“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
― Gloria Steinem.
- Source: zeezeescorner
“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
― Gloria Steinem.
Last month, 400 asylum seekers were released from detention centres in Darwin, Australia, on “bridging visas.” An estimated 200 of them came to Melbourne. Under the Government’s “no advantage” mandate, these asylum seekers must now find their own accommodation. Many of them have moved into aged care homes, former convents and student flats. Those lucky enough to already have family in Australia can stay with family members. The precariousness of these asylum seekers’ lives is compounded not just by their temporary and restrictive visas and their temporary lodgings, but also by the fact that they are not allowed to work. Instead, they must live off basic welfare payments. This might go on for years, while their applications for permanent residency are under review.
This not only greatly disadvantages refugees economically, but it further delays their on-the-job skills training necessary to get stable employment later on. Community welfare and refugee advocates point out the injustice of this arrangement. Senior Manager of refugee programs at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Hutch Hussein, says:
That will pose some strain on our services. We hope that people will know the services to come to within the community. I know that the sector is bracing itself for that. It’s a difficult time but it also presents a challenge to the sector to demonstrate the need, and reinforce that, regardless of visa status, all our clients are humans who really want the dignity of work and the dignity of services.
Photo and Information Source: SBS News.
Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim and State Premier Lara Giddings embrace Gay Rights activists Rodney Croome and Matt Hastings after historic same-sex marriage laws passed the Lower House last night.
Activist Rodney Croome said: ”This is a wonderful result, not just for same-sex couples and their families but also for Tasmania… Tasmania is now a beacon of hope to same-sex partners and their families across Australia and to all Australians who support equality and social inclusion.”
A protester reacts to the news that civil unions between gay and lesbian Australians in the state of Queensland will now be known as “registered relationships” (via ABC AM). Moments before this protester’s outburst in the Parliament session, Queensland Minister Michael Crandon said: “The opportunity [has] now to come to a court and to register, if you like, their interest in one another…” [my emphasis]. The language is dehumanising - gay and lesbian Australians can “register their interest in one another” but the state will not recognise this “interest” as a full partnership worthy of the same legal rights and status as heterosexual couples.
The recently elected Liberal National Party Government is changing the law introduced last year by the former Labor government, which had finally allowed gay and lesbian relationships to be legally recognised as a civil union. This was seen as a positive step towards the legal recognition of marriages between homosexual and queer Australians. In a further legal blow to gay and lesbian citizens, their “registered partnerships” will not be allowed legal access to altruistic surrogacy (along with short-term de facto couples and single people). These are very dangerous times when Christian lobbying forces the Queensland government to withdraw the legal rights of Australians. To top it all off, it is still legal in Queensland to kill a gay or lesbian person and use the “gay panic” defence. That is, a murderer can argue that they reacted in violence because they were overwhelmed that a homosexual person flirted with them. Disgusting!
If you are in Queensland, go here to sign the e-petition to urge the Queensland government to end discrimination in surrogacy laws. Go here to sign the e-petition to urge the Queensland government to protect civil marriages and equal rights of gay and lesbian Australians.
The Australian Psychological Association has refuted the claims made in the Senate submission, arguing that the most comprehensive, longitudinal data show that children raised in same-sex families are not disadvantaged due to their parents’ sexual orientation. In some cases, the data show the opposite - and it all goes back to the economic and social resources available to parents. This includes emotional support from supportive networks. The biggest disadvantage to children raised in lesbian, gay, transsexual, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) families relates to how societies or communities fail to accept and integrate the diverse reality of modern families.
Much the same as the tired old argument on kids raised in single-parent families, it is not the type of family that children belong to that affects their life chances, but rather the socio-economic conditions and stigma to which families and children are exposed. Another important distinction on the outcomes of children is how parents interact with one another and with their children.
A difference is not necessarily a deficit.
Children raised in LGBTQI households are less likely to stick to traditional gender scripts, with daughters more likely to express a desire to enter professional fields traditionally dominated by men, such as doctors, lawyers, engineers and astronauts. Sons are less likely to be aggressive. While heterosexual parents are more likely to reinforce stereotypical feminine and masculine activities for their children, gay and lesbian parents are more likely to allow their children to play in gender-neutral ways. Stacy’s colleague Timothy Biblarz notes: ‘Lesbian and gay parent families offer a unique opportunity to examine ways in which gender differences affect parenting practices and outcomes’. Despite some differences in their gendered behaviour, experiences of psychological and social distress are similar amongst kids who come from queer families and kids raised in two-parent heterosexual households. Biblarz observes:
While all children probably get teased for one thing or another, children with gay parents may experience a higher degree of teasing and ridicule. It is impressive then that their psychological well-being and social adjustment does not significantly differ, on average, from that of children in comparable heterosexual-parent families. Exploring how lesbian and gay parent families help children cope with stigma could prove helpful to all kinds of families.
Today’s story about the Australian Senate submission represents a nasty example of scientists misusing their social authority. Medical professionals have misrepresented data to suit their narrow conception of what constitutes a “good” family environment. Misquoting statistics to incite a moral panic is nothing new. This tactic has been used over and over, but there is simply no empirical scientific evidence to back up this tired, antiquated view of families. This argument that LGBTQI families were somehow morally corrupt was around when I first studied sociology in the early 1990s, but it seemed almost passé when I was teaching the sociology of the family a decade later.
Scaremongering must be cyclical, particularly as “gay marriage” is an on-again-off-again political topic in Australia and elsewhere. The evidence is overwhelming - there are no social disadvantages to children of LGBTQI families, except those societies create for them.
The Gay Rights Video That Will Send Chills Down Your Spine
Fucking amazing. So beautiful. Watch.
This brought tears to my eyes.
this gave me chills
this is amazing.
tears oh my god this is so beautiful
In case you missed it: “At Any Price?” Event in New York - Part 1
Medical humanitarian organizations and human rights groups often operate in the same crisis zones but have different aims and approaches to negotiating access. These panelists from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University (SIPA) came together for a discussion of the dilemmas faced by both humanitarian and human rights organizations trying to work in crisis zones. How different are the two approaches? Are they compatible on the ground? How are decisions made about establishing projects? And what compromises are acceptable when negotiating access to populations in immediate danger? Learn more.
These are two of my favourite protest signs from the Funny or Die post celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender human rights justice in the USA. The first one elevates what heterosexual people take to be routine (“spend time with my family”) and mundane (“buy milk”) as well what is taken for granted: “be treated equally”.
The second one points out how the power behind the fundamentalist Christian reading of the bible can be simultaneously: ridiculous, out-dated and taken out of context. Fundamentalists often defend the exclusive sanctity of heterosexual marriage by quoting the bible. This sign reads:
We can quote the bible too: A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21.)
The other photos are also amusing; I just love the sociological impact of these two.
Until a new anti-homosexuality bill caused a wave of homophobia in Uganda, John and Paul could hold hands in the streets of the capital Kampala and kiss in night club.
Then the nightmare started — people began insulting and then assaulting them, and then they had to run away to Kenya. The couple have been in Nairobi since May of last year.
Like other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, they came to this urban jungle seeking anonymity, explained the official running a programme that looks after these refugees.
His organisation, which last year alone looked after 67 LGBT cases in Kenya, did not want to be named for fear of endangering its refugees.
Some have fled a strict application of Islamic law in Somalia, others are running from general sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and yet others have fled a climate of growing hostility elsewhere in east Africa.
Some hope to be able to find refuge in Western countries sympathetic to their plight, such as the United States.
By Scott Edwards, Amnesty International USA blog:
A curious op ed appeared in The New York Times recently, titled “Internet Access is Not a Human Right.” In this piece—which I read as I do most news and media, via my computer—Vinton Cerf, a “father” of the Internet, makes an argument that despite the critical role of Information Communication Technologies (the internet) in the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, access to the Internet is not a human right.
I should note that his right to express himself so is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to… seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
The curious bit of his piece though, isn’t the claim that Internet Access is not a human right, but rather the exceptionally narrow portrayal of human rights from a legal and philosophical perspective.