This Past Tuesday the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that all 20 member countries in Central and South America must legalize same-sex marriage (at best confer the legal rights associated with it).
The Court was established in 1979 by the Organization of American States, which are a comprised of several countries in Central and South America. It is the judicial enforcer as outlined in the American Convention on Human Rights, a document that outlines provisions for “personal liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man.”. Currently the there are 20 countries which include: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay.
The court reached it decision when Costa Rica asked the court for its opinion on if property rights extended to same-sex couples. Seven Judges from the court said that member nations “must recognize and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex.” The ruling is legally binding to all member countries, in-affect legalizing same-sax marriage (or rights associated with it).
There was no language on how each country needed to go about legalizing marriage equality - and there doesn't appear to be a deadline for doing so - the court rebuffed evangelical and conservative political forces opposing LGBT rights in Central and South America.
The Court also ruled that Costa Rica must allow transgender people to change legally change their name and gender marker on government-issued identification documents. While this is clearly a monumental win for LGBT rights, several of the countries listed above have policies forbidding members of the LGBT community to donate blood, adopting children, joining the military or having access to housing, employment and public accommodations.
A gay couple celebrating their engagement never thought that they would be booted from a Uber as reported in Pink News. The Texas couple were heading home from a friends house, and after peck on the lip were asked to get out of the Uber drivers car, apparently it was in the middle of know where. Allegedly the driver told the couple he couldn't stand them.
I wasn’t doing anything that I wouldn’t have done in public,” he said. I’m not going to embarrass myself or my fiance by any means.
This is not the first time Uber has come under fire for alleged homophobic drivers. A San Francisco couple was also asked to get out of an Uber in 2016, apparently for the same reason. Last January a gay student and his friends were asked to exit a Uber after kissing, according to GPB. For Magill and his fiance they were left at the corner of 59 and New Castle right next to the concrete sound barrier. He also stated that "I was super disappointed" and "Even the ones I could tell were not so comfortable with carrying us, they were very respectful." and will never use them again.
Both Magill and the driver reported the incident and Uber is investigating the matter.
So, here is the issue that arises. While I don't think that the couple would lie about the situation. We were not in the car, therefore, only three people know what happened. As a rule when in a taxi, Uber, Lyft I never would show public affections. For the simple reason you have no knowledge of the driver. They could be homophobic, and can eject you form their vehicle. Now he should have found a safe spot to kick them out, and not left them in the middle of know where. If you're going to provide a public service you have to expect that your clients are going to come for all aspects of life. This is an issue Uber needs to address a.s.a.p.
So, what do you think?
h/t: Pink News
Since 2013 at least 102 transgender people have been the victim of fatal violence in the United States alone according to a new report by The Human Rights Campaign in conjunction with the Trans People of Color Coalition.
Released last week, the report says that of the recorded findings at least 25 transgender people were killed in the U.S. in 2017, which makes it the deadliest year for transgender people in a decade. Fatal violence against transgender people is on the rise with highest rates toward trans women in the Black and African American communities.
The highest number of transgender deaths were reported in California and Louisiana, at 10 each, followed by Texas at 9 deaths, and Ohio at 8.
The report states that the increase in violence is: “fueled by anti-LGBTQ prejudice, racism, too-easy access to guns, and increasing political attacks on the transgender community at both the state and federal level,” with half of LGBTQ youth saying in a post-2016 election youth survey conducted by The Human Rights Campaign, that they have taken steps to hide who they are since the election.
In the past 12 months, 325 trans and gender-diverse people were reported murdered globally, according to website Transgender Europe, with a total of 2609 trans and gender-diverse people reported killed in 71 countries between January 2008 and September 2017.
We attempted to contact the NOPD liaison regarding the two unsolved murders of transgender women, we were directed to their website.
Author: Troy Murphy. November 21, 2017. DNA Magazine
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Recently HRC suspends Walmart's CEI score. The conclusion was that while Walmart might have a LGBT policy, it isn't enforced. Reports show that Walmart did little to nothing to protect LGBT employee's from discrimination. For awhile it was unclear why Walmart received such a high score on the CEI index. One theory is that Walmart like many companies only seek to attract LGBT dollar's and really don't care one way or the other about issues in the LGBT community.
It appears that HRC's reticence to modify its application or enforcement of polices says volumes about the power corporations have over the LGBT movement Recently HRC was asked to sign a letter demanding Nissan to take a neutral position on recent union elections at Nissan. HRC refused to sign the letter.
The Human Rights Campaign finally acknowledged the retail giant is not treating its employees — including LGBT employees — humanely. Jerame Davis says HRC should have made this point much sooner.
An article written by Jerame Davis and Michele Kessler they highlighted issues not only with HRC's CEI scoring but how corporation have a hold over HRC and other community leader. Just because they sponsor pride events, create floats doesn't mean that companies are treating or actively combating LGBT discrimination in the workplace.
Maybe until HRC can actually do something for the LGBTQ community instead of pandering to corporations we should suspend our donations.
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If you're going to mess around with the LGBT community, make sure you know what you're getting onto. Recently a New Zealand man was harassed and punched by a group of homophobic men in Sydney, Australia. The New Zealand Herald reported that Ivan Flinn, 34 from Surry Hills was punched and sustained a dislocated jaw. The attached happened after midnight on Oxford Street. Then reports state that three local drags queens came to Mr. Finn's defense, even chasing one into the middle of traffic.
So lesson learned at least for a few men in Australia. There has always been this misconception about drag queens. That for some reason they can't protect themselves; as most have learned it necessary. Drag queens in the LGBT community have always stood up for not only themselves but other in the community. Mr. Flinn said it best "Drag queens are the strongest people in the LGBTI community. They stand there and say this is who I am and I'm proud."
You can read the entire story here: Drag queens save New Zealand man in homophobic attack
you want to pick on little guys, you'll need to fight the big freak. I'm a man underneath all of this, so let's go. Ivy stated
Image is the property of Ivan Flinn and cannot be copied and/or reproduced without written permission.
This morning the LGBT and New Orleans community came together at Audubon Park to participate in Out of the Darkness Walk with Pride. This event was hosted by New Orleans Pride and their goal is to bring awareness to young adults and the community about anti-bullying and suicide prevention. Ms. Boudreaux, President of Pride stated: "this event is to promote the I'm Bigger program, to let those in the community know that if they feel threatened, need a friend, or just want to be a part of the community Pride is here to assist them". It is a fact that suicide is quickly becoming the leading cause of death of youths 14 - 24, and soon to replace cancer as the leading cause of death in the United States.
Bullying is a systemic problem within our culture. It is everyone responsibility to reach out to those in need and just be a friend. I remember junior high as being one of the most difficult times of my life. The name calling, taunting from peers was relentless, and yes there was a time I wanted to just end everything. However, I was lucky to have a family friend who helped me get through those dark three years. As I look back, I am surprised that I survived (and it is survival) and could pull myself through those years.
When we as a community come together and stand for a positive purpose it does make a difference and showing a strong front sends a message to young children and adults as well. If we allow this behavior to continue we condone the behavior and teach them that it's acceptable, lets teach them a better way!
For more information on bullying visit the I'm Bigger Louisiana page. Become involved, become aware, and become proactive.
New Orleans Pride should be commended for this innovative program, their desire to reach out to the community, and their continued commitment to the LGBT community in New Orleans.
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Once again the Louisiana State Legislature has denied protections for the LGBT community by voting for a bill 17-14 against (R) Rep. Patrick Connick's bill (HB 27) which removed the requirement the victim was of the opposite sex in order to for the act to be considered domestic violence. Like Republican's in the U.S. Senate there was no debate on the bill, in fact five Democratic Senator's were absent for the vote; which shows that this bill was not important to the welfare and safety of those in the LGBT community. Louisiana will be one of two states denying same sex couples protections, joining South Carolina (no surprise there).
Studies have shown that domestic violence affects at least 25% to 75% of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. The issue remains that there lacks firm or convulsive data and under reporting of abuse that paints an incomplete picture of the total landscape, suggesting an even higher rate.
Domestic violence -- at times called intimate partner violence -- this can be physical, sexual or psychological harm occurring between current and/or former intimate partners. Some research began in the 1970's in response to the women's movement, but studies focus more on women that are being abused by men in opposite-sex relationships.
There have been cities around the United States that have made great strides in dealing or combating same sex domestic abuse. The LGBT community still faces obstacles accessing help. Experts suggest that local LGBT community leaders "educate health care providers about the presence of this problem, and remind them to assess for it in homosexual relationships" states Richard Carroll, associate professor in psychiatry at Northwestern University.
So while we fight for equality, and the right to be protected. Just remember that in the state of Louisiana you don't have even the basic rights for protections against domestic abuse; and let's be honest most local and state police don't take this issue seriously. While we have made advances, why don't we as a community talk about this? How do LGBT advocates regard this issue? It appears that we are in the dark ages of social justice, you know that time where everyone just pretended it never happened, therefore, we just don't talk about it.
IF YOU NEED HELP OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO NEEDS HELP WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. CONTACT YOUR LOCAL POLICE OR CALL 911
SAGE LGBT ELDER HOTLINE: 1-888-234-7243
LGBT NATIONAL HOTLINE: 1-888-843-4564
CRISIS TEXT LINE: TEXT CONNECT TO 741741 IN THE UNITED STATES
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Knight, Charlotte, and Kath Wilson. "Domestic Violence and Abuse in Same-Sex Relationships." Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People (LGBT) and the Criminal Justice System (2016): 179-206. Web.
Roy, Tulsi. "Intimate Partner Violence." Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Healthcare (2016): 125-40. Web.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefill v. Hodges in 2015 would alter the landscape of American society forever, and thus changing the rights of gays throughout the United States to get married. Justice Kennedy stated in the decision that marriage is "a keystone of our social order," and the 5-4 Supreme Court voted effectively prohibited individual states from banning same-sex marriages.
This historic ruling opened the door for homosexual married couples to claim the same numerous benefits awarded to heterosexual couples. Before the U.S. Supreme Court decision there were only 19 states and the District of Columbia that recognized same-sex marriage. In 2013 the Court would declared parts of the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional and paved the way for married same-sex couples in these states to claim the same protections and benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. However, the 2013 decision did not require states that did not recognize same-sex marriage to begin doing so.
It's important to understand that by allowing same-sex couples to get married, protections that were once out of their reach were now afforded to them. We don't tend to think these protections are important, but as you will see these benefits can and have a profound impact on our daily lives.
Legal Rights Accorded to Married Couples
According to a report given to the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. General Accounting Office, here are a few of the benefits provided by the federal government to legally married couples:
Many state-level benefits mirror those that are available at the federal level, but states offer additional rights.
Marriages vs. Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships
Many of the states that did not recognized same-sex marriages before the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decisions nonetheless permitted registered domestic partnerships and civil unions between same-sex couples. It's important to note that these arrangements are not the same as marriage. They often convey limited, similar rights as marriage, but you might find that you don't enjoy the full scope of benefits afforded by the 2015 decision unless you and your partner take steps to legally marry.
Read the full list of legalized marriage benefits.
There are many reasons to get married, you have to understand what legal rights that you have, and remember once married and for some reason it doesn't work out, you just can't "walk" away from the marriage. Gay marriage is not for everyone, and that's OK, it's a personal decision!
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Source: Office of the General Counsel. U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO/OGC-97-16. Letter. Jan. 31, 1997
Machismo, an aggressive pride that is commonly found in a number of cultures, the pressure many men have sex with other men, but refuse to identify as being gay. The tension between identity and reality can be incredible detrimental to the Latino community. In fact it can be quite deadly.
For most Latino gay men there life is a series of contradictions, and secrecy; which can cause depression and isolation in closed men. They have to compartmentalize their lives, which causes barriers within themselves as welll as between them and their loved ones. "It causes confusion for their families It also exposed them to risks." according to Dr. Juan Manuel Castillo of Hospital General de Mexico. He also states "Some men may take out their frustration by abusing their families, it's an endless cycle."
In the Latino culture passive partners are often derisively called puto, jot and maricon (all roughly translate to "fag"), while active partners are called mayate, chichifo, chingon ("penetrator", "male prostitute", "fucker"), these labels are derogatory but less stigmatized. Passives are seen as having "abdicated their masculinity," while active often still consider themselves to be straight.
It is not uncommon for these gay Latino to go to a "gay bar", which appears as honest-to-god exploration of their sexuality, with a certain timidity to it. They's go into a gay bar, pick up men to perform sex acts on them--but wouldn't perform acts [themselves], this way they could tell themselves they didn't have this identity. This is especially true for closeted married men, it becomes a trauma to live a double life, to feel different but not being able to express themselves.
"Comprender que la sexualidad es tan amplia como el mar. Entiendo que su moral no es derecho. Entiendo que es usted. Entiendo que si decidimos tener sexo seguro, más seguro o inseguro, es nuestra decisión y no tiene derechos en nuestro hacer el amor." Derek Jarman Film Director
This machismo-ism has been instilled through generations, it can be traced back to the church, which is one of the most important aspects of any Latino culture, and as we know the churches view on homosexuality. This has caused generations of Latino's to repress or deny their sexuality. Men are taught to be strong, don't cry, protect yourself, and that homosexuality is wrong on any level, and when this idea has been passed down from generation to generation, it's hard to change the mindset.
Ideally, there should be a dialogue about different forms of sexuality; which would have to include mandatory sex education, appropriate youth outreach. By doing this boys in their formative years, might be able to come to terms with their sexuality and prevent repression of their sexuality. There is also a health aspect that needs addressing. Central and Latin American have some of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world; failure to use condoms, talking about sex, their self-esteem, and the ability to come out have all directly impacted the HIV/AIDS rates in several Latin countries.
Regardless of how we feel, there are few cultures in the Western Hemisphere that experience cultures that pushes gay Latino men away by not acknowledging the full spectrum of male sexuality - or human sexuality for that matter. Painting anything that does not conform to the heterosexual norm as being evil, sinful and bad. The insidiousness of machismo is manifested when individuals feel them must lie to themselves, their families and society. In this situation in my opinion everyone suffers.
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Sources: Serna, Albert Jr. & Tigerino, Adolfo. Gay, Latin and Macho. The Huffington Post. 11 August, 2015. Web.
HIV and Latin & South America Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for HIV/AIDS Prevention. Static Report. 2 February 2017. Web.
As I get older I find myself looking back on my life and I begin to wonder, what if? Or maybe I should have? Regardless it’s not easy to reflect on my life and not have some regrets. However, I’ve learned to always move forward, learn from my past. As the baby boomers move to midlife or “golden years” we as a culture tend to forget about the sacrifices they made so we could enjoy the very freedoms we have now. That because of them we are able to hold hands in public, travel as a couple, live together, and even marry.
How many times have we’ve been out and look at someone who is older and make rude comments, say they’re just to old, I would never be with someone that old? Anyone in the LGBT community who say’s they’ve never behaved this way, I would have to call bull shit.
In a recent study conducted by The Gill Foundation for SAGE a national organization that advocates for seniors in the LGBT community indicated that LGBT elders more often live alone, are childless, have smaller social networks, and have financial concerns. Another major concern is the fact that LGBT elders are being forced back into the “closet” as they enter long-term care facilities, mostly out of fear of being mistreated; and their fears are based in reality. Another study by The Williams Institute found that many LGBT elders face a wide range of treatment in long-term senior housing; such as pricing, requirements, and availability. It is a very sad fact that those of the Stonewall generation are being forced to go back into the “closet”, something they have fought. It is not only unacceptable, but a wakeup call for everyone in the LGBT community and those who support our community.
I came across an organization while at New Orleans Pride a few years ago, and was impressed that there was an organization dedicated to the senior members of the LGBT community. NOAGE strives to bring awareness and understanding to the community; by providing social and educational events, legal services, and health education to professional providers.
“TWe are here to provide needed services across the generations; regardless of their sexual ordination”. Jim Meadows, Executive Director, NOAGE
NOAGE’s goal is to provide a safe environment for the elderly members of the LGBT community to socialize and access needed services. It’s important to know that they strive to reach out to the entire community as a whole. Established 5 years ago, NOAGE has quickly grown into a major resource for the community.
I believe it’s important to honor and respect the senior members of the LGBT community, to listen to their stories and cherish the past. As I stated before it’s a fact that some within the community tend to degrade and pass over them without giving a thought to what they had to endure so that we could live as we do now. Just remember that once their gone, their perspective of the past go’s with them and are forever lost. So, I challenge you to put your preconceived notions behind you and let them know they are still valued.
NOAGE which is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit relies on the public's support and donations go directly to the services they provide. If you would like to join NOAGE there is a $25.00 membership, become a volunteer, or for event information contact NOAGE, call (504) 517-2345, or at email@example.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
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