Thursday, May 15, 2008

Unite for Human Rights

Today is the day that bloggers unite and talk about Human Rights.

I chose to talk about human rights for LGBT folks, as it’s a subject near and dear to my heart.
If you’ve been by my blog before, chances are that you know about my involvement with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Friends network in my workplace.

I got involved in this network primarily because of the legislation that exists in the US and many other countries which prevents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks from being able to do the same things that a heterosexual person can do. This ranges from healthcare, benefits, employment rights, rights to marriage, taxes – and that is just in the US. In some countries people can get the death sentence because they are in love with a person of the same sex. It amazes me. Why should someone’s sexual orientation require them to be treated differently? The map below shows LGBTI rights around the world. It really shocks me.

Photo source:

Its not just a matter of legislation. For many people the inequality comes from having to hide a part of their life due to a fear of how their community/workplace/friends and family will react. Back in February 2008, Lawrence King an eight grade boy, was murdered by a class mate. Hehad asked his friend to be his valentine, this lead to him getting shot by the same friend. Whattype of world do we live in, when showing your love gets you killed, when there’s so much homophobia that even an eighth grader is so frightened that he shoots a fellow classmate?

Small wins happen in the fight for GLBT rights, but for every win there seems to be a set back somewhere else. Last year Oregon finally managed to get the Domestic Partnership bill into effect, however, the fight continues today to keep it there, due to concerns of an appeal. If Domestic Partnerships are removed, it voids any domestic partnerships that have already been registered in the state of Oregon.

Its quite hard for me to keep this short, as there’s so many things that I want to say, but instead I will just give a few suggestions of things that that anyone can do that will make a difference.
- Find out more about what’s happening in your community.
- Know your local legislation.
- Walk in, or attend your towns Pride Parade.
- Stand up against homophobic slurs.

If you are interested, here's some sources for more information:

Speak Out

Public Agenda


  1. I just got this email:

    Victory! Marriage in California

    Dear Friend of NCLR,

    This morning the California State Supreme Court issued its decision in our marriage cases and the majority held that laws excluding gay and lesbian couples from the right to marry were unconstitutional. In short, we won!

    This is a landmark and historic day.

    We are grateful that the Court upheld the most precious and cherished values of fairness, opportunity, and most basically, the fundamental right to marry the person you love. What an enormous privilege to be a witness to this powerful and poignant moment in our movement.

    It is an honor to be the Executive Director of the organization that played such a key role in making this day possible. My deepest gratitude to you. We would not be here—seeing and making history—without your support.

    You will hear more from us in the next few hours and in the coming days as we have a chance to digest the ruling and give it a fuller analysis. Keep checking NCLR's website to get the latest information, including the official press release and a copy of the Court’s ruling.

    But for now—know this, this is a new and brighter day for each of us and all those we love. Yea!

    Thank you!

    Forever indebted,

    woo hoo!!!!

  2. Hi Caroline, your post was really intresting. Here in Mexico City, last year the local Legislative Assembly approved a law that gives the same rights for gay couples, one of the avantage of this law is that gay couple can get merried.

    I invited you to read my post for Bloggers Unite for Human Rights.

  3. Gabriel, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I just read your post. There's so many issues in the world today.

  4. I live a good part of the year in France where same sex marriage is illegal. Although the civil and not the religious ceremony is the legally binding one, it nevertheless states that marriage is between a man and a woman and intended for the creation of children. They don't appear to penalise childless couple though!

    One mayor did marry a same sex couple but that was later declared null. There is a civil union available to anyone but some consider it to be second rate - it doesn't allow adoption and there are different laws for tax and inheritance.

    Probably our best friends are a gay couple, now in their sixties, and through them I am constantly surprised by the small and not so small ways discrimination can occur.

  5. The California Supreme Court got it right when they lifted the ban on gay marriage, a step in the right direction!

  6. I, too, posted about gay rights for Bloggers Unite, and wanted to let you know that I linked to your post from mine. If you want me to remove the link, let me know!

  7. @ a. I know what you mean, I am constantly surprised about the discrimination I hear about. I find it so hard to understand.

    @ ada - I very much agree, hopefully more states will follow suite.

    @ stefanie - just got done reading your blog, you have some great information there :)


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