Posts Tagged ‘Politics

18
May
08

Plead

South Africa has the most progressive constitution in the world, so they say, which protects all people against discrimination. It is ironic that some British (by the way, gay) couples get married in Africa. This is not the whole story of Africa, however. Gay activist Juliet Victor Mukasa, chairperson of Sexual Minorities Uganda, says “Lesbians and gays, all sexual minorities, have been excluded from the national AIDS policy, and there’s just death, we’re just dying off, of HIV and AIDS.” In Kenya two separate penal codes relate to the gays and the archaic laws can lead to a 5 to 14 year jail term for homosexuality. “Amongst traditional Kenyan people, it was unheard of,” says Pastor Kuchio. He believes the practice must have been imported into Kenya. Gay community’s monthly party now gets police protection. But mention something as fundamental as a gay pride march and it is met with laughs. CNN has a story about this.

And also do check out this interesting blogs: Rants and raves of a Kenyan gay man and Akinola, Repudiate Anti-Gay Violance

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08
May
08

Not Just a Star; The Moon

Jerusalem, 2006

“This year I invite all residents of Jerusalem to join the march and demand that Jerusalem remain both a holy and a democratic city. The prophet Zachariah calls on us to imagine the plazas of Jerusalem filled with old men and women, boys and girls playing together. The prophet adds, “Do not contrive evil against one another… those are the things I hate, declares the Lord.” If we wish to see Zachariah’s prophecy come true, we have to fight evil by speaking lovingly and respectfully – especially when we disagree. (glbtjews)

LEVI WEIMAN-KELMAN, rabbi of Kehillat Kol HaNeshama, a Reform congregation in Jerusalem
04
May
08

Pale Red

Sunil Babu Pant, President of BDS

The Blue Diamond Society (BDS) of Nepal is one of the world’s most respected advocacy organizations fighting for the human rights of sexual minorities. Sunil Babu Pant, Founder and President of BDS, is Nepal’s first openly gay politician who was selected to represent a small communist party in the country’s new constituent assembly.

It is really interesting to hear that a communist party in a third world country tolerates gays. The struggle of LGBT people in the third world countries is not easy to grasp. Nepal is a country between China and India; so this amalgamation of the most advanced front of freedom with the worst form totalitarianism may come as no surprise.

30
Apr
08

The Ambassador

John Bolton

John Bolton is one the few people in this world who I can perhaps fully associate with. Andrew Sullivan characterizes him this way: “a libertarian type on social issues, while being a rogue unilateralist abroad.” The former ambassador understands what is at stake when we talk about middle east, Islamofascism or terrorism. Quite understandably he also supports expanded civil rights for gay people. This isn’t so surprising. The very same rationale taken to justify a more inclusive society inside the US must be applied to explain why it is important to approach the Middle Eastern dictators as the challenge of the century. This means persistence, not unilateralism.

26
Apr
08

The First Action Hero

Arnold Schwarzenegger

WOCKNER: Speaking at the Log Cabin Republicans National Convention in San Diego, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the effort by anti-gay forces to amend the California Constitution to permanently ban same-sex marriage is “a total waste of time”. Asked about constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage he replied: “first of all, I think that it would never happen in California because I think that California people are much further along with that issue. And, number two, I will always be there to fight against that, because it would never happen. I think we need a constitutional amendment so that foreign-born citizens can run for president, but not about gay marriage. That’s a total waste of time.”

25
Mar
08

ambiguity/hypocrisy

cohen
Roy Cohen [By Robert Mapplethorpe, 1981.]

Because of his quintessential ambiguity, Roy Cohn was one of the gayest icons in the US political history. He was a lifelong Republican who in the 1950s worked on the red-baiting McCarthy Hearings, using economic and even sexual blackmail to coerce testimony. As a lawyer he later represented mobsters such as Fat Tony Salerno and members of the Gambino crime family. He was eventually disbarred for unethical and unprofessional conduct. Although he had been “outed” decades before and made little effort to hide his lifestyle, he continued to officially deny his homosexuality until his death from AIDS in 1986. Far far beyond throwing judgment, is hypocrisy a gay thing?

20
Mar
08

Sense and Sensibility

clintobama
2008 Democratic Primary Election: Hillary vs. Obam

This primary election is really exciting and educating because the identity politics of the 1960s, and its ensuing challenges, has reached its peak. Oprah, an African American woman, backs an African American, not a woman; and Marianne Williamson has just made this facile argument that she was not going to vote for Hillary Clinton because: “I’m not going to vote with my vagina.” Williamson must bear this in her mind that women did NOT have the right to vote for over 120 after the declaration of “human” rights exactly and merely because of their vaginae i.e. solely because they were women. To a libertarian mind like mine it seems now, Clinton is the obvious best option not because of (nor in spite of) her gender but more importantly because of her credence. Let’s not down play the importance of identity politics.