at 4:20).

As secretary of state, Pompeo would represent the United States and its interests abroad, and the state department is responsible for the protection of US citizens around the world. Protection of gay rights, and assistance to refugees from countries where homosexuality is a criminalized, has been part of the agency’s work in recent years. In his hearing, Pompeo later said, “I deeply believe that LGBTQ persons have every right that every other person in the world would have.”

Further questioned about a previous assertion (paywall) that “silence” has made “Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit” in acts of terrorism, Pompeo clarified that he saw speaking out as an “opportunity” not an “obligation.”

Booker followed up by asking if Pompeo had taken such an opportunity to condemn conspiracist Frank Gaffney’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. Pompeoappeared more than 20 times on his show between 2013 and 2016. Pompeo didn’t answer the question, only saying that his record was “unambiguous” on the matter. His response was similar when asked if he had condemned other anti-Muslim groups with which Pompeo has been associated.

Hillary; When Hillary Clinton went through her confirmation hearings she said she wanted to bring Gays towards the forefront and she did; Even within the constraints of the law back then.
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March 27, 2018

China Fear of Gays Makes It Pull Back Movie Which Won Screenplay Oscars, “Call Me By Your Name”

  The movie, which won a screenplay Oscar this month, was withdrawn from the Beijing International Film Festival set for April, Sony Pictures Entertainment told Reuters, declining to comment on the reason.

Homosexuality is not illegal in China, but activists say conservative attitudes in some sections of society have led to occasional government clamp-downs.

In July last year, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) conference in the western city of Chengdu was called off after the venue canceled the booking citing conflicting events. Lesbian dating app Rela was also shut down last May.

A blacklist of banned audiovisual online content last year also controversially included homosexuality, underlining a long-standing attitude in China towards same-sex relations despite often thriving gay scenes in major cities.

The pulling of “Call Me By Your Name” also comes as China tightens its grip on media content. Parliament this month voted to scrap term limits for President Xi Jinping and hand control over film, news and publishing to the Communist Party’s publicity department.

The film follows the summer romance in Italy between a 17-year-old boy and an older student. It was pulled after the screening proposal submitted was not approved by regulators, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

In an initial screening list dated March 16, the organizer had listed “Call Me By Your Name” along with other foreign films like “Lean on Pete” and art parody “The Square”.

The festival organizer declined to comment. Reuters couldn’t reach China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

“This movie is in deviation from the policy environment in China,” said Wu Jian, a Beijing-based film analyst, adding that it was “quite embarrassing for China” that it had been pulled.

China has long censored violence or sexual content in film releases, with a growing focus on socialist core values. Films with gay themes have met with a mixed reaction with some banned, though others have been given the go-ahead.

“There is no clear policy on this issue, so we are always confused,” said Xin Ying, executive director of the Beijing LGBT Centre, adding that following the recent reshuffle of the media regulators it was getting even harder to get clear direction.

It is adamfoxie's 10thAnniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage. 4.9 Million Reads

February 13, 2018

Newspaper In Malaysia Published Checklist How to Spot a Gay or Lesbian

A leading newspaper in Malaysia has published a guide on how to identify gay and lesbian people, drawing criticism from activists who say the checklist puts lives at risk.

The article, featured in the daily newspaper Sinar Harian, features bullets points highlighting qualities that are supposedly common in gay and lesbian people, the MailOnline reported.

It suggests that gay men can be spotted by their beard and love of the gym - not for exercise but to admire other men. The piece also picked out branded clothing as an indicator of homosexuality.
The guide on 'how to identify gay and lesbian people' has drawn sharp criticism. Photo / via Twitter
The guide on 'how to identify gay and lesbian people' has drawn sharp criticism. Photo / via Twitter

The guide on 'how to identify gay and lesbian people' has drawn sharp criticism. Photo / via Twitter
Gay men's eyes light up when they see handsome men, the story claimed. And lesbians, the newspaper said, tend to hug one another, hold hands and belittle men. 

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia and carries a sentence of up to 20 years under colonial-era sodomy laws.

Activitist and social media star Arwind Kumar lashed out at the article, arguing in a video that 'there are much more important issues in this country which need to be addressed'.

"If you really want to educate society then explain to them the traits of a pedophile, a molester, a murderer, a kidnapper, people who actually endanger the lives of others. How the hell does a gay person endanger your life?"

Kumar's video, uploaded to YouTube, has been viewed by more than 100,000 people. 

Kumar took the article's writers to task, mocking the idea that facial hair was an indicator of sexual preference.

"I know a lot of priests, I know a lot of [Islamic scholars], I know a lot of-of really, really religious people who love keeping beards. Are you trying to say they are gay? That's how stupid this is," he said.

The increasingly poor treatment of gay, lesbian and transgender people in Malaysia is being driven in part by the increasing influence of conservative Islam, other critics said.

The Sinar Harian article was printed in conjunction with an interview with Hanafiah Malik, a preacher who said that there was an urgent need to stop the rise of homosexuality in Malaysia.

Homophobic rhetoric has also become commonplace in the country's government.

In March last year, Walt Disney pulled the release of its film Beauty and Beast from Malaysia after film censors deemed it could only be approved if a gay scene was cut.

A Malaysian health ministry youth video competition also called for entries on the topic of the prevention and consequences of being gay, lesbian or transgender.

It comes after a spate of recent deaths of people thought to be gay, lesbian and transgender.

Just last year an 18-year-old student was beaten then burned to death by his classmates who labeled him a "London" - an insulting term for a gay man.

A 27-year-old transgender woman called Sameera Krishnan was stabbed with a knife and shot three times while she worked at her florist shop a few months later.

Last year a Human Rights Watch report found discrimination against LGBT people was "pervasive" in Malaysia.

"If you ask someone not to be themselves that will have an adverse impact on the health and-well being of the person," said Thilaga Sulathireh, co-founder of transgender activist group Justice for Sisters.

There are no official figures on transgenders in Malaysia, though a health ministry document estimated that the country was home to about 24,000 transgender sex workers as of 2014.

What does the list say are the signs someone is gay or lesbian?
It says, gay men...

• are dominant and like to wear tight clothes to show off their six packs
• love to have 'adoptive brothers'
• adore beards, mustaches and branded clothes

It says, lesbian women...

• Hate men and enjoy belittling them 
• Love to spend time by themselves
• Enjoy hugging one other and holding hands

Adamfoxie Celebrating 10 years of keeping an eye on the world for You brings you the important LGBT news others ignore. Does not repost from gay sites [except only when importat athlete comes out].Will post popular items with a different angle or to contribute to our readers

February 10, 2018

Bermuda Legalized Same-Sex Marriage 6 Months Ago. Now to Be Banned

Would you visit a country full of exslaves against a population of their country just because of who they are as peaople?

Bermuda has forbidden same-sex marriage, only nine months after legalizing it, in what advocates for gay and lesbian rights called a disappointing setback.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Bermuda, a British overseas territory, in May as a result of a ruling by the island’s Supreme Court.

But the unions are unpopular with some voters.

In 2016, Bermudians voted against same-sex marriage in a referendum, and after the court ruling in May, the territory’s legislature drafted a bill banning same-sex marriage but giving all couples legal recognition as domestic partners. Parliament adopted the Domestic Partnership Act in December, and on Wednesday the territory’s governor, John Rankin, signed it into law.

The British prime minister, Theresa May, said Britain was “seriously disappointed,” but the Foreign Office said on Thursday it would be inappropriate to block the measure.

Same-sex marriage became legal in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014, but it is not permitted in Northern Ireland. The issue has been divisive in Britain’s overseas territories, which control their own internal affairs but rely on Britain for defense and for representation in the international community. 

International human rights groups and supporters of same-sex marriage condemned the reversal.

“This decision strips loving same-sex couples of the right to marry and jeopardizes Bermuda’s international reputation and economy,” said Ty Cobb, director of the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group in the United States.

A local advocacy group, the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda, said the Domestic Partnership Act provided a “watered down” version of rights. “Ultimately, no separate-but-equal measure allows for equality or justice,” the group said in a statement.

Winston and Greg Godwin-DeRoche, a couple who brought the lawsuit that ended up before Bermuda’s Supreme Court last year, voiced their disappointment in an Instagram post. “It’s a sad day for Bermuda, it’s a sad day for human rights,” they said. (Although the couple prevailed in court in Bermuda, they ultimately married in Canada, though they still live in Bermuda.)

Eight same-sex marriages that took place in Bermuda between May and now will remain recognized under the new law. 

“The problem is, when you are giving a community these rights, you are allowing them to get married — and then less than a year later, you are taking them away,” he said.

His husband, Greg Godwin-DeRoche, said: “It’s frustrating in so many ways. Human rights are not compromisable.”

A few months ago, as Parliament considered the legislation, the Bermuda Tourism Authority urged lawmakers to uphold same-sex marriage. On Thursday, some on social media were calling for a travelers to avoid the island in protest. Some used the hashtag #BoycottBermuda. 

Faith Bridges, a lesbian Bermudian who owns an inn, said the decision affected her personally and professionally.

“Of course as a hotel owner and as a member of the L.G.B.T. community, I am disappointed by the outcome of this decision,” Ms. Bridges said. “I had hoped our local government would not have allowed the majority to decide on a human rights issue.”

But she urged gay-rights supporters not to boycott Bermuda, saying it would be counterproductive.

“I will love who I choose to love and I will marry who I choose to marry,” said Ms. Bridges, who is in a long-distance relationship with a woman in Kansas. “If I can’t do it in my country I will do it in another.”

Adamfoxie Celebrating 10 years of keeping an eye on the world for You brings you the important LGBT news others ignore. Does not repost from gay sites [except only when importat athlete comes out].Will post popular items with a different angle or to contribute to our readers

January 19, 2018

Trump"s Conscience Law Will Allow Medical Personnel from Attending to Gays


 No abortions for you hnoey but you can have the cross of Christ and his love for people like me

Health care workers who want to refuse to treat patients because of religious or moral beliefs will have a new defender in the Trump administration.

The top civil rights official at the Department of Health and Human Services is creating the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom to protect doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to take part in procedures like abortion or treat certain people because of moral or religious objections.

"Never forget that religious freedom is a primary freedom, that it is a civil right that deserves enforcement and respect," said Roger Severino, the director of HHS's Office for Civil Rights, at a ceremony to announce the new division.

The establishment of the division reverses an Obama-era policy that barred health care workers from refusing to treat transgender individuals or people who have had or are seeking abortions.

That Obama rule was challenged in court by the Franciscan Alliance, a Christian health care organization in Texas, and a judge in 2016 blocked enforcement as the case played out in court.

The new division appears to be primarily aimed at preventing health care workers from participating in abortion services that go against their religious beliefs. The division cites a 2011 federal regulation guiding the enforcement of conscience protections that mentions abortion more than 30 times.
Louise Melling, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, said those conscience objections could expand to allow health workers to refuse some services to gay, lesbian and transgender people.

"This administration has taken a very expansive view of religious liberty," she said in an interview. "It understands religious liberty to override antidiscrimination principles."

HHS makes clear that it won't allow gender discrimination that is banned by federal law. The question, according to Melling, is whether the administration includes gender identity and sexual orientation in the definition of gender.

She says there are many examples of health workers refusing care on religious grounds, including a nurse who didn't want to provide post-operative care to a woman who had an abortion, a pediatrician who declined to see a child because his parents were lesbians and a fertility doctor who didn't want to provide services to a lesbian couple.

Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan said Thursday that is the point.

"For too long too many of these health care practitioners have been bullied and discriminated against because of their religious beliefs and moral conviction," he said.

The government, he said, has "hounded religious hospitals and the men and women who staff them, forcing them to provide and refer for services that violate their consciences."

The new division won't have to wait to get to work. A pediatric nurse at the Winnebago County Health Department in Illinois filed a complaint with HHS on Tuesday because she objects to her employer requiring that she be trained to make referrals to providers of abortion services or to help woman get abortion drugs, according to the Rockford Register Star.

This isn't the first time in the Trump administration that HHS's Office of Civil Rights has moved to protect people with moral or religious objections to some kinds of health care. In October, the agency allowed employers to refuse to pay for birth control coverage.

"Health providers should have the ability to live their religious beliefs without fear of workplace discrimination," said Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., in a statement.

Lankford has long advocated for such protections and has sponsored a bill called the Conscience Protection Act to codify the rules.

HHS head Roger Semerino (Former Director, DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity)

The media spends a lot of time tracking Donald Trump’s every move and chasing down members of Congress, but much of governing happens in these bland halls. Under Trump, HHS may see more changes than any other agency, in part because the president’s predecessor left his biggest mark here. As Congress stalls on passing a new health-care bill, the Trump administration can still fight Obamacare with revised regulations, rejiggered budgets, and lackluster enforcement. 

December 6, 2017

Elected Official to His Co-speaker: "Don't touch me I Am Married and a Heterosexual"

Out Pennsylvania state rep. Brian Sims blasted Metcalfe for the outburst, sharing the video and writing on Facebook:

THIS IS REAL: Holy #$^%, this is real! On the same day that the Pa House Republicans are trying to fast track the most anti-trans bill in the country, their head bigot, PA State Representative Daryl Metcalfe disrupted a State Government Committee meeting this morning – about a land use bill! – to loudly declare his heterosexuality!

You can’t make this stuff up! The most homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, xenophobic member of our government is using legislative time, and tax payer dollars, to interrupt a meeting to announce his sexual orientation.

THIS is what dealing with Republicans in Pennsylvania has become. THIS is why they’re attacking our youngest and most vulnerable members of the LGBT community. THIS is what a broken moral compass, combined with gerrymandered, false leadership looks like.

Please visit Chairman Daryl Metcalfe‘s page and tell him to stop forcing his sexuality on rank-and-file members of this committee and on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

I’m also certain he’d HATE for you to share his buffoonery for others to see.

October 10, 2017

Child of Same Sex Couple is Refused Passport in Dublin

A UK-based Swordswoman who is in a same-sex marriage has accused the State of discrimination after it refused to issue one of her daughters with an Irish passport.

 Catherine and Hannah with their children

Irish citizen Catherine Brancaleone-Phelan, who is originally from River valley but now living in Brighton, entered into a civil partnership with Hannah, a London-based firefighter, in 2010. The couple was later married in October 2015.
In November 2014, Catherine gave birth to daughter Kathleen after a friend agreed to act as a donor. Hannah also became pregnant through the same donor and a second daughter, Rilee, was born in May 2016.
However, the family’s happiness was shattered when their youngest child was refused an Irish passport because Catherine was named on Rilee’s birth cert as ‘parent’, as opposed to ‘father’ or ‘mother’.
Their eldest daughter was automatically entitled to an Irish passport on the basis that Catherine was named as her mother on the birth certificate. Catherine is now pregnant with twins and the couple faces the prospect of not being able to secure Irish citizenship for one of their four children.
Catherine and Hannah had been hoping to move back to Ireland in the near future. However, the State’s refusal to issue Rilee with a passport due to this anomaly has scuppered their plans, particularly in light of the uncertainty caused by Brexit.
Catherine said: “Despite Ireland being seen around the world as a champion of same-sex marriage, I believe that the State is discriminating against one of our children based on our family status. Our particular scenario should have been provided for when the legislation for marriage equality was being prepared.”
She added: “We have been fighting this for over a year now. I am absolutely sickened at how we have been treated by my country. As far as I am concerned, this ends any thoughts of ever returning home – my home is in the UK now. I am utterly ashamed of Ireland.
“The fact is that the Irish passport office has decided against issuing my second daughter with an Irish passport because my wife Hannah gave birth to her rather than me, but within our marriage. I am her legal parent and named on her birth cert. There are no similar issues with getting my first daughter a British passport, as although I gave birth to her, the UK has the decency and fairness to recognize both her legal parents and their respective nationalities.”
Senator David Norris has raised the couple’s situation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney. 
In a letter to Senator Norris outlining the reason for the refusal of the passport, Minister Coveney said the question must be looked at with reference to Irish law and, in particular, the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956.
He wrote: “Section 7 of the 1956 Act addresses citizenship by descent and provides that a person is an Irish citizen from birth if at the time of his or her birth either parent was an Irish citizen – although an additional requirement of registration is imposed in respect of children born outside the island of Ireland where the Irish citizen parent was also born outside the island of Ireland.
“We note that Rilee’s birth mother is Hannah Branceleone-Phelan who, you advise, is not an Irish citizen. For the purposes of Irish law, and in particular in this case, for the purposes of the 1956 Act, a parent is understood to mean either the ‘mother’ or ‘father’ of the child.
 “Under Irish law, the mother of a child is the person who gives birth to the child or a female adapter of the child. As the birth mother is not an Irish citizen, Rilee cannot be regarded as an Irish citizen.”
However, Catherine has argued that the reference to having an Irish ‘parent’ in the 1956 Act is a non-gender specific way of referring to a mother or father.
“I am Rilee’s legal parent,” she added. “Therefore, by gender definition, I am her mother.”

Story by Tony McCullagh
Dublin People

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