Posts tagged ‘same sex marriage’

February 9, 2012

Words Of Outrage And Support From Howard Stern

The ultimate shock jock – Howard Stern – has shocked me with a prolonged  expression of his views on homophobia and the rights of LGBT people.

 

And once you have been wowed by the very wise words of Mr. Stern  you can get a good laugh by clicking the link below.

What The World Will Look Like With Same-Sex Marriage ( BuzzFeed)

January 24, 2012

Maryland: Governor Martin O’Malley introduces marriage equality bill

Slowly the barriers are crumbling in the US. Why is that important?  Because like it or not the US still has considerable influence in the world. Combine the “gay rights are human rights” speech of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and it is likely that more and more states and progressive countries will choose to not be on the wrong side of history.

January 17, 2012

Second Class Citizens

Completely US  specific but excellent. Via George Takei

January 13, 2012

UPDATED: Why Stephen Harper’s Government Is Ruining Canada – Yet Again!

Jan 13, 2012 -

The Globe and Mail has just published the Government’s announcement that ALL same-sex marriages performed in Canada are legal and valid in Canada.

All same sex marriages performed in Canada are legal and the law will be changed to ensure that divorce is readily available to non-residents who were married in the country, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says.

Speaking at a Toronto luncheon Friday, Mr. Nicholson blamed the Liberal government that preceded his for not filling a “legislative gap” that has left thousands of same-sex couples in an agonizing position of being unable to divorce should they feel a need to.

read the rest in the Globe and Mail here.

ORIGINAL POST CONTINUES BELOW:

Today came disturbing news that government lawyers in Canada argued in a case involving an American couple married in Toronto  that no divorce was necessary because the marriage was invalid to begin with. The reason? Because, according to the lawyers, if the country that the couple comes from doesn’t allow same-sex marriage then the marriage is invalid in Canada too.  There was a more obvious ( though stupid) one-year residency requirement for divorce they could have cited but they chose to bring up that bizarre argument.

So according to these legal luminaries a marriage performed in CANADA isn’t even legal in CANADA if the couple could not get married in …I dunno… Saudi Arabia?  I think the idiots need to understand something about sovereign nations – they make their own laws. The couple is married the second they enter Canadian airspace and likely to be put to death for being gay in their homeland. Very simple. As Dan Savage pointed out in one article, is Canada going to tell a straight Saudi/Jewish couple they can’t marry in Canada because it isn’t allowed in Saudi Arabia?

CBC News had a couple of stories on the subject to open the news this evening and I recorded the second story about how same-sex couples ( including Dan Savage) are reacting to this Harper government encouraged stupidity.  Apologies for the quality as I recorded it off the screen on my mobile.

I totally agree with Dan Savage’s reaction to the issue as posted on George Stroumboulopoulos of the CBC’s website :

“Sorry, motherfucker, but this “issue”–the civil equality of gays and lesbians–is wide open now and your fucking government opened it. The debate over same-sex marriage and the civil equality of gays and lesbians has been returned to the frontpages of Canada’s newspapers and a renewed debate over same-sex marriage will dominate Canadian television and radio news programs. And Canada’s religious conservatives will doubtless complain–loud and long–about their precious children having to hear about homosexuality every time they turn on the news. Stephen Harper’s government reopened this issue, not the gays, and Stephen Harper’s government deserves the blame.”

Read the article here ( I un-gentrified the words as I am 100% sure Dan would have used the actual words)

Egale Canada gave their take online as well.

Toronto: Canada’s federal Department of Justice has made a conscious decision to intervene in a case that challenges the validity of thousands of marriages. According to their arguments same-sex marriages performed in Canada between non-citizens whose countries of origin do not recognize marriage equality are not now and have never been legally valid. A direct insult to gays and lesbians both in Canada and abroad, this action reflects either complete neglect of the government’s responsibilities over the past seven years, or a direct attack on the principle of equality in Canadian law.

Since 2004, governments across Canada have issued marriage licences to same-sex couples coming from abroad. Never were any of these couples informed that Canada had no intention of recognizing the marriage licences it was issuing.

Egale Canada calls on the federal government to come clean: have thousands of same-sex couples been misled by Canadian officials for nearly eight years, or has the federal government adopted a policy of surreptitiously attacking the rights of gays and lesbians through disingenuous legal interventions?

This most recent case comes as the federal government is also intervening in an Ontario case to argue that two Canadian citizens who entered into a same-sex civil partnership in the UK–an equivalent to marriage in all but name–are not legally married in Canada and therefore cannot be granted a divorce.

“Not only does this throw into question hundreds of legal rights such as property, spousal support and child custody, it is a betrayal of basic human rights,” said Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada. “It is indefensible for the Government of Canada to play politics with people’s human dignity.”

Egale is Canada’s LGBT human rights organization: advancing equality, diversity, education, and justice.

I want to write a lot more but I have been angry all day about, once again, Stephen Harper trying to turn one of the most progressive countries in the world – MY country – back to the 1950s.  I take some comfort from knowing that 60% of Canadians did not vote for this vile politician and his gang of evil clowns.

In the meantime why not visit sorryworld.ca  (thanks to my pal Ben Rene in Ottawa for the link).

January 2, 2012

Interesting little video explaining marriage equality

Via 32001names on Facebook.

This was just uploaded on January 2, 2012 and offers a simple and cogent rebuttal to some of the arguments against marriage equality.

December 9, 2011

IGLHRC -Statement on Nigeria’s Pending Anti Gay Legislation

For Immediate Release

Statement on Nigeria’s Pending Anti Gay Legislation
by Jabulani Chen Pereira, IGLHRC Africa Program Coordinator

Media Contact:
Roberta Sklar, Press Secretary, IGLHRC
+1-917-704-6358; rsklar@iglhrc.org

(United Nations, New York, Dec 9) We urge the President of Nigeria to lead his government in a manner that clearly abides with the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The impact of the decision by the Nigerian Senate to pass this Bill, know as the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2011 has placed Gays, Lesbians, Gender Variant and Gender non-conforming citizens in great fear for their safety and well-being. The Bill reaches far beyond the issue of the right to marry. It not only bans same sex marriage, it criminalizes witnessing of such marriages, affection expressed publicly between members of the same sex, and a ban on the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations. As the Bill is now before the Nigerian House of Representatives for a vote and the President for his signature, we call on all United Nations Member States to denounce the Bill. We urge the Government of Nigeria to permanently withdraw this Bill from Nigerian politics.

Nigeria is currently ranked 156 of 187 on the United Nations Development Index (HDI). Within Nigeria there are overwhelming challenges regarding poverty eradication, access to basic health, and the right of all citizens to enjoy education. The question: Why is the Government of Nigeria targeting same sex relationships as its area of focus? This is counter-productive and merely shifts attention from its State priorities in attaining the challenges set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is the states responsibility to ensure that its citizens have access and enjoy all the rights set as out in the United Nation Declaration of Human Rights.

This Bill is in serious breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as Nigeria’s constitution that affords citizens the right to live in human dignity.

The specific restrictions of this bill and the banning of civil society organizations is a major step backwards in building an active, vibrant and tolerant society.

 

February 23, 2011

Ministerial conference on same sex marriage postponed.

The press conference on same sex marriage scheduled by Trinidad & Tobago’s Minister of Planning, Social & Economic Restructuring and Gender Affairs has been postponed as “further research” is needed.  Might have something to do with putting the cart before the horse as  T&T still has ( seldom enforced) anti-sodomy laws.

 

Release from the ministry today.

 

 

February 22, 2011

Ministerial media conference on same sex marriage

This is definitely a first for Trinidad & Tobago. The Minister is clearly a woman of her word – press conference on same sex marriage to he held at the Minister’s office tomorrow.

 

 

February 19, 2011

Interesting result from a disturbing question.

Latest poll results @7pm T&T time

There has been a lot of media discussion in Trinidad & Tobago over the last week on the matter of LGBT rights and even ( rather amazingly)  same-sex marriage. This is a result of  a debate in the senate on an unrelated matter (the Statutory Authorities Amendment Bill)  that took a surprising turn when some  senators brought up the subject saying the discussion could lead to same-sex marriage. Since the debate was specifically about people who are NOT married that was patently ridiculous but Government Senator and Minister of  Planning, Mary King took the matter and ran with it indicating that LGBT matters should be discussed in the future. Local LGBT groups, most notably CAISO, have leveraged the discussion through the media and  are getting a great deal of local and regional mileage.

Having interviewed both Minister King and Colin Robinson of CAISO in the last week I can report that the matter is definitely building up some momentum. The question is what will this momentum lead to?   The current government hinted on the campaign trail that the matter of  equality could be dealt with by a referendum – a suggestion so patently silly it is surprising anyone was misguided enough to bring it up. When human rights are involved it usually requires a government willing to ignore a fear of political fallout and do the moral thing.  No one in their right mind would suggest that a referendum be held to give Catholics or left handed people equal rights.

In any case, the Trinidad Express has noted the debate and is conducting a referendum of their own by posting a poll asking “Do you support calls for the government to grant equal rights to members of the gay community?”  This being the developing world  and part of the highly homophobic English Caribbean one would have expected a bloodbath. While members and friends of the LGBT community might certainly leverage the internet to add to the ‘yes’ votes – the same opportunity is available to those who think that all people should not have equality. Being a loud and  generally boisterous group it would have been likely that the anti-equality forces, buoyed by sheer numbers would have dominated the poll. Strangely, this has not been the case. The current result has been holding at 56% ‘yes’ to 46% ‘no .

There may be mitigating factors given that more educated people may be more likely to take the poll, or that large numbers of anti-equality folks may not have internet access or do not bother to read the online papers. There is also another possibility – maybe a large portion of the population actually really does feel that all citizens are entitled to protection under the law. Yes, it is depressing that so many people have voted ‘no’, but in the context of this part of the world it is still encouraging that they are in the minority.

Will anything come of the current discussion in terms of  changing the current legislation? The government would need balls to make such changes  and in this country no government so far has had anything even close  to that.

For background on Trinidad & Tobago’s current laws that omit protection based on sexual orientation have a gander at Lisa Allen-Agostini’s excellent blog post “About those gay rights” here.

Keep an eye on the poll here.

February 18, 2011

Touching and supportive It Gets Better contributions from Canada.

Canada is far more progressive than most nations on the planet in promoting inclusiveness. As a Canadian I have seen this firsthand and in many ways Canada serves as a beacon of hope to other parts of the world. But having constitutional guarantees of protection and  nationwide marriage equality doesn’t mean that abuses don’t happen.

To their credit many Canadians know that complacency is not a good thing and are reaching out to help young people feel better about themselves and to let them know that communities and powerful people do not think it is okay that they are being bullied for being different.

The beautiful city of London, Ontario has posted an excellent video reaching out to kids using various powerful voices.

And now Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party and judged by the Angus Reid poll as the best-ranked federal leader in Canada also speaks out on the issue.

Well done Canada! Don’t expect the uninspiring ersatz Prime Minister  Stephen Harper to post anything soon but if there is any justice he will not be around for long.

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