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Entries in gay rights (14)

Saturday
Jan042014

Zambia's First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata Stuns By Speaking On Behalf Of Gays | God Loves Uganda Documentary

French Roast News

Zambia President Michael Sata with First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata in JapanAnne is reading …

It’s been several years since AOC touched down in Zambia, but we simply had to address an event so unexpected that LGBT activists in Africa are calling it “a miracle”. All Africa wrote Zambia: Miracles Do Happen In Zambia.

The ‘miracle’ in question was a call from Zambia’s First Lady, Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata around the topic of HIV and gay sex.

Speaking at a UNAIDS hosted reception, she said that the “silence around issues of Men who have Sex with Men should be stopped and no one should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation. Rather, we should address reproductive health issues around this issue.”

Not stopping there, Dr Kaseba-Sata, assured people working in the sexual and reproductive health sector that both she and her husband President Michael Sata support their efforts.

Her statements come as Zambia’s tabloids are ‘outing’ gay and bisexual men.

LGBTI activist Paul Kasonkomona is currently on trial for speaking on TV about the rights of gay people in the battle against HIV while two men Philip Mubiana and James Mwape are facing charges of sodomy. - See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/miracles-happen-zambias-first-lady-calls-end-gay-hate071113#sthash.eyK6k3Br.dpuf
LGBTI activist Paul Kasonkomona is currently on trial for speaking on TV about the rights of gay people in the battle against HIV while two men Philip Mubiana and James Mwape are facing charges of sodomy. - See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/miracles-happen-zambias-first-lady-calls-end-gay-hate071113#sthash.eyK6k3Br.dpuf
LGBTI activist Paul Kasonkomona is currently on trial for speaking on TV about the rights of gay people in the battle against HIV while two men Philip Mubiana and James Mwape are facing charges of sodomy. - See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/miracles-happen-zambias-first-lady-calls-end-gay-hate071113#sthash.eyK6k3Br.dpuf
LGBTI activist Paul Kasonkomona is currently on trial for speaking on TV about the rights of gay people in the battle against HIV while two men Philip Mubiana and James Mwape are facing charges of sodomy. - See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/miracles-happen-zambias-first-lady-calls-end-gay-hate071113#sthash.eyK6k3Br.dpuf

President Michael Sata defeated in 2011 then president Banda, whose government threatened to jail newspaper editor Chansa Kabwela for five years because she sent (not published) photos of a woman dying in childbirth during a hospital strike to Zambia’s health minister. President Banda called Kabwela’s actions pornographic.

Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata

South Africa First Lady Bongi Ngema-Zuma (right) with Zambia First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba-SataZambia’s First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata is one of Zambia’s most recognized specialists in obstetrics and gynaecology. She has practiced as a physician at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka for more than 25 years, and has served as a lecturer at the University of Zambia School of Medicine for over 15 years.

Dr Kaseba-Sata currently serves as a World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador against Gender-based Violence and also serves as chairperson of the Forum of African First Ladies against cervical and breast cancer.

In 2010 PEW Research Center released one of the largest surveys on attitudes to religion and morality in Africa, comprised of 25,000 people in 19 countries. Pew wrote that Africa is probably the world’s most religious continent with about 80% of people believing in Good in most countries.

Disapproval of homosexuality in three countries — Zambia, Kenya and Cameron — was 98%.

A separate research report The Culture Wars Come to Zambia Intercepting the International Human Rights Agenda, concludes that America’s Christian fundamentalists who are “militant biblical literalists” have dominated the values of Christianity across the developing world and in Zambia specifically.

LGBTI activist Paul Kasonkomona is currently on trial for speaking on TV about the rights of gay people in the battle against HIV, while two to four men including Philip Mubiana and James Mwape are facing charges of sodomy and prison sentences of up to 14 years.

If a Zambian resident is accused of being gay, police can conduct a raid without having a warrant. As is the case in Uganda, family members and friends are encouraged to report each other.

Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

No where are the repressive fingerprints of America’s Christian fundamentalists more visible than in Uganda, which has finally adopted the stalled anti-homosexuality bill originally promoted by Scott Lively and his colleagues.

The bill, which originally prescribed the death penalty for cases of “aggravated homosexuality” by persons infected with HIV, has allegedly reduced the penalty to life imprisonment.

Clauses that criminalize the “promotion” of homosexuality have both activists and doctors treating gay patients with HIV concerned that they could go to prison.

Before passage of new legislation, homosexuality was punishable by a prison terms of 14 years in Uganda. Lawmakers in Uganda say that western lifestyle risks threaten the country’s family units.

“What we are convinced and sure of is that nobody can in one’s right conscience and consciousness choose to be homosexual,” said Simon Lokodo, Uganda’s minister for ethics and integrity. “This must be under pressure or conditions because we know that the natural tendency is always for a male to go for a female and vice versa.”

The New York Times reports that ‘God Loves Uganda’, a documentary about the role of American evangelicals in fomenting homophobia in Uganda is a short-listed Oscar candidate. Director Roger Ross Williams says that coverage of his film — and most definitely an Oscar nomination — could persuade Uganda president Yoweri Museveni to not sign the bill in the allocated 30 days. If unsigned, the bill returns to the Uganda Parliament for further debate.

Previously:

Fears Grow That US Evangelists Ignite Anti-Gay Hatred in Africa

The World Wakes Up To Evangelical Support for Uganda’s Craconian Law Against Homosexuals

Thursday
Jul112013

Senate Promises New Abortion Bill DOA | Immigration Reform & Taxes | PA's Kane Won't Defend Gay Marriage Ban

1. Republicans around America have made abortion the nation’s biggest political issue. Anticipating that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) will sponsor the Senate verson of the House-passed bill that limits abortions at 20 weeks, a key date when a woman first has reliable sonograms about the health of her fetus, Democratic Senators went on the offensive yesterday, portraying the proposed abortion limits as ‘political showboating’.

“I can tell you this: No matter who introduces it, it is not going anywhere in the Senate,” Sen. Patty Murray said. “We are not going to let it come up in the Senate. There is no reason for it. This is settled law. We are not going to be sidetracked by a debate on women’s health yet again.”

Rubio is in a tight spot with social conservatives, who are angry with his support of immigration reform. Sponsoring the bill in the Senate is one way of appeasing those same social conservatives.

2. Immigration reform would boost state and local tax contributions by an estimated $2 billion annually, concludes a new study conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonpartisan research organization. If allowed to work legally, undocumented immigrants would participate fully in all the federal, state and local tax systems. Presently undocumented immigrants contributed $10.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010.

- The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office concludes the immigration reform bill would shrink the deficit by $197 billion over the next decade.
- Rather than lower wages for US workers, a study by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project that found an increase in immigrant workers may lead to a boost in wages for U.S-born workers.

75 percent of Americans agree that immigration reform will benefit the economy.

3. Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane (D) says she will not defend the state in a federal lawsuit filed this week by the ACLU that challenges the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports the Washington Post.

“Kane is named as a defendant in the suit, along with the state’s governor Tom Corbett (R-Penn.). Kane is the first woman and the first Democrat ever elected to the position of Pennsylvania state attorney general, which became an elected office in 1980.”

When a similar occurrence happened in Ca. with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and then attorney general Jerry Brown (D), a third party stepped in to defend the law.

A new survey focused on the re-election of Gov. Tom Corbett is in serious jeopardy, with only 24 percent of all voters and 43 percent of Republicans believing that he deserves a second term. AOC supports Rep. Allyson Schwartz in her bid for to become the first woman governor of Pa.

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4. Americans are split pretty evenly on whether the decline in religious affiliation in America is a good thing, bad one or generally irrelevant, reports Pew Research. The more religious persons polled in a nationwide survey of 4,006 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points felt the strongest about the trend being a bad one for society.

At a top level analysis, 48 percent of US adults surveyed say that America’s declining religiosity is a bad thing. Eleven percent say it’s a good thing, with 39 percent saying it doesn’t matter.

One segment worth noting is Hispanic Catholics, with only 36% saying the trend is bad for society and 48% saying the trend does not matter.

5. Despite the title of Brian Resnick’s ‘How Power Corrupts the Mind’ and it often does — one shouldn’t conclude that it always does, says Pamela Smith, a power researcher at the University of California San Diego.

“There is a tendency for people to assume power holders are uncaring, they’re cold, they don’t care about the little people,” says Smith. But it depends on who has the power.

“You put someone in an experiment, temporarily, in a high-powered role, and what you find is that people who say they have pro-social values, the more power they have, the more pro-social they are. The people who say they have more self-centered values tend to be more selfish the more power they have.”

Read Smith’s ‘You Focus on the Forest When You’re in Charge of the Trees’.

Wednesday
Apr172013

GOP Ices Sanford Campaign | Judge Keeps Jackson Abortion Clinic Open | Teen Sex Primarily Uses Contraception

1. GOP ices Sanford Campaign. The House GOP’s campaign committee announced Wednesday that it will no longer have any involvement in the comeback bid for Congress from former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford.

The decision comes after yesterday’s news that Jenny Sanford, the former governor’s ex-wife, has accused him of trespassing at her home more than once and in violation of their divorce settlement. The couple is due in court two days after a special House election on May 7 between Sanford and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Busch is a businesswoman and older sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, who is helping her campaign.

The couple divorced in 2010 after Mark Sanford admitted to having an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina. The then governor disappeared for days, leaving his wife, staff and voters clueless as to his whereabouts. Sanford is now engaged to Maria Belen Chapur. Jenny Sanford has custody of the couple four sons.

“I am doing my best not to get in the way of his race,” Jenny Sanford told the AP this week about her ex-husband’s race. “I want him to sink or swim on his own. For the sake of my children, I’m trying my best not to get in the way, but he makes things difficult for me when he does things like trespassing.”

2. Judge keeps Jackson abortion clinic open. The Jackson Free Press reports that a celebratory mood turned quickly to panic yesterday at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization “when a young bearded man wearing a military-style waist pack entered the abortion clinic unescorted and without an appointment.” After putting his hands in the air, proclaiming that he was unarmed, a police officer escorted him out of the clinic.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III halted a process that seemed likely to close JWHO, making Mississippi the first state without an abortion clinic. Jordan ruled that the state cannot close the clinic before the conclusion of a pending federal lawsuit over a 2012 state law requiring all abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges from a local hospital.

The Republican-appointed judge Jordan said that Mississippi was attempting to create a patchwork of law in which constitutional women’s rights apply in some states and not others. JWHO is owned by Diane Derzis, who finds herself engaged in a similar lawsuit in the state of Alabama.

Leslie Hanks, a pro-life demonstrator from Colorado, says she recently helped put Personhood on the ballot for the fourth time in Mississippi.

3. CA Gay Conversion Ban in Court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is hearing arguments for and against a new California law banning gay ‘conversion therapy’ for minors. The new law which is the first of its kind in America, bars licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of people under the age of 18.

A small group of therapists — frequently conservative Christians — challenge scientists, arguing that reparative therapy intervenes where gender confusion is caused by childhood trauma, resulting in reshaping one’s sexual orientation.

Large numbers of gay men say they suffered deep harm over reparative counseling that left them guilt-ridden and anguished.

The lawsuits to be argued on Wednesday were brought by two conservative legal groups, the Pacific Justice Institute, based in Sacramento, and Liberty Counsel, which is affiliated with Liberty University in Virginia, reports the New York Times.

The state of California’s brief argues that the law “prohibits licensed mental health professionals from treating children and teenagers with a discredited, ineffective, and unsafe therapy in a misguided effort to change their sexual orientation.” 

Similar bills have been introduced in New Jersey and Massachusetts.

4. Women = ‘vaginas’. New Hampshire state rep Peter Hansen is under severe criticism after referring to women as ‘vaginas’in an email sent on New Hampshire House internal email. Hansen was arguing with Republican Rep Steve Vaillancourt, who defended retreating from violence, rather than confronting the force with force. Hansen said that his colleague hadn’t considered the case of women and children. Choosing not to use those words, Hansen initially wrote:

‘What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina’s [sic] of course,’ he wrote. 

The comments were imemdiately picked up by Democrat State Rep Rick Walrous, who wrote: ‘Are you really using ‘vaginas’ as a crude catch-all for women? Really? he wrote.

‘Please think before you send out such offensive language on the legislative listserve.’

Local political blogger Susan the Bruce reported the exchange adding ‘That the representative chose to describe women as ‘vagina’s’ is certainly an affront to half the population. That he failed to properly pluralize the word adds insult to idiocy.’

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5. Teen Sex Survey. “Policymakers and the media often sensationalize teen sexual behavior, suggesting that adolescents as young as 10 or 11 are increasingly sexually active,” writes lead author Lawrence Finer, about his new study of sexual activity in America’s youngest adolescents. “But the data just don’t support that concern. Rather, we are seeing teens waiting longer to have sex, using contraceptives more frequently when they start having sex, and being less likely to become pregnant than their peers of past decades.”

Among adolescents were did report having sex said that it was coerced. Sixty-two percent of females who had sex by age 10 said it was coerced, as did 50% of those who experienced sex by age 11.

Contraceptive use is common among teens, according to the study, with use among girls as young as 15 similar to that of older teens. More than 80% of 16-year-olds used a method at first sex. A year after having first sex, 95% of those teens had used contraceptives. via Guttmacher Institute

Related: 2008 State-Level Teen Pregnancy Data Now Available. (Yes, 5 yrs. later)