Tag Archives: human rights

Gay Activism and Iran: Do Western Activists Do More Harm Than Good? (Link to article by Scott Long)

Scott Long, LGBTQ human rights activist and visiting fellow in the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, just posted an article on Western LGBTQ activists and the purported “gay executions” in recent years in Iran, which I would recommend. While the LGBTQ and even mainstream Western press has reported several high-profile cases in recent years, Long believes that the situations may have been misrepresented, in some cases making things worse, and in some cases obfuscating matters. Long writes that

No one who launched the story has bothered to follow up the facts.

Among the observations that Mr. Long makes:

It’s certainly possible that the four men in Charam are “gay” or hamjensgara, and have been framed. It’s certainly also possible that they raped an “effeminate” victim, and that he is the one who suffered for sexual dissidence. Quite possibly, in fact, that’s the pattern underlying these stories of rape. In other words, conceivably [Western activists] have spent all these years speechifying and pontificating in support not of “gays,” but of their persecutors. The point is: We don’t know.

Agree or disagree, it’s worth reading and considering. What happens when we step in to “help” without having the full story? Does queer activism sometimes do more harm than good?

-AidanAbroad

HuffPost Gay Voices: Liberian Anti-Gay Group Issues Hit List, Governments Do Nothing

This disturbing story from Liberia on Huffington Post reveals that an anti-gay group in the country has published a “hit list” of LGBT advocates that they would like to kill. More disturbing, perhaps, is the complete silence of elected officials around the issue. According to Huffington Post, Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf vowed

to preserve an existing law criminalizing “voluntary sodomy”.

Also disappointing to me, as a US citizen, is the lack of response from the US embassy in Monrovia. International pressure has certainly been helpful in compelling governments to be accountable around human rights issues in the past.
I’m hoping Liberian LGBT advocates will comment on this issue soon – I will publish updates as I get them.
-AidanAbroad

Gay Human Rights Website banned in Indonesia!

IGLHRC E.D. Cary Alan Johnson

The IGLHRC website has been banned in Indonesia.

Statement from Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission:

“This is not the first time that attempts to organize and educate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies have been met with state censorship. All too often, governments use the charge of pornography as a smokescreen to attack freedom of expression. Oppressive governments can’t stop the tide of LGBT voices—whether they are on the Internet, in the media or on the streets. IGLHRC stands with human rights defenders in Indonesia in their struggle to keep the web free for dialog on basic human rights issues.

According to a spokesperson for the internet service provider IM2, the order came from the Minister of Communication and Information who … banned [the website] due to it’s content which, they determined contains pornography.

Subsequently, Indonesian LGBT activists who tried to access the website reported that they had received the following message: Site inaccessible. The site you wish to open cannot be accessed. (Situs tidak bisa diakses. Situs yang hendak Anda buka tidak dapat diakses.)

Web censorship in Indonesia is frequent but is neither well organized nor uniform and depends on the operator and their respective location. Therefore, with word that they had been banned, IGLHRC reached out to dozens of activists in Indonesia who investigated the accessibility of the website. Indonesian activists confirmed that they were unable to access the IGLHRC website. Many reported they were denied accessibility.

Specifically, IGLHRC was censored in Jakarta (Telkomsel, Indosat, 3), Bandung (Telkomsel, XL), Palembang, South Sumatra, Surabaya (XL), Salatiga, Central Java as well as other areas. Censoring operators include Telkomsel, Indosat (IM-3), Three, XL Axiata, and Telkom Speedy. Only First Media, a small cable operator consistently refused to ban the site.

 

Religious Homophobes Host “Purity Parade” in Belize

Purity Parade - Screenshot from Belize News video‬‏

News from Belize: A “Purity Parade” protesting LGBT activists’ legal motion to decriminalize homosexuality. (Here is a little more information on the motion, put forward by LGBT human rights group UNIBAM.)

Their arguments aren’t too interesting – the same old “marriage should be between a man and a woman,” and the same old, tired (and inaccurate) reasoning: “Why? Because Jesus said so.”

The concept of an a “Purity Parade” is kind of interesting, but the execution is rather disappointing. I must say, Pride parades are much more interesting to watch. Maybe they should ask us for lessons.

-AidanAbroad