Jamaican Anti Sodomy Law Challenged for the First Time

An AIDS organization has brought suit challenging Jamaica’s “anti-sodomy” laws on behalf of two gay Jamaican citizens.

The plaintiffs argue that Jamaica has violated international human rights laws committed to through treaties, including the American Convention on Human Rights, by allowing homosexual activities to remain criminally punishable. Jamaica no longer enforces their “anti-sodomy” law, but potentially it could be revived and used as long as it remains part of the nation’s legal codes.

Articles 76, 77, and 79  of the “Offences Against Person Act” of Jamaica all provide means for the prosecution of male on male sexual activity including “buggery”, “assault”, and “gross indecency”.  The fact that Jamaican law defines male homosexuality in such terms should be enough for deletion. How can a sexual minority progress in a society that views them so negatively?  They can’t.

Unfortunately, many nations sign human rights treaties and don’t follow them. Why? Because there is no means of enforcement, and countries like the United States are not going to march into other nations to protect homosexuals.  Let’s hope the Jamaican courts have some morals and a progressive attitude.

Source: TowleRoad

Brazilian High Court Rules Constitution Permits Same-Sex Marriages

The Supreme Court of Brazil in a 4 to 1 vote ruled Tuesday that same-sex civil unions can be converted into marriages under the nation’s Constitution.

The court held that sexual orientation should not be used a means of preclusion from the protections of marriage, after two women brought suit following a refusal to marry them in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Federal law in Brazil has not yet legalized same-sex marriage and Brazilian states will not be forced to grant or recognize same-sex marriages, but the highest court’s ruling that these marriages are possible should open the doors for further progression in the same-sex marriage fight in Brazil.

Source: News 24

Los Angeles County Launches Campaign to Encourage Same-Sex Couples to Adopt

Los Angeles County is launching a visibility campaign to encourage lesbian and gay couples to foster or adopt children in need.

The Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services is teaming up with a number of LGBT organizations to educate lesbian and gay parents about the need for adoptive and foster homes and that they are welcome to become parents through the county. The campaign includes banners posted on light posts depicting real life same-sex parents that have already adopted through the county.

Currently, Los Angeles County provides “out of home” welfare services for over 15,000 children. The need is great and I hope some worthy parents step up.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

Iraqi Arrests of Homosexuals Continue & Increase

The Iraqi LGBT communities are in increasing danger as the nation’s unregulated militia arbitrarily arrest and imprison homosexuals in greater numbers each month.

These  arrests continued as a religions militia group detained  25 men from the town of Kalar in northern Baghdad on September 15th of this year. The men were at a private home when the forces raided the residence and turned the men over to authorities who put the men in Kalar’s Garmyan prison. Police have been silent about what charges the men face. All but 3 have since been released.

Interestingly, homosexual activities are not proscribed by Iraqi law, instead religious militia groups arrest men and turn them over local police who then book the new prisoners on bogus anti-obscenity and prostitution charges. Other regions of Iraw have established Islamic courts to enforce religious laws that the government’s penal code does not provide.  These arrests have led to the deaths of over 700 LGBT Iraqis, and without some type of intervention will continue.

Source: ILGA

 

 

Denmark Planning to Legalize Same-Sex Marriages

The government of Denmark is planning to legalize same-sex marriage next year and will permit same-sex couples married in the Church of Denmark to also be married under Danish law.

Under current law Danish same-sex couples are entitled to “registered partnerships” and are not permitted to church marriages, the law creating these partnerships was enacted back in 1989. Denmark was seemingly in the lead of the gay rights movement, but the country has failed to make marriage equal between same-sex and heterosexual couples. Under the current provisions, any law that specifies a married couple being composed of a man and a woman does not apply to registered partnerships and effectively excludes them.

On the heels of this announcement has come criticism toward a small parochial state church in the town of Nykobing Sjaelland where a job posting for a new vicar demands that he be able and willing to perform same-sex marriages.

Change is in the air…

Sources: TowleRoad & Topix

County Police Release Names of Lewd Actors Despite Cases Being Sealed

Some men are pretty angry in White Plains County, New York, after pleading guilty to nonsexual offenses and having their cases sealed only to have the county police to supply their names to the media.

Saxon Woods, in White Plans, New York, has become a popular “hook-up” spot for gay men in the area, and also a target for police raids. Raids were conducted under Westchester County Department of Public Safety’s “Operation Exposed” in an attempt to lesson the lewd conduct that was being committed under the veil of trees and shrubs. The police hoped to create fear of exposure that would prevent more of this behavior.

Many of the men who were arrested plead guilty to nonsexual violations and were told that their cases and personal identities would be sealed and escape public exposure.

Unfortunately, the county police decided to release the names of the men last Friday. On Tuesday, a county police spokeman announced that 2 of the 16 names were released in error. None of those whose names have been released have said whether they will pursue a lawsuit against the county police department, the police department now blames the White Plains City Court for not informing the department on whether or not there were seal orders.

Sounds like a certain county is going to be paying some lewd gays cash money y’all!

Source: NYTimes

20 Saudi Gay Men Could Face Execution

Around 20 men have been arrested in Saudi Arabia following their involvement in a hilltop same-sex wedding according to the Arabic newspaper “Almadina”.

Saudi Arabia does not have a legislative penal code, but instead institutes strict Sharia or Islamic law. Men who engage in homosexual activity can face stoning or beheading according to Sharia law.

The police originally questioned 250 men, but have only detained 20 attendees of the gay event who were allegedly emulating women and partaking in narcotics.

Military Service Member Suit to Challenge DOMA’s Constitutionality

The Service Members Legal Defense Network, an advocacy group whose work led toward the eventual repeal of  the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy, has announced it will file suit alleging that the federal laws making married same-sex couples ineligible for the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts are unconstitutional.

The suit will be brought by currently enlisted service members who were legally married to their same-sex partners in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is now legal. The complaint argues that the Defense of Marriage Act violates the right to due process under the 5th Amendment which states: “nor shall any person… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”.  Same-sex couples suffer under the Defense of Marriage Act and have been deprived of equal treatment despite the lack of any court proceedings permitting them to fight for those benefits.

The Defense of Marriage Act currently prevents same-sex married spouses from receiving their husband or wife’s health care coverage and housing allowances. Same-sex spouses have gained some rights including access to group life insurance, missing member notification, and hospital visitation, but health care coverage and housing allowances can amount to 40 percent of an enlisted spouse’s compensation and completely excludes their non-enlisted partner with no other basis other than the sex make-up of the couple.

 

Source: Huffington Post

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