Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Russia raises the stakes against gay and lesbian people at the United Nations with a new resolution

Urge the United Nations to decriminalization homosexuality worldwide; oppose the Russian Federation's "Traditional Values Resolution."

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On September 15, 2009, the United Nations elected a new President of the General Assembly. They elected Ali Abdussalam Treki, the former Foreign Minister of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya). His election to office jeopardizes the decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide by United Nations law.

Today, the situation escalated after the Russian Federation proposed a resolution calling for "Traditional Values."

"Traditional Values" are frequently invoked to justify human rights violations.

If this resolution is passed, we have no doubt that suppressive states around the world will use "traditional values" to restrict human rights, and the recognition of LGBTI people.

In previous decades and centuries, mixed-race marriages, desegregation, women having the right to work, to vote, or to own property would have been thought by many to be inconsistent with "traditional values".

This is our government! We must stand-up for LGBTI people abroad; show them that LGBTI American's care about their safety!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Decriminalization of Homosexuality in danger at the United Nations; new General Assembly President says Muslim faith makes it illegal

Ali Abdussalam Treki, the former Foreign Minister of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya) assumed office as president of the United Nations General Assembly on September 15, 2009.

One of the first official statements of his office is outrageous and is being condemned by the International Lesbian & Gay Association ("ILGA") who is an advisory member at the United Nations.

It is truly said that the Organization of American States, whose concept predates the United Nations, passed resolutions recognizing LGBTI people last year. (previous story).

Even worse, the head of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (who replaced the longest serving head of the organization, Kofi Annan, who retired after serving 10 years) has made no official statement about General Assembly President Ali Abdussalam Treki's statement.

ILGA Statement:

ILGA is deeply worried and outraged by UN Assembly new President Ali Abdussalam Treki's failure to consider the protection of the life and safety of lesbians, gay men, trans, intersex and bisexual people all over the world a matter of human rights.

In an interview prior to his first address to the UN Assembly in his new role, Mr. Treki declared himself to be "not in favor at all" with reference to the Statement in favor of the decriminalization of homosexuality signed by 66 Countries and read by the Argentinian representative last December at the General Assembly in New York.

Furthermore, Mr. Treki said that the matter referred to by the Statement, i.e. decriminalization, was "not acceptable in the majority of the world" and that "there are some countries that allow that (sic), thinking it is a kind of democracy".

Considering that the Statement called for the Universal Decriminalization of Homosexuality, one cannot but conclude that the new President of the UN Assembly is... in favor of criminalizing lesbians and gay men, bisexual, trans and intersex people. The worrying and serious implications of this attitude, coming from the new head of an institution which is supposed to regard human rights – all human rights – as the most sacred value, cannot be overstated.

We appeal to the representatives of the States which signed the Statement against criminalization of homosexuality, but also voted for the election of Mr. Treki in his new position, to demand an explanation to the UN Assembly President for his words and react consequently.

Gloria Careaga & Renato Sabbadini
Co-Secretaries General, ILGA

Kentucky Equality Federation, an ILGA member added:
Electing a President of the General Assembly is a serious matter; Mr. Treki's statement about homosexuality is outrageous: "It is not acceptable in the majority of the world. And there are some countries that allow that, thinking it is a kind of democracy … I think it is not." He defended his stance by citing his Muslim faith and heritage.

"This is scary for our LGBTI family abroad; people who live in fear of being executed [and hundreds are daily] for being gay saw light at the end of the tunnel with the United Nations Statement; now, that light has been extinguished," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. As president of the United Nations General Assembly, he was elected to office to represent all the people of the Earth, and not his Muslim faith; clearly, he has no understanding of the office he was elected and we echo ILGA's call to action. Kentucky Equality Federation will post an action alert within the next 24 hours so people can contact U.S. State Department Secretary Hilary Clinton to do as ILGA has request."

If the new President of the United Nations General Assembly thinks homosexuality is sick, and even added that "there are some countries that allow that, thinking it is a kind of democracy … I think it is not," he has effectively alienated himself from some powerful United Nations member states such as:
Argentine Republic, Federative Republic of Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Commonwealth of Australia, Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Commonwealth of Dominica, Federal Republic of Germany, Kingdom of Belgium, Kingdom of Denmark (which also includes Greenland), Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of Sweden, New Zealand, Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Portuguese Republic, Republic of Finland, Republic of Hungary, Republic of Iceland, Republic of South Africa, State of Israel, Swiss Confederation, United Kingdom, United Mexican States, and the United States of America.

Not accepted by the majority of the world? How does he count? Sure, you have some large countries that oppose it such as the Russian Federation, and most Muslim countries make homosexuality criminal (most of the time punishable by death); but that is NOT the "majority of the world."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The repeal of DoMA is dying because it isn't the 'right time.' When is the 'right time'?

Support for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act is wavering in the U.S. House of Representatives since it was introduced by U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) last Tuesday (previous story).

Even openly gay U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) opposes it, though the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has sued the U.S. Government over it. (previous story).

Why does openly gay U.S. Representative Barney Frank oppose repealing DoMA, and the military's 'Don't Ask Don't Tell?' It's simple, votes and popular opinion!
The bill filed by U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) would only required the U.S. Government to recognize gay marriage if they are legal in their home state.

So what's the problem? Didn't these people get elected to office to lead instead of worry about votes? If a political figure worries about losing a few votes to do something that is right, they don't belong in office anyway; they haven't even considered the new number of votes they would pickup by actually doing what is morally right.

Governor Beshear certainly didn't worry about votes from the right-wing when he reissued the executive order protecting LGBTI people again in Kentucky Government (previous story). That was true leadership!

So what do we have now? People in offices (save Governor Beshear) who will only act when they feel the 'time is right.' And since
openly gay U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) has now stated publicly that people should not support the measure in the U.S. House until after the next election, he tipped his hand; they will not vote for him anyway if the oppose gay marriage and LGBTI equality.

Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? Expediency asks the question - is it political? But conscience asks the question - is it right? There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, popular, or political; but because it is right.

How long must we continue to fight for what we are legally entitled to?

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. The assertion that "all men are created equal" was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use. Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. - Abraham Lincoln

Just like the critics who do not like Marriage Equality Kentucky and Kentucky Equality Federation's joint venture on the Kentucky Marriage Declaration,
I must ask again, when is the right time to demand your civil liberties?

We must remember that a government that is big enough to give you all you want is also big enough to take it all away. Government must constantly be placed in-check by her citizens. The first freedom denied by a government to one of its citizens chains us all, and paves the road to begin deconstruction of another liberty, another freedom. - Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer

It looks like our political leaders have allowed themselves to become 'slaves' to polls; is this what we elected them for?

Perhaps if they have us a year that they would agree to it and vote it into law, we could all just wait.... but when would that be, 2015, 2020, 2050?
How about yesterday!

Article By: Michael J. Thomas
September 22, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

U.S. House Speaker Pelosi likens healthcare protests to anti-gay rhetoric

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said Thursday that she worries that the protests over President Obama's healthcare legislation may resemble the anti-gay rhetoric of the late 1970s.

In 1978, Harvey Milk, the first openly gay member of the city's board of supervisors, and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone where assassinated.

"I have concerns about some of the language that is being used, because I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it created a climate in which violence took place."

Pelosi said she does not think the debate has crossed into dangerous territory but warned that sometimes the "ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement."

The Republican Party strongly disapproved of her statement. U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (R-Texas) who is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, rejected her statement.

"The speaker is now likening genuine opposition to assassination," he said. "Such insulting rhetoric not only undermines the credibility of her office, but it underscores the desperate attempt by her party to divert attention away from a failing agenda."

Protests have become more and more common, not only in opposition to U.S. President Obama and his health care plans, but in general with the passage or Prop 8 in California, and all the national tea parties
(the 'tea parties where largely organized by Senior Republican Party Members in opposition to big government, and U.S. President Obama).

The health care reform protests have even reach the Commonwealth; see video coverage from Hillbilly Report:

Trace Creek Baptist Church Health Care Informational Meeting Videos

Paducah, Kentucky, The Good Ol Boy Whiners, Lies, CNN Express And Health Care

Health Care Rally in Somerset, Kentucky. Photos And Videos

Walmart Health Care And Pension Plans For Members Of Congress

Howard Dean (former Governor of the State of Vermont, and former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee) Discusses Healthcare

Do you agree with U.S. House Speaker Pelosi?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bill to repeal DOMA to be filed in the U.S. House on Sept. 15th

Since the U.S. Government has been repeatedly attacked with multiple lawsuits (including, a prominent and founding Union member, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) over the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA), U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) will file a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal it.

The bill will be unveiled at a press event Tuesday. Openly gay legislators such as Wisconsin's U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin and Colorado's U.S. Representative Jared Polis are expected to attend.

Recently, U.S. President Obama's Department of Justice defended the law in a California lawsuit that aimed to overturn the statute. That suit has since been dismissed on a technicality.

Most believe the bill will never make it out of the U.S. House of Representatives, and that the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of Massachusetts has the best chance of striking down the law for infringing on the sovereignty of the Commonwealth and its exclusive right to define marriage, which the federal government must recognize (as it always has).

There is a great deal of division in the bill being filed on Tuesday because many feel the bill should simply recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples by the federal government if gay marriage is legal in their home state. Not only would this satisfy the Attorney General of Massachusetts, but it would also give couples access to federal benefits such as Social Security and federal pensions.

Most expect the bill to fail if the provision allowing states to ignore gay marriages performed outside their borders isn't left in tact.

In California today, other battles loomed as the Senate approved a bill late Wednesday that recognizes gay and lesbian marriages performed outside the state prior to November 5, 2008. The bill was passed in the California Assembly earlier in the month.

The social conservative group California Family Council (CFC), which supports the gay marriage ban, is urging California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto the measure, and has called the bill “unconstitutional.”

The people of California are sovereign, and the language of Proposition 8 is clear regarding the people's intent,” Ron Prentice, director of CFC, said in a statement. “However, California's current Legislature will continue to attempt to weaken the laws set forth by the people.”

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Roman Catholic Church to fund efforts in Maine to defeat gay marriage

In direct defiance of the teachings of the The New Testament (for those who are religious or spiritual) which never once condemns homosexuality, or says it is a sin, another church (this time it isn't the Mormon's, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), the Catholic Church in the State of Maine is stepping up its effort to defeat a gay marriage law in November.

The WBLZ News Center reports that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is asking its parishes to take a special second collection next weekend to help pay for a campaign to use a statewide referendum to reverse a gay marriage law passed by the state Legislature.

Money raised in the effort will go to Stand for Marriage Maine, which is leading the effort to repeal the law allowing same-sex marriage.

Stand for Marriage also is planning a rally next Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

I suppose this is no surprise.... the Roman Catholic Church has seen more lawsuits than any other religious institution; and recent statements from the Pope have drawn widespread criticism, even from former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair (who is now the United National Special Envoy to the Middle East (since 2007), as appointed by the United National Secretary-General).

Gay rights organizations have condemned the Pope's statements, and even singer Rob Thomas [Matchbox 20] came out swinging against the religious suppression of '
the way people are born.'

Although Catholic doctrine is that homosexuality is not a sin, the church does condemn homosexual acts and the former Joseph Alois Ratzinger [now known as Pope Benedict XVI] stated in 1986 before he became pope that homosexuality "
is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder."

According to Pope Benedict XVI, homosexuality will lead to the "self-destruction" of the human race.

Well, most of this garbage is why the LGBTI community feels alienated from Christianity. My name is Jordan Palmer; I am a practicing Christian and Taoist, and I personally wrote this blog entry. I have to wonder when religious leaders will stop twisting scripture (of whatever faith) to suit their own selfish needs...... but, if you look back on the history of Christianity, it has always been so.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What does the new Senate mean for the Commonwealth's LGBTI population? Anything? Is it an indication of future?

With members of the Democratic Party gaining strength in the Kentucky Senate, what does this mean for Kentucky's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and interex population?

One must wonder if Senate President David L. Williams is feeling the squeeze despite what he recently said to the Courier-Journal: “
It won't make any difference.”

This is the new makeup of the Kentucky Senate:

Since the end of the previous Legislative Session, Republicans have lost two (2) seats to Democrats. The Kentucky Senate how has 20 Republicans, 17 Democrats, and 1 Independent.

Though Senate President David Williams is entitled to his views, they are outdated; could this be the reason for the political changes in the Senate? Are Kentuckians finally ready to pass a School Bullying Bill, or an Equality Bill so LGBTI people cannot be fired simply for being gay?

  • Let us not forget that President Williams defended the University of the Cumberlands in expelling Jason Johnson, for being gay.
  • Let us not forget that Senate President Williams has often sided with the Family Foundation of Kentucky, an anti-gay group; both have tried to stop Kentucky universities from offering domestic-partner benefits to same-sex couples (and failed). (more)
  • Let us not forget that President Williams has always opposed the 'school bullying bill.' Senate President Williams and Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer had a heated exchange in interviews with the Herald-Leader and WLKY (Louisville/Southern Indiana station) after Williams called the bill 'an excuse for the addition of curriculum dealing with aberrant behavior,' with Palmer accusing Williams of being homophobic and afraid of tolerance and other viewpoints. The aim of the bill has always been to give educators the tools they need to address bullying problems with gay students. (more)
What does the new makeup of the Senate mean for the Commonwealth's LGBTI population? Anything? Is it an indication of future election results in Kentucky?