Tag Archives: LGBT rights

Extreme Right Polish PM Accuses European Union of Blackmail Over LGBT Rights

Extreme Right Polish PM Accuses European Union of Blackmail Over LGBT Rights

As we have reported here before some regions the country of Poland have set up LGBT Free Zones to the horror of the European Union who has annouced it will withold funds from Poland.. The clash grew this week with s a top Polish court ruling that rejected key parts of EU law.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused the EU of blackmail in a heated debate with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen over the rule of law. The clash in the European Parliament follows a top Polish court ruling that rejected key parts of EU law. Mrs von der Leyen said she would act to prevent Poland undermining EU values. In response,

Mr Morawiecki rejected “the language of threats” and accused the EU of overstepping its powers. Poles overwhelmingly support being part of the EU, opinion polls suggest, but Poland’s right-wing nationalist government has increasingly been at odds with the union on issues ranging from LGBT rights to judicial independence. The latest row has come to a head over an unprecedented and controversial ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal that in effect rejects the core principle that EU law has primacy over national legislation.

BBC News

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament that the European Commission – the EU’s executive – was “carefully assessing this judgement”.

She said the situation had to be resolved: “This ruling calls into question the foundations of the European Union. It is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.”

Mrs von der Leyen laid out three ways the European Commission could respond to the Polish court judgement.

The options, she said, were legally challenging the court ruling, withholding EU funds and suspending some of Poland’s rights as a member state.

The European Commission is yet to approve €57bn (£48bn; $66bn) of Covid-19 recovery funds earmarked for Poland, and may not do so until the dispute is settled.

Extreme Right Polish PM Accuses European Union of Blackmail Over LGBT Rights

“LGBT-Free Zones” Repealed In Poland Regions After EU Threatens To Withold Funds.

Last week, three Polish regional councils voted not to declare their provinces “LGBT-free zones” following the European Union’s threats to cut up to €126 million in funding to the local governments. This is a change to recent resolutions, which first passed intended to “protect heterosexual family values, and battle an attack on “traditional” Catholic values.

The European Commission wrote to five Polish regional councils at the beginning of September urging them to abandon declarations that they are “LGBT-free” in order to receive funding.

Poland has been ruled by the ultra-conservative right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party since 2015.

But many in Poland question if the change is really true. “Politicians are playing with us,” Polish LGBT activist Bart Staszewski told the BBC news. “I mean they don’t want to revoke the whole resolution, they just want to replace it with another one.”

Poland, one of the worst countries next to Russia for LGBT opression is entering a decisive phase after the EUs top court declared, not for the first time, Wednesday that Poland is undermining the independence of its judiciary.

Wednesday’s ruling from the Court of Justice added more weight to its previous decisions against Poland acceptance into the European Union.

The ruling came in a case brought by an outspoken Polish judge who accuses the government of harassing judges it doesn’t like and trying to kick them off the bench.

6 Sentenced to Death in Bangladesh for Murder of 2 Gay Rights Activists

6 Sentenced to Death in Bangladesh for Murder of 2 Gay Rights Activists

Six members of an Islamist militant group were sentenced to death on Tuesday by a court in Bangladesh for the brutal killing of two gay rights activists five years ago.

Xulhaz Mannan, 35, the editor of Bangladesh’s first magazine for gay people, and actor Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, 25, were hacked to death in Mannan’s apartment in the capital Dhaka in April 2016.

The most serious attack came in July of 2016, when gunmen stormed a cafe in the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka and killed 22 people, most of them foreigners.

The brutal murders were part of a series of attack claimed by Ansar Al Islam, the regional arm of al Qaeda.

Of the eight defendants in the case, six were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death,

The Special Anti-Terrorism Tribunal also convicted the six of belonging to a terrorist organization, the al Qaeda-inspired domestic militant organization Ansar Ullah Bangla Team, Khan said, a group that police believe is responsible for the murders of more than a dozen activists and bloggers

Lawsuit Filed Against NYC's Yeshvia University For Banning LGBT Student Org

Lawsuit Filed Against NYC’s Yeshvia University For Banning LGBT Student Org

A lawsuit has been filed by LGBT students and alumni of Yeshiva University, (YU) a private modern Orthodox Jewish research university in New York City, alleging the university is violating their rights under NYC’s human rights law by denying the recognition of the universities LGBT group the YU Pride Alliance, as an official club

The university released the following statement on the lawsuit:

“At the heart of our Jewish values is love — love for God and love for each of His children,” the statement said. “Our LGBTQ+ students are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, family and friends. Our policies on harassment and discrimination against students on the basis of protected classifications including LGBTQ+ are strong and vigorously enforced. Our Torah-guided decision about this club in no way minimizes the care and sensitivity that we have for each of our students, nor the numerous steps the university has already taken.”

Yeshiva University is unique because it has had secular status since 1969 and should be treated like any other institution that would not be allowed to discriminate against a group of LGBT students. Without formal recognition from the university, the LGBT students cannot use campus facilities for meetings, receive funding and advertise on campus platforms.

According to a 1995 university memo obtained by one of the alumni and mentioned in the lawsuit, Yeshiva University received advice from a law firm that it was required to allow LGBTQ students to form a recognized student organization under the city’s human rights law, but it has not complied with that legal advice.

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Signs New Civil Code That Eliminates LGBT Rights and Protections

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Signs New Civil Code That Eliminates LGBT Rights and Protections

In a surprise move Puerto Rico Governor, Wanda Vázquez signed new civil codes into effect earlier this week that overhauls a series of laws regulating various rights, including LGBT rights. The changes and the fact that no public hearings were held has angered the LGBT community and many of the island’s citizens.

Via METROWEEKLY:

Among the 130 amendments in the newly approved code were provisions that eliminate the ability of transgender individuals to change the name and gender marker on their birth certificates — even though Vázquez claims that the process for amending a birth certificate remains the same — and removes legal protections for LGBT[Q] people that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Vázquez signed the new Civil Code against the backdrop of continued criticism of her administration’s response to the murders of nearly a dozen LGBT Puerto Ricans over the last year and a half.

In a prepared statement Governor Vasquez had the nerve to refernece George Floyd and also quoted Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Abuse, mistreatment, discrimination nor the violation of human rights in any way is neither acceptable nor permitted,” said Vázquez. “We all have a civic duty to respect that is fundamental in a peaceful society.”

Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, a Puerto Rican LGBTQ advocacy group, in a statement noted: “They removed the discrimination bans in order not to include sexual orientation and gender identity. When they gouge LGBT+ (my acronym) people’s eyes out, they gouge everyone’s eyes out.”

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz also criticized Vázquez.

“With this signature to the Civil Code, the governor makes it clear that she has no words. And worse, she creates the scenario for a rollback of our rights.

On a personal note: This writer had planned a trip to Puerto Rico this November over Thanksgiving. This morning we have cancelled all reservations and airline tickets. We urge all in the LGBT community to do the same and avoid Puerto Rico as a tourist destination.

#BoycottPuertoRico

#PuertoRicoIsOverParty

Switzerland Votes To Make LGBT Discrimination Illegal

Switzerland Votes To Make LGBT Discrimination Illegal

Via the BBC:

Voters in Switzerland have backed a proposal to make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity illegal. The result of 63.1% in favour to 36.9% against is a huge boost for Switzerland’s LGBT community.

It had argued Swiss law on the issue lagged far behind other countries in Europe. Opponents of the new law argued it could restrict free speech. In Switzerland, discrimination because of race or religion is already illegal.

In the run up to the vote, campaigners had said they thought the result would be tight, and that a yes vote of more than 60% was unlikely. Sunday’s outcome shows public opinion is far more receptive to strengthening anti-discrimination legislation than analysts had predicted.

Under the new law, those who “publicly degrade or discriminate” others on the basis of their sexual orientation, for example by denying same-sex couples entry to a nightclub, could face a jail sentence of up to three years. The law does not affect private conversations such as among friends or family.

Several European countries such as Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland and the UK already have similar legislation in place.

December 10, 2019 – Today Is World Human Rights Day.

December 10th 2016 - Today Is Human Rights Day. Stand Up For Someone's Rights Today!

Human Rights Day is observed every year on the 10th of December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

As the world marks 70 years of the adoption of the UDHR, the UN’s year long campaign #StandUp4HumanRights draws to a close. By this campaign, the UN aimed to “call on people to take action for greater freedoms, stronger respect and more compassion for the rights of others”.

We must reaffirm our common humanity. Wherever we are, we can make a real difference. In the street, in school, at work, in public transport; in the voting booth, on social media.

The time for this is now. “We the peoples” can take a stand for rights. And together, we can take a stand for more humanity.

It starts with each of us. Step forward and defend the rights of a refugee or migrant, a person with disabilities, an LGBT person, a woman, a child, indigenous peoples, a minority group, or anyone else at risk of discrimination or violence.

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Over 8000 March in Kiev, Ukraine Pride Parade

Over 8000 March in Kiev, Ukraine Pride Parade – [Video]

Over 8,000 people people turned out on Sunday for Kiev’s annual Gay Pride parade amid tight security as far-right activists sought to disrupt the celebration.

Hundreds of far-right and Orthodox religious counter-protesters, were kept away from the march, held up anti-gay banners and shouted “Shame!” as the procession began.

Parade participants waved rainbow and Ukrainian flags as they marched through the center of the capital as thousands of police and National Guard troops stood by to ensure order.

The Ukraine, which ousted a pro-Russia regime in a uprising in 2014, hopes to become a member of the European Union as it seeks to overcome widespread poverty and corruption.

Homophobia backed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is still commonplace, even though Kiev authorities have allowed gay pride marches to be held, unlike in neighboring Russia.

At least nine counter-protesters were arrested on suspicion of preparing attacks against participants in the Kiev Pride event, police said.

The Mormon Church Releases Statement Opposing The LGBT Equality Act

The Mormon Church Releases Statement Opposing The LGBT Equality Act

The leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka The Mormons) released a statement Monday morning opposing the Equality Act which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect LGBT Americans over concerns regarding their “religious liberty”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply concerned that the ongoing conflicts between religious liberty and LGBT rights is poisoning our civil discourse, eroding the free exercise of religion and preventing diverse Americans of good will from living together in respect and peace. Lawmakers across the nation, including members of Congress, are working to enact or strengthen laws that ensure LGBT persons fair access to important rights, such as nondiscrimination in areas like housing, employment and appropriate public accommodations. The Church is on record favoring reasonable measures that secure such rights.

At the same time, we urgently need laws that protect the rights of individuals and faith communities to freely gather, speak out publicly, serve faithfully and live openly according to their religious beliefs without discrimination or retaliation, even when those beliefs may be unpopular. This includes the right of religious organizations and religious schools to establish faith-based employment and admissions standards and to preserve the religious nature of their activities and properties.

This does not represent a change or shift in Church doctrine regarding marriage or chastity. It does represent a desire to bring people together, to protect the rights of all, and to encourage mutually respectful dialogue and outcomes in this highly polarized national debate.

Conflicts between rights are common and nothing new. When conflicts arise between religious freedom and LGBT rights, the Church advocates a balanced “fairness for all” approach that protects the most important rights for everyone while seeking reasonable, respectful compromises in areas of conflict. The Church affirms this as the best way to overcome sharp divisions over these issues. The Church supported the 2015 “fairness for all” legislation in the Utah Legislature that successfully protected both religious freedom and LGBT rights in employment and housing and that has helped facilitate greater understanding and respect.

The Equality Act now before Congress is not balanced and does not meet the standard of fairness for all. While providing extremely broad protections for LGBT rights, the Equality Act provides no protections for religious freedom. It would instead repeal long-standing religious rights under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, threaten religious employment standards, devastate religious education, defund numerous religious charities and impose secular standards on religious activities and properties. The Church joins other religious organizations that also strongly oppose the Equality Act as unbalanced, fundamentally unfair and a path to further conflict.

The Church calls upon members of Congress to pass legislation that vigorously protects religious freedom while also protecting basic civil rights for LGBT persons. It is time for wise policymakers to end this destructive conflict and protect the rights of all Americans.

What the LDS Church fails to or “forgets” to mention is that religious discrimination is already protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion (or lack of religious belief) in hiring, firing, or any other terms and conditions of employment. The law also prohibits job segregation based on religion, such as assigning an employee to a non-customer contact position because of actual or feared customer preference. But they have no problem by wanting religious organizations and religious schools to discriminate by establishing faith-based employment and admissions standards.

Hypocrites.

Mayor of Warsaw, Poland Faces Backlash After Signing Document Recognizing LGBT Rights

Mayor of Warsaw, Poland Faces Backlash After Signing Document Recognizing LGBT Rights

Rafał Trzaskowski, the Mayor of Warsaw, Poland is facing some extremist homophobic backlash after signing the first ever LGBT Declaration in central-eastern Europe last week. It was also the first document recognizing LGBT rights in Poland.

“In my election campaign, I promised Warsaw for everyone,’ Trzaskowski said defending the declaration.

‘Warsaw is a city for everyone that does not discriminate against anyone. Warsaw for everyone is a place where everyone feels safe and absolutely everyone can count on support regardless of sex, color, religion, origin, sexual orientation or views.’

The Declaration guarantees the fulfillment of some of the basic needs of the LGBT+ community. Advocacy groups said it would also enable the local administration to provide the protections that the national government refuses to administer

Features of the declaration included the construction of an LGBT hostel (shelter) and community center, the introduction of local crisis intervention system, anti-discrimination protections and sex education at city schools.

Unfortunately shortly after Trzaskowski signed the declaration a backlash of homophobic rhetoric and propaganda began.

The head of the Regional Education Board in southern city of Krakow labelled the LGBTI education initiative as ‘promoting pedophilia’.

Media outlets  also joined in including the pro-government public news network which aired several programs promoting hateful anti-gay rhetoric by supposed  ‘experts’ who accused LGBT activists of planning to molest children in order to ‘turn them gay’.

‘The goal of the right-wing media and activists is to cause a chilling effect, blocking implementation of the Declaration and stopping us from repeating our success in other cities –  We won’t yield to this hate.’ said Love Does Not Exclude spokesperson Hubert Sobecki.

Mayor Trzaskowski agreed.

‘The sea of hate could take over but after signing the LGBT declaration we broke records,’ he said.

Trzaskowski’s support of the LGBTI community is a brave and noble move in the notoriously anti-gay Poland.

Earlier this year, the pro-LGBT mayor of Gdansk,  Pawel Adamowicz, was fatally stabbed at a charity event.