civil rights

All posts tagged civil rights

Hand in hand

Published May 29, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

“My father always used to say; don’t raise your voice, improve your argument” ~ Desmond Tutu

Why Gay Rights and the Greater Progressive Agenda Go Hand in Hand

Posted May 25th, 2011 by Evan Hurst @truthwinsout

No matter the brand, mainstream or main street politics does not deliver a truly progressive politics and any advances are limited. My argument if you are to advance Gay rights then it is by looking to Green politics in its embrace of universal diversity in moving forward. The article that inspired me provides a relatively interesting argument but is confusing in comparing and contrasting two conservative political philosophies. While I may or may not agree with the key points, it is nonsense to pretend that there is a difference between the two. Liberalism and Conservativism by their very nature are both cheeks of the same arsehole; in Australia, this is more evident.

 The Rainbow Nation is socially and politically progressive because traditional or conservative institutions question our very existence in taking every step possible to marginalise us. The idea of gay conservatives seems to be counterintuitive, when our culture stands in stark opposition to the worldview of conservatives.

This is where I become confused what is the point of argument here, as any political theory is a broad church of thought. Conservatives have a well-proven economic theory and often Liberals might be socially progressive while holding a conservative economic position. If you are talking economics, all mainstream politics worship capitalism on both sides of the aisle. If you are talking social then mainstream politics tends to sit somewhere around the centre of the political spectrum this is where you find legislation like DOMA, and  DADT  the right to be treated as an equal citizen is traded for maintaining the lie of the status quo. Please note both these pieces of legislation where signed off on during the Clinton Presidency. A social centralist and economic conservative from a supposedly Liberal-progressive party.

Amanda Marcotte  in tying together all the different arms of liberalism

Economic justice This is labour movements, anti-poverty initiatives, fair taxation, health care reform, social services, government that is functional, etc. Anything that helps secure the middle class, bolsters the economy, and lifts people out of poverty.

  • Strange proposition the example is a real ice cream sundae, socialist foundations with a liberal topping of no tax reform and a middle class cherry on top. Our lot is not with the middle class but the working/poor, to achieve true economic justice we need to seek tax reform. So those who can pay their share rather than gorging themselves on the tax returns of the worker.

Social justice. Feminism, anti-racism, gay rights, anti-colonialism, things like that—anything that divides people against each other on the basis of identity hierarchies.

  • The underpinning principle is fair however, poorly articulated the example, social justice is about social equity or fairness.

Environmentalism and rationalism. Preserving the planet, promoting science, using the now to work towards a better tomorrow

  • It is about sustainability, risk management and the application of the sciences to keep our home Earth viable in the face of rabid capitalism, which seeks profit for its own sake. Many philosophical perspectives and discourses go some way to explaining the interconnectedness of life including green politics, socialism and Black Feminism but neither Liberalism nor Conservatism.

Insightful

This seems like a good time to point out that gay conservatives tend to be upper-middle class white men, or those who dream of one day being so, and are willing to overlook where they actually are in service of who they might be, maybe one day, if things go well for them.

  • Here the author is talking about class and class conflict, where gay conservatives as members of an elite sell their cultural identity for perceived personal gain. This situation may lead to the individual being conflicted between their individualism and cultural root.

The Rainbow Nations rights might go hand in hand with a progressive politic however, can mainstream parties really deliver anything but a centralist agenda because of them trading off justice for maintaining their privilege.

Australia

Australia has an atheist unmarried woman PM who comes from a left- faction of her supposedly socially progressive party the contradiction lies in

Her defence of the Marriage Act 1961 as amended by  Marriage Amendment Act 2004 in which marriage not previously defined is stated as being between a man and woman. Hence, she is denying marriage equality in any form to same-sex couples for an institution she does not believe in herself.

Her support of rebranding and extension of  Northern Territory National Emergency Response or Intervention a package of changes to welfare provision, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures including exemption of NTI under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)

Vote Radical not Progressive

The Rainbow Nation has no friends in mainstream political parties they are more interested in maintaining their privileged position or attaining a privileged position. .It is not our rights they campaign their aim to appeal to the majority with pie in the sky fairytales. Until we stand up and demand our rights by holding these politicians to account they will sit on their laurels and fat bank accounts believing they do not have to answer for their words and deeds.

Stop being nice become politically active

Reject the rhetoric of politicians filled with good intentions, hot air and bullshit

It is the 21st century it is now or now

We are many but We must act as one

Published May 16, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

The reality of the Rainbow Nation

The B of LGBT

The B in LGBT is a blog entry by @tcwaters reflecting on a story about perceived biases against people who identify as bisexual titled Lady Gaga Is Not an Ally to Our Community on The Bilerico Project. @tcwaters does not deny that people who identify as bisexual are not members of our community it just he has never thought about it previously until he read the Bilerico Project article. The author makes two interesting observations that Lesbian and Gay men may or may not really consider the bisexual experience and that we are not really one big homogenous “community.

The Personal

I use many different labels to define my identity including Queer, Gay & Bisexual but never heterosexual discounting it as a nonsense. In my early teens, I often thought of myself as bisexual, however, I could not say that I really was but it gave me comfort. Therefore, I can comfortably say that bisexuality is no alien concept to me it is a reality that your love is not limited by arbitrary gender divisions.

The Rainbow Nation

The dream, that one day the diverse communities of the Rainbow Nation will sit down together in an open and frank conversation to address strategically the discrimination we all experience. In a hostile heteronormative world, even with all the advances over time we still fight everyday to defend our right to be who we are. Our greatest barrier it seems is the lack of leadership to breach our internal biases, which see us discriminate against our own. This situation sees us construct, maintain, and reinforce politically convenient divisions, which in turn perpetuate the sameness that imprisons us. We like other marginalised people sit on the back stoop of the Master’s mansion fighting over scraps from his trashcan while trying not to be shot.

The greatest threat to our rights is ourselves

Only United shall we overcome

Nakba 2011

Published May 16, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Violence erupts on Israel’s borders (31/05/11)

Violence erupted on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday, leaving at least eight dead and dozens wounded, as Palestinians marked what they term “the catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948. (ABC News Aust)

Israel seemingly has become the paranoid bully of the region today being Nakba Day it has launched a violent attack on its neighbours. This in is in no way an isolated event but another episode in an active long-term political and military campaign by Israel to neutralise any perceived Palestinian and Arab threats to its sovereignty. My thesis in a post-WWII the world seeming racked by guilt because of its inaction over Nazi Germany’sFinal Solution’ the Allies  enabled the establishment of Israel. This has effectively seen the destruction of Palestine evident in the Nakba & other regular violent disputes between the Palestinian peoples and the State of Israel. Israel has the seeming universal backing of The West in its ongoing campaign to establish and maintain its legitimacy.

It is time for the world to take this bully to task and apply the wisdom of Solomon by dividing the land equally between the disputing parties.

I support the right of both these nations to exist as equals among other countries of the world

Bullying

Published October 5, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The recent suicide related deaths of five teens in the US supposedly related to homophobic schoolyard bullying has wiped up a bit of a storm. In no way does this commentary seek to minimalize the human tragedy of suicide and especially that involving children for their family and the community. Rather on these occasions a gaggle of media personalities rush out to tell their story ably aided by mainstream media. Being a cynical old bastard, I tend to take these biographies with a shovel of salt with most of these people having not seen a schoolyard for quite a while. Homophobic bullying affects all children it controls their behaviour to ensure compliance with a limited view of gender identity that needs challenging. Especially, when homophobic bullying does not end at the schoolyard gate, as it is both codified and institutionalised

Do I give a damn YES I DO!

In my three years of secondary schooling, bullies targeted me every day of the week and staff offered no comfort let alone protection.  On some occasions, staff even blamed me for causing the abuse, which still confuses me to this day. I still experience anxiety issues, which often limit my social participation because I do not really trust people. I often hide behind roles, which provides structures that limit the nature of my interactions with others

Does it get better, yes as an adult I discovered my voice, realised,  I have choices and the views of others do not count as much as when I went to school.

Why are Australian Churches Losing their Religious?

Published August 20, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Bishop blames ‘weak’ churches for losing their religious – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The article reports on the views of Professor Tom Frame, concerning why he sees ‘The Church’ failing Christianity in Australia. Professor Frame is the Director of St Mark’s National Theological Centre and head of the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University. He identifies three rather clear reasons for a ‘weak’ church losing their followers.

  • “To some degree some churches are caught in a time warp, they’ve got the social and cultural forms of the 1950s and 1960s and have been unable to embrace the 1990s and the new millennium, so they do seem to be locked in time and their message with it,” he told ABC Online.
  • “Many of the churches are totally overcome by internal bickering about minor points of doctrine about which the world could not care less, because they don’t bear upon everyday life.
  • ” the churches themselves have conducted some of the internal debates in public and given the impression that not even the churches are sure about what they believe.

Professor Frame reflects on the

  • Significant changes in religious observation during the last 100 years.
  • Consequences for social welfare services
  • moral and ethical void

He makes one key observation

“And if they can’t articulate a clear message then why should anyone bother listening?”

What can be made of these reflections?

Strangely, I believe the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are even more relevant today than ever in history. Much has changed over the last 100 years in that change it seems the Church has lost sight of Christ’s simple message of unconditional love, respect and acceptance.

However, those who identify themselves as his representative are as barren and corrupt as the priests in the temple that Christ himself condemned. The Church overwhelmed by the bigotry and ignorance of hate, preaches a doctrine irrelevant to the masses that seeks to hold on to the last vestiges of heteronormative privilege. Christ walked the people of the margin, He did not walk with Kings dressed in the silk robes and gold ornaments of social respectability. In one example He stood before the crowd ready to stone a woman accused of adultery and challenged the man without sin to cast the first stone.

What is the message of the Christian church today, how consistent is it with the teachings of Christ?

International Day of Indigenous People

Published August 11, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Indigenous Logo

“The Declaration is a visionary step towards addressing the human rights of indigenous peoples… I encourage Member States and indigenous peoples to come together in a spirit of mutual respect, and make use of the Declaration as the living document it is so that it has a real and positive effect throughout the world.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

09 August

International Day of Indigenous People


Employment Non-Discrimination Act (USA)

Published August 11, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Such protections are already available to employees of the federal government through executive orders for sexual orientation and gender identity in 1998 and 2009 respectively; this would extend them to employees in the private sector (religious organisations exempted).

First introduced in 1994

103rd Congress

House of Representatives

Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 1994

H.R. 4636 June 23, 1994 Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA)

Died in the House Subcommittee on Select Education and Civil Rights

Senate

S. 2238 July 29, 1994 Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

Died in the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Notes

Introduced in the following congresses 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 110 on each occasion Gender Identity was not included and the bill either died in committee or failed on the floor when put to the vote.

111th Congress Employment Non-Discrimination Act 2009

Includes Gender Identity

House of Representatives

H.R. 2981 June 19, 2009 Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

Referred to the House Judiciary Committee

H.R. 3017 June 24, 2009 Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

Referred to the House Judiciary Committee

Senate

S. 1584 August 5, 2009 Rep. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee

Current U.S. LGBT employment discrimination laws

All employment:
Sexual orientation and gender identity Sexual orientation onlyState employment:
Sexual orientation and gender identity Sexual orientation only No state-level protection for LGBT employees

United ENDA coalition

Comparison

Australia

Commonwealth

Australian Human Rights Commission

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

An Act to establish the Australian Human Rights Commission, to make provision in relation to human rights and in relation to equal opportunity in employment, and for related purposes

The Australian Human Rights Commission works to promote and protect the rights

What are human rights?

Every person has inherent dignity and value. Human rights help us to recognise and respect that fundamental worth in ourselves and in each other.

Australia has agreed to uphold the human rights standards set out in a number of international treaties and declarations, including:

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

Related Legislation

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Equality

Queensland

Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland

is an independent statutory authority established under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.Our core business is to receive and deal with complaints of discrimination and other contraventions of the Act, and to promote human rights in Queensland.

Anti-Discrimination legislation and decisions

Tracking Your Rights: Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender & Intersex People

Sexuality

Gender Identity & Vilification

Coming Out Early: the Fight to Help LGBT Youth

Published August 7, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Coming out early: the fight to help LGBT youth | Feature Story on 365gay.com

The story speaks to a real crisis in the US for teens who identify as LGBT, this situation may simply reflect the inadequate welfare supports systems. However, I am interested in the experiences of Australian teens who identify, please read the story.

It would not be drawing a long bow in stating that for any person, adolescences is a time of transition from childhood towards adulthood in most societies. During which we grow in all dimensions of which we are, subsequently emerging into adulthood as a butterfly.  However, it is also a time of much personal angst and self-doubt, if not parented appropriately could cause considerable psychological emotional and social damage whose affects may last a lifetime.  Then if we consider kids, who identify as Same Sex Attraction Transgender and/or Intersex the level of confusion seems to go up a level.

This entry looks at

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench upheld the decision of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission tribunal in Nichols v. M.J. & Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, 2009 SKQB 299.

Society and kids

In this self-obsessed world somehow we freely abdicate our responsibility for raising kids to experts, denounce under resourced parents or even blame the child. Kids are no longer adults on trainer wheels but an accumulation of social problems solved through clinical, criminal justice and/or interventions. Some pop psychologist labelled them as aliens, dangerous and a threat hence becoming The Other. Unless it is your child then this false crisis becomes a reality a strange mix of soap opera, hormones and duelling egos. However, there is nothing new here in this conflict of cultures mostly it seems promoted by music bands and tee shirt venders to promote merchandise sales. While some developmental experts (i.e.  Erik Erikson William Damon) argues the conflict between parent/authority & adolescent is a health part of the young person’s transition. What is really happening parents feed on a diet of the alien in their midst, kids told that it is all about challenging what is and some ask why it is so and then both being punished for not being normal.

Rainbow Nation kids

Hey, Mum & Dad meet my boyfriend, what did you say Jason.

What would your response be if your son or daughter identified as Same Sex Attraction, or there was some conflict between their biological and gender identity?

The real issues faced by young people who identify are the same as those faced by all kids.  However, there are additional issues what may be youthful experimentation may turn into something more critical

I.e.