Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day to mourn those who died at the hands of those who let hatred and ignorance prevent them from seeing our shared humanity.
Via I AM EQUAL
Really good video explaining the history of human rights and how each of us has a role in ensuring we all have dignity and justice.
It is getting better, as you are getting stronger, as the other gays are supporting you. For the ones that are living in western countries, w/ much more liberal society, just think about the other gays in middle east, Asia and Africa that they have much more problems than you have. So be strong and live your life! We are all together and would help each other…
And what is life like for LGBT people in Iran? Not pleasant as Wikipedia notes:
Some Human rights activists and opponents of the Iranian regime claim between 4,000 and 6,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed in Iran for crimes related to their sexual preference since 1979.
According to The Boroumand Foundation, there are records of at least 107 executions with charges related to homosexuality between 1979 and 1990. According to Amnesty International, at least 5 people convicted of “homosexual tendencies”, three men and two women, were executed in January 1990, as a result of the Iranian government’s policy of calling for the execution of those who practice homosexuality. In April 1992, Dr. Ali Mozafarian, a Sunni Muslim leader in the Fars province (Southern Iran), was executed in Shiraz after being convicted on charges of espionage, adultery, and sodomy. His videotaped confession was broadcast on television in Shiraz and in the streets of Kazerun and Lar.
On November 12, 1995, by the verdict of the eighth judicial branch of Hamadan and the confirmation of the Supreme Court of Iran, Mehdi Barazandeh, otherwise known as Safa Ali Shah Hamadani, was condemned to death. The judicial authorities announced that Barazandeh’s crimes were repeated acts of adultery and “the obscene act of sodomy.” The court’s decree was carried out by stoning Barazandeh. Barazandeh belonged to the Khaksarieh Sect of Dervishes. (Islamic Republic Newspaper – November 14, 1995 + reported in Homan’s magazine June 10, 1996).
In a November 2007 meeting with his British counterpart, Iranian member of parliament Mohsen Yahyavi admitted that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality. According to Yahyavi, gays deserve to be tortured, executed, or both.
One controversial execution was the execution of Makwan Moloudzadeh (sometimes spelled “Mouloudzadeh”) on December 6, 2007. He was convicted of lavat-be-onf (sodomy rape) and executed for raping three teenage boys when he was 13, even though all witnesses had retracted their accusations and Moloudzadeh withdrew a confession. He was also aged 13, and ineligibe for a death penalty under Iranian law. Despite international outcry and a nullification of the death sentence by Iranian Chief Justice Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrud, Moloudzadeh was hanged without his family or his attorney being informed until after the fact. The execution provoked international outcry since it violated two international treaties signed by Iran that outlaw capital punishment for crimes committed by minors, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Full Wiki here.
The link to the Iranian minister’s statement does not work but here is another article on the subject:
Last updated at 11:12 14 November 2007
Homosexuals deserve to be tortured and executed an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, it emerged today.
Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality following recent reports that gay youths were being hanged.
President Ahmadinejad, questioned by students in New York two months ago about the executions, dodged the issue by suggesting that there were no gays in his country.
Human rights campaigners say Iran falsely convicts gay men of other crimes to execute them
The apparent executions, including those of two underage boys whose public hanging was posted on the internet, has alarmed human rights campaigners.
Gay rights groups in Britain, such as Outrage!, accuse Iran of cloaking executions for homosexuality with bogus charges for more serious crimes.
Full article in the DailyMail here.
December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998
The horrific events that took place shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998 went against everything that Matt embodied. Two men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, led him to a remote area east of Laramie, Wyoming. He was tied to a split-rail fence where the two men severely assaulted him. He was beaten and left to die in the cold of the night. Almost 18 hours later, he was found by a bicyclist who initially mistook him for a scarecrow. Matt died on October 12 at 12:53 a.m. at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado with his family by his side. His memorial service was attended by friends and family from around the world and garnered immense media attention that brought Matt’s story to the forefront of the fight against bigotry and hate. The life and death of Matthew Shepard changed the way we talk about, and deal with, hate in America. Since his death, Matt’s legacy has challenged and inspired millions of individuals to erase hate in all its forms. Although Matt’s life was short, his story continues to have a great impact on young and old alike. His legacy lives on in thousands of people like you who actively fight to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.
To all those lost to disease and hatred and to the hope for a better tomorrow.
In my periodic meanderings about the cyber world I came across a video via Activist Academy . I am not a religious person myself but I know a lot of people are and , as was said by the Bard of Avon, ”the devil can cite scripture for his purpose”. With all the hate spewing out there I thought the Rev. Michael S. Piazza, Dean of the Cathedral of Hope had an interesting perspective that doesn’t often get heard in the mainstream media.
You can see Part 1 here.
And Part 2 here.
So a Twitter friend pointed me to this interesting video of a young poet discussing being young, black and gay which, in itself, is an interesting viewpoint to hear. I am sure it is the sort of thing that would make a lot of people stop and think and might even inspire other young, black LGBT people. This is the video:
What I find disturbing is the horrifying hatred and ignorance in most of the comments on the original site that I viewed the video on. If you have the stomach for it and better blood pressure control than me you can view them here. Simply sickening.
Thirty four years ago people were also out in the streets protesting.
And I suppose this would be why. If you don’t stand up for your rights as a human being it is surprising how quickly they can be taken away from you.
My Twitter friend @megatonlove pointed me to this article which I think is remarkable. In it the goodly Anglican Bishop says the time has come for the Christian Church to stop treating homosexuality as an issue and start practicing inclusion. He outlines his strong views in the form of a personal manifesto:
I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is “an abomination to God,” about how homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle,” or about how through prayer and “spiritual counseling” homosexual persons can be “cured.” Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy. I will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those who advocate “reparative therapy,” as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired. I will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people. I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality “deviant.” I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that “we love the sinner but hate the sin.” That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving liedesigned to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement
Read the rest of his manifesto here.