Showing posts with label Wales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wales. Show all posts

February 2, 2018

This is What Wales Can Show Westminster About LGBT Support




Going up: The National Assembly for Wales  (Getty)



The rise of the National Assembly for Wales to become the top employer for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in the UK is a story of how team work and commitment can make extraordinary things happen. 
As one of the first out politicians elected to the Assembly, it is a source of immense pride to me that our parliament has become a beacon of LGBT equality in the workplace. Over the last ten years LGBT staff and allies, guided by the political commitment of successive Presiding Officers and Assembly Commissioners, have taken incremental steps to build a culture that allows people to be themselves in the workplace.

 Increasing visibility We should be the place that the best and the brightest want to work, knowing that they are valued and can be themselves The Assembly has been visible in celebrating LGBT History Month and been present at Pride across Wales. It has supported LGBT staff to organize in a network that in turn inform workplace policies and procedures on mental health, pay and parental leave. 

It has let non-LGBT people know they can be our allies. It would not look out of place if the rainbow flag permanently flew outside the Senedd, alongside Y Ddraig Goch and the Union flag.  But what has impressed me most is the refusal of LGBT people and our allies to be content with just being ‘good’. We want to keep pushing to be the best that we can be because we believe that in a modern Wales, our national parliament should be the model to aspire to. 

We should be the place that the best and the brightest want to work, knowing that they are valued and can be themselves. Trans inclusivity One of the accolades which the Assembly won was Top Trans Employer in this, the first year of Stonewall’s trans-specific awards. Dedicated and strong leadership across the organization and at many different levels have kept the progress on track. That is a lesson worth learning if you’re in an organisation that is also intent on improving Through initiatives like introducing gender-neutral toilets and shower facilities, inclusive policies on Transitioning at Work and providing trans awareness resources to staff in public facing roles the Assembly has put into action the inclusive principles which should guide all workplaces. 

We’re turning a social commitment into practical outcomes and actively seeking the changes that let trans staff know that this is their workplace too.  Lessons for Westminster, Holyrood, and Stormont This work hasn’t happened by accident or in isolation. Dedicated and strong leadership across the organization and at many different levels have kept the progress on track. That is a lesson worth learning if you’re in an organization that is also intent on improving. Our parliaments should be institutions which reflect the diversity of life in all parts of the UK – amongst elected representatives, yes, but also as places of work The House of Commons has moved up to 23rd in the Top 100 Employers list. 

There is a way to go for both the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly, neither of which yet appear on the list. My message to Westminster and other UK parliaments is that you too can rise even further up the list of inclusive employers and make it easier for staff to be themselves at work by following some of the steps the Assembly has taken in Wales. 

We look forward to the day when all the UK Parliaments can be exemplars of an inclusive workplace and are happy to share our experiences. At their best, our parliaments should be institutions which reflect the diversity of life in all parts of the UK – amongst elected representatives, yes, but also as places of work. Jeremy Miles AM writes in his capacity as the Welsh Labour Assembly Member for Neath.

Jeremy Miles 



August 2, 2017

Gay Men Still Get Persecuted and Abused in England and Wales






James and Dain after the attack 

Fifty years ago, gay sex between men in private was decriminalised in England and Wales. Despite this, hate crimes against gay people have persisted, and the number of attacks recorded by police has been rising. There were 7,194 in England and Wales in the year to April 2016. Campaigners say this isn't the full picture, though, as many victims still don't report assaults. Six people affected by hate crimes share their stories. 
Warning: This story contains details of violence and images which some readers might find upsetting.
James and Dain were enjoying a night out together in Brighton in May 2016 when they were followed out of a nightclub and attacked on the seafront. The assault has left physical and emotional scars.
James: We were at the bar and we got this look from a couple of guys from across the dance floor. It takes a lot to make me feel uncomfortable but it was just such a weird look they gave us. Dain had his arm around me. I don't think they liked that. Then they started shouting at us. I told Dain we needed to get out of the club into a taxi the quickest way possible. 
Dain: We left the bar. No-one was about. All of a sudden I heard running behind us. There was no way we were going to outrun them. They grabbed us from behind and chucked us to the floor. I was lying on the pavement and all I could see was James but the next thing I saw was a shoe coming towards my face. That knocked me completely unconscious. 
James: One of the boys started kicking Dain's face really rapidly. There was a lot of aggression and shouting of "gay boys". Every time I tried to crawl closer to Dain, I was dragged along the pavement. At that point, a taxi drove past and called the police. I remember standing up for the first time and Dain looked at me and said, "I can't see." 
Dain's facial injuries after the attackDain: My eye socket was completely shattered. I had haemorrhages in both my eyes and fractures on my cheeks. My tooth was chipped and my nose was broken as well. I remember being in hospital and kept asking, "Am I going to be able to see again?" They said, "We can't tell you because everything is so swollen." They couldn't even open my eyes. 


Image copyrightDain in hospital after the attack

James and I were very close anyway but spending that much time with each other really proved to me how strong our relationship is. I'm a very resilient person and I'm not going to live my life how someone else wants me to. I'm not going to let anyone change that. If anything, this has made me want to be who I am even more. 
James: It's made him stronger and it's made him not care about what other people think and to go out there and be himself even more, whereas it's done the opposite to me. It's changed me. I've changed my thought process and mindset, how I think, how I look, how I speak, who I'm with, where we go and it's sad because I remember how we were before it happened and I look at us now and it's upsetting because it's them who made this happen. That's what's hard to accept. 
It's a year since it happened and I thought things would probably get easier but they haven't. When we're out and about he wants us to look like we're together obviously but I'm scared of something similar happening again. It wasn't like that a year ago. We didn't go down the street holding hands but I wasn't fully aware of us making sure that we weren't seen as a couple. 
I couldn't ever forgive the people who attacked us or forget what happened. It will stay with me and I'm sure it will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

BBC


  • From the section Magazine

  • Both attackers, Gage Vye-Parminter and Matthew Howes, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and assault and were sentenced to seven years in prison.

    July 27, 2017

    Theresa May, On The End of 50 yrs of Gay Persecution and Celebrates the Decriminalization on England, Wales




    On the right there is a scientist and mathematician, modern father of the computer and military codes was forced to be castrated and at the end not able to see others like him committed suicide. On the left a famous gay movie star on his first break, His career was impacted by talks and suspicions about being gay. You could be gay in the studios as long as no one found out. Lives' negatively impacted by England's archaic gay laws. The United States and most of the West was no different.











    The Conservative Party has been "wrong" on gay rights in the past - but can be proud of the role it has played in recent years, Theresa May has said.
    Marking 50 years since the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales, the PM said she and the party had both "come a long way".
    Mrs. May said there will "justifiably be skepticism" about the way she voted on some LGBT issues.
    PinkNews also carries comments from the Labour leader and three ex-PMs.
    The Sexual Offences Act was introduced on 27 July 1967 under Harold Wilson's Labour government.
    It decriminalized homosexual acts in private between men aged 21 and over.
    Mrs. May said: "I am proud of the role my party has played in recent years in advocating a Britain which seeks to end discrimination on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity, but I acknowledge where we have been wrong on these issues in the past." 
    As an MP in 1998, Mrs. May voted against reducing the age of consent for homosexual acts from 18 to 16 and four years later opposed allowing gay couples to adopt. 
    She was also absent for several votes affecting LGBT rights - but in 2004 backed civil partnerships, and as a member of the coalition government supported a succession of measures including same sex-marriages.
    She told PinkNews: "There will justifiably be skepticism about the positions taken and votes cast down through the years by the Conservative Party, and by me, compared to where we are now.
    "But like the country we serve, my party and I have come a long way."

    'Long journey'

    Mrs. May's predecessor David Cameron told PinkNews the Same Sex Marriage Act, which legalized gay weddings in England and Wales in 2013, was one of his "proudest achievements".
    "Marriage is a great institution and I have long believed that it should be there for everybody; it now is and Britain led the way," he said.
    Tony Blair said: "We have come a long way over the last 50 years and it's right to celebrate, but while there are still challenges, such as pupils subject to homophobic and transphobic bullying... there is still further to go." Sir John Major said the act was "the start of a long journey that would have been inconceivable in 1967". 
    He said: "We are what fate made us. And, whatever that may be, we are entitled to give and receive affection."
    In a separate article, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the anniversary was a time to "recognize the great strides towards equality that have been made".
    He said: "I am proud of the role the Labour Party played in these advances... but this progress is not down to MPs in Parliament... these achievements belong first and foremost to the LGBT community who have persevered against prejudice for many years."
    Mr. Corbyn also urged the prime minister to stand up "in the strongest terms" to US President Donald Trump on LGBT issues, saying he had "incited hatred and discrimination".
    BBC Uk

    September 17, 2014

    Legislation being introduced in NS Wales to Sponged Gay sex Convictions


                                                                              

     LGBTI community leaders in NSW have welcomed news that an intention to introduce a bill enabling people to have their historical convictions for homosexual conduct extinguished was motioned in state parliament today.
    Coogee state Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith provided the notice of his intention to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to the Legislative Assembly which, if passed, would extinguish historical convictions for consensual sex between men. 
    The bill would apply to convictions made before the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1984, and up until 2003 when the discriminatory age of consent — for example, when a 17-year-old gay male was liable for prosecution for having consensual sex with a 16-year-old male — ended.
    The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby has stated that the move was “significant in material and symbolic terms” for those directly affected and the broader LGBTI community.
    They also said the estimate number of people charged with such offences was in the hundreds, but it is also suspected that the actual number is likely to be “significantly higher”.
    “In many cases where people were charged as a result of acts no longer considered criminal offences, the effects on their lives have been profound, sometimes resulting in incarceration, social alienation, the  inability to apply for specific jobs,  and,  in many instances, the  inability to travel freely overseas, as other Australians do,” NSW GLRL convenor Justin Koonin said.
    ACON president Mark Orr shared similar sentiments.
    “The introduction of such a bill is an important step towards righting a long standing historical injustice arising from the criminalisation of sex between men,” he said.
    “The issue is important for several reasons. There are a number of individuals who, for purposes of residency or immigration elsewhere, are troubled by the obligation to report a historical conviction.
    “Also, through ACON’s work with older people we know that many of these arrests and convictions produced long lasting trauma and shame for the individuals involved, which in some cases has produced long standing distrust of institutions and services, to the detriment of their wellbeing. The retrospective extinguishment of these convictions may help resolve these issues.”
    Both Koonin and Orr commended Notley-Smith for taking the initiative to make his intention to introduce the bill official, and called on all NSW parliamentarians to support it.
    “A commitment to equality and justice requires that we extinguish these convictions, resulting from charges that today would not be upheld in a  court of law,” Koonin said.
    The news comes on the same day as the Victorian Government introducing their long-awaited legislation into state parliament to allow men with historical gay sex convictions to have them expunged.
     Star Observer

    April 10, 2013

    He Stood There Like an Apollo Rocket Ready to Blast off, Except He blasted Down

    My Introduction:
    Adam Gonzalez


    Let me tell you something about comedians. I have never trusted them, never liked them. Whenever I went to see one or a bunch off them I disagree with most of the stuff they throw on the wall to see what stick. They offend more than half of the audience trying to accomplish a stupid laugh. You become a friend of one and you never know when they are telling you the truth and when they are bull shitting you. But there some comedians that without being 100% percent offensive they can make you laugh with one laughing and crunching their teeth,. The great Johnny Carson was one. He didn’t score every night but he knew it and the audience knew it so it was very human and very sophisticated on its own way.  Besides he had a variety show to hide behind it or just hump into his side kick arms and some times he did just that.
    Besides Johnny there was fat Louie guy. Whom i first saw on the carson show. I’ve heard fat comedians make fun of them selves, but they come across to me as people that want to be skinny but have too many issues to be fit. One of the issues is that they have is being a bad comedian. Not with Louie. He was fat and he knew why. He also knew that he probably he would stay that way. May be getting to be more fit which he did even though he waited too long, but he still alive and hasn’t had a heart attack yet, that Im aware of.

    But With this show splash I see him (don’t watch the show, just was channel surfing) and I see this whale of a man jump from a diving board, high diving board. I say god dammed he is dead. The whole damn pool is going to empty out of water or he's going to hit chest first and make his heart stop. I then realized after the jump it was fat Louie; My Louie that almost made me  develop this love for him like a brother towards a crazy brother or best friend. 

    After he jumped Not only He had to be taken out in a stretcher. That is after 20 minutes or so in the water until he recovered. They didn’t have a hoyst that strong to pick him off the water. Besides it did him good for his fat and muscles to try and get together to the previous positions if they remember of coarse.   There he is below like a whale and that is fine! But Jumping off a diving board…not good man…Not good.
    Im sorry I don’t see him on tv for ages and the next time he is up the like an apollo rocket ready to blast to the moon except he blasts down. yikes!
    I still Love you Louie, just be careful man, love to have you back with just  jokes!


    Out of the show: Louie Anderson left the competition on Tuesday night's Splash


    This is not my last dive. This is my first step into a brand new life.' 
    Louie had proved so popular that beauty queen Katherine Webb, up against him with the lowest scoring dives of the night, burst into tears when she realized he was going home rather than her.
     
     'I'm just more upset to see Louie go than anything,' she said, shortly after having hugged him and told him: 'I'm so proud of how far he has come in the competition.’ This is something that has changed my life,' he told the audience, many of whom booed the decision to vote him off.
    Close call: The comedian was in the bottom two with Miss Alabama Katherine Webb


    His final dive, a flip, saw him lying backwards on the diving board and rolling back into a full flip before landing feet first. 
    'You are probably the first 400-pound plus man to ever do what you just did in the world', diving legend Steve Foley, one of the judges, told him as he gave him the exact same score he gave Katherine.
    'That's why I do it - so that other people out there can get off the couch,' Louie replied proudly.
    His or hers: heir splash landings were compared before the end of the episode

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