SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2011 By RAPHAEL VASSALLO
Thursday, 30 June 2011
SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2011 By RAPHAEL VASSALLO
Friday, June 24, 2011, 09:08, by PA
President Barack Obama has praised New York politicians debating historic legislation to legalise gay marriage, saying that was what democracies were supposed to do, and marriage has traditionally been decided by the states.
Mr Obama also said he believed that gay partners deserved the same legal rights as every other couple in the US, but, as expected, he stopped short of endorsing gay marriage outright.
The president was speaking at a Manhattan fund-raiser for gay and lesbian donors - his first specifically for gay supporters - yesterday.
Coincidentally the long-planned event happened just as politicians in New York's state capital Albany were manoeuvring towards a historic vote legalising same-sex marriage.
Negotiations were continuing as Mr Obama, who supports civil unions, not gay marriage, spoke.
[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]
Thursday, June 23, 2011 , by Alex Vella Gregory, Swatar
The end of the world is nigh, and apparently Doomsday is arriving in drag and waving a rainbow flag.
Reading through various comments made on this newspaper and other local media regarding gay rights, one wonders whether a particular segment of the population actually grasps the idea of “fundamental rights”.
Let us get a few facts straight (if you can pardon the pun). Being gay is not simply about who you prefer to have sex with; it is about who you want to build long, solid relationships with, of which sex is only a small part.
Being gay has nothing to do with being effeminate; gender identification is different from sexual orientation.
This leads us to the next misguided contradiction; “I have nothing against homosexuals, but…!” If you disagree (or even worse “hate”) homosexuals, kindly be mature about it and say it.
I do not tolerate that “holier-than-thou” hypocrisy, epitomised by the likes of those who try to justify homophobia by quoting the Bible. Nor am I waiting for them to justify my sexuality.
It is interesting that most of the arguments against gay rights (and other forms of hatred) end with a biblical quote.
People seem to forget that quite frankly I do not need any church or religious sect to feel “loved”, “accepted”, or “forgiven”.
I have all the support and care I need from my family and friends, and contrary to what some bigots might think, I am not a Bible-burning atheist hell-bent on destroying the world.
I simply believe that wisdom is better than ignorance, respect is better than fundamentalism, and love is better than hate.
Unfortunately, for a greater part of the homosexual community, such love and care is not available.
That is where gay rights come in. Perhaps the term “gay rights” is misleading in itself, because really and truly they are fundamental human rights.
They include the right to choose your life partner, the right for one’s relationship to be legally recognised, the right to own property with the person you choose, the right to medical and social care as a couple, and the right for two consenting adults to live together as a family.
Of course, the word “family” raises eyebrows and quite a few disapproving voices.
Therefore, I ask, “Would a single mum and her child be considered a family? Would a religious community be considered a family? Would an orphanage be considered a family? Would a mother living with her adult offspring under one roof be considered a family?” If your definition of family is simply “mum and dad and children”, then you are denying the greater part of the population the right to feel loved.
And therefore, that is what “gay rights” are all about: the right to love and be loved by the people you choose. So come the end of the world, I will end it with the people I love, not with people chosen for me by society.
Until that day comes, I will fight for others to enjoy that same basic right.
[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]
The World Health Organisation published a new global guidelines for expanding AIDS treatment, focusing for the first time on homosexuals, who face discrimination in many countries.
“If we do not pay major attention to the epidemic in key populations, we will not be able to eliminate HIV” – the virus that can lead to AIDS, said Gottfried Hirnschall, WHO director of the HIV/AIDS department.
“Men having sexual relations with other men” as well as transsexuals represent those who were “disproportionately affected by the epidemic of HIV about 30 years ago and it continues to be so,” Dr Hirnschall said at a press conference in Geneva.
He added that the UN health agency has even seen a resurgence of the HIV epidemic, especially in industrialised countries.
“The dramatic fact is that MSM (men having sex with men) are estimated to be 20 times more likely to be HIV infected than the general population,” he said.
In some countries and regions, up to 40 per cent of homosexuals are estimated to be HIV positive, according to the WHO.
Given the sobering statistics, the WHO said it was launching new guidelines, aimed at the specific health needs of homosexuals.
The WHO said that many homosexuals suffer due to lack of access to adequate care, often because of discrimination against gays.
Homosexual activity is illegal in no fewer than 75 countries, most of them in Africa, and some also do not legally recognise transsexuals, the global health agency said.
“They are exposed to harassment, exclusion, discrimination, violence” in many aspects of their life, work, education, as well as the health care system, Dr Hirnschall said.
“Because of the stigma, because of the discrimination, they often access services late,” he said, or they may not be able to get treatment at all.
“There is quite a political backlash that we see in many parts of the world to actually give these groups the rights and the services that they need,” he said.
The new guidelines in particular call for countries to adopt laws to end discrimination against gays and provide better access to treatment to reduce the number of new infections and save lives.
[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]
19.6.2011 minn Fr Colin Apap
Rajtek fuq Education 22 TV fil-programm Għażliet. Is-suġġett kien 'L-Omosseswalità. Kif għandha tkun l-attitudni tagħna bħala nsara lejn dawn ħutna? Għaliex għad hawn tant stigma kontra persuni li huma omosseswali?'
Għoġobtni ħafna kif kont delikat u għedt dak li kellek xi tgħid b'awtorità.
Għentni nifhem għaliex il-bniedem jitwieled omossesswali.
Għaddejt messaġġ ta' aċċettazzjoni u tjubija; ta' wieħed li jaf iħobb u jagħder.
U rnexxielkom taffrontaw – il-biżgħat li tħoss u li tgħaddi minnhom persuna omossesswali. Dejjem kelli biża' kif omm trid tiffaċċja lil binha meta jgħidilha li hu omosesswali u x'għandha tirreaġixxi.
Il-kondutriċi Christine Delicata kienet tajba ħafna u rnexxielha ssaqsi d-domandi u ħarġet tweġibiet konvinċenti mill-panel. Kontu panel verament tajjeb u rnexxielkom tgħallmu ħafna b'dak li għedtu.
Jiena kont waħda minn dawk li kelli ħafna preġudizzji kontra l-omosesswali. Kelli moħħi u qalbi b'dawk li jikkwotaw l-Iskrittura u l-ħin kollu jtanbru li Alla hu kontra l-omosesswali.
Mill-programm tagħkom fhimt li Alla mhux biss mhux kontra l-omosesswali imma għal kuntrarju Huwa jħobbhom u jaċċettahom kif inhuma. Alla hu Missier ħanin u bħall-Iben il-Ħali jilqa' bil-qalb kemm lill-Iben iż-żgħir u kemm lill-Kbir.
Grazzi mill-ġdid tal-imħabba li tippriedka u tat-tama li tagħti lil kulħadd.
Il-minoranzi li għandna f'pajjiżna għandhom bżonn ta' saċerdoti u lajċi mpenjati li minflok iwasslu n-nar tal-infern u l-kundanni, kapaċi jagħtu t-tama u l-ħniena ta' Alla l-Missier.
Kieku taf kemm għamiltu ġid lil dawk il-familji li kienu jwarrbu lil uliedhom omosesswali jew leżbjani. Bħalma għedt int, jekk bniedem iħoss li lanqas ommu stess mhi qiegħda taċċettah mhux bil-fors jiddispra? Din x'reliġjon ta' mħabba hi?
Kompli agħmel il-ġid u berikni.
Anna M. Flora
Il-fatti dwar kif tikkwota l-Bibbja fil-kuntest tagħha
Nirringrazzjak tal-apprezzament. Biex inkun sinċier jiena wkoll bqajt mistagħġeb b'dak il-programm soċjo-reliġjuż li mtella' minn saċerdot professjonist u tim verament li jafu xi jridu. Kelli l-preġudizzju – għax ma tantx nara television Malti reliġjuż – li kont naħseb li programmi bħal dawn ma jsirux hawn Malta għax ikun hemm min jibża' li jirrita lill-kattoliċi. Kont naħseb li hawn min iktar japprezza li jżomm lill-kattoliċi Maltin fl-injoranza milli jaffronta temi jaħarqu bħall-omosesswalità, transgender, eċċ.
Imma qed nieħu gost li kont imqarraq.
It-tim taċ-Ċentu Animaz-zjoni Missjunarja (CAM) taħt id-direzzjoni professjonali ta' Fr Louis Mallia MSSP qegħdin jagħtu kontribut siewi għall-iżvilupp ta' kattoliċi Maltin maturi li kapaċi jwasslu mes-
saġġ pożittiv ta' tama u mħabba.
Il-professjonalità ta' Chris-tine Delicata laqtittni. Għandna bżonn ta' iktar lajċi bis-sens bħalha. Mingħajr isteriżmu.
Nixtieq nerġa' ngħid kemm hawn min jagħmel ħafna ħsara lill-bnedmin sħabu meta tkun użata l-Kelma t'Alla biex tkabbar il-mibegħda lejn minoranzi bħalma huma l-omosesswali.
L-Omosesswali jagħmlu bejn 5 u 15 fil-mija tal-popolaz-
zjoni. Min hu veru omoses-swali jitwieled hekk u ma jistax jitbiddel. Lanqas bl-iktar operazzjonijiet biżarri u terapiji psikoloġiċi li tista' tivvinta min ma jridx jaċċetta n-natura kif ħalaqha Alla – min jitwieled omosesswali hekk kien u hekk se jibqa' għomru kollu sal-mewt.
Min jgħid li Ġesù jbiddel l-omosesswali biex iġibu 'straight' ikun qed jabbuża mill-Isem ta' Ġesù. Ifisser li Ġesù jrid li min jitwieled omosesswali jfisser li għandu xi ħaġa ħażina, hu pervers, ħażin, u għalhekk irid jitbiddel u la m'hawnx terapiji biex ibiddluh irid imur għand Ġesù biex ibiddillu n-natura tiegħu jew tagħha.
M'hemm xejn iktar 'il bogħod mill-verità.
Ġesù, iva, iħobb lil kulħadd kif inhu. Ġesù ma jridx li nbid-dlu n-natura tagħna. Huwa Alla l-Ħallieq li ħalaq in-nies omosesswali u jridhom jgħixu l-milja tagħhom ta' bnedmin sħaħ skont l-imħabba tiegħU.
L-Alla tal-Antik Testment
Hawn min l-Iskrittura jużaha qiesha "copy and paste" u jik-kwota biss fejn jaqbillu u jħalli barra passaġġi oħrajn. Skont alla tal-Antik Testment ikun jistħoqqlu l-piena tal-mewt kull min:
bestjalità (anki l-annimal irid jinqatel, miskin!);
min jaħdem is-Sibt.
Dawn insibuhom fil-Ktieb tal-Levitiku Kap 20.
U fil-Ktieb tan-Numri Kap 15 insibu li Ulied Iżrael iħaġġru lil dak ir-raġel li mar jiġbor xi friegħi nhar ta' Sibt. Joqtluh għax 'ħadem' is-Sibt!
Probabbilment dawn ma kinux jagħmlu hekk. Imma min jikkwota l-Iskrittura mingħajr ma jaf bil-kritika letterarja, il-kuntest storiku li fih inkitbu l-Kotba Mqaddsa, it-traduzzjoni tal-lingwa ori-
ġinali għal dik tal-lum, l-istu-dju tal-Grieg antik bħal f'San Pawl (1 Korinti 6:9 u 1 Timotju 1:9) fejn "arsenokoitai" kienet tradotta minflok "pederast" li tirreferi għal min jabbuża mit-tfal, pedofilja, u irġiel li miżżewġa li jkollhom sess anali ma' marthom stess. L-istudjużi ta' San Pawl isostnu li ma kienx qed jirreferi għall-omosesswali kif nifhmuhom illum.
Min jistudja Rumani 1:26-27 – Rumani 1:21-23 jaf sew li San Pawl kien qed jitkellem dwar dawn in-nies li kienu jafu b'Alla imma xorta waħda aduraw l-idoli. Huma dawn in-nies li jaduraw allat foloz li Alla jwarrab (u wħud minnhom jistgħu jkunu wkoll omosesswali imma mhux b'riferen-za għalihom esklussivament). L-iskop ta' San Pawl kien biex juri li l-insara għandhom jaħarbu l-idolatrija ta' allat foloz u mhux biex jitkellem dwar l-omosesswali.
Levitiku 18:22 u 20:13 jekk tara l-kapitli kollha 18 u 20 juri ċar (Levitiku 18:3) "Tagħmilx bħalma dawk fl-Eġittu, fejn kont tgħix; u tagħmilx bħalma jagħmlu f'Kanaan fejn se nieħdok. Tagħmilx bħalhom" u l-istess f'kapitlu 20. Alla qed jgħid lil-Lhud biex ma jimxux skont ir-RITI pagani tal-Eġizzjani u l-Kanaaniti li bosta drabi kienu jinkludu l-prostituzzjoni bejn l-irġiel u orġji. Dawn il-kapitli jikkun-dannaw ir-riti sesswali bħala parti mill-kult fit-tempju.
Ovvjament, min jieħu l-Iskrittura b'mod letterali jitħawwad u ma jkunx qed isegwi xi jrid jgħidilna Alla. Alla jitkellem fl-Iskrittura permezz tan-nies li kitbuha. Dawn, l-awturi umani tal-Kelma t'Alla, jagħmlu użu minn ġrajjiet, ħrejjef, eċċ. ta' żminijiethom biex iwasslu l-messaġġ reliġjuż li jrid iwassal Alla lill-Poplu tiegħu.
Biex tifhem il-messaġġ reliġjuż tal-Kelma t'Alla, l-Iskrittura, trid tifhem il-kuntest bibliku, is-sintassi li tintuża, il-forom letterarji, eċċ. Ma tistax tieħu vers jew tnejn, toħroġhom barra mill-kuntest storiku tagħhom, u tinterpretahom bi standards moderni. Kull min jittraduċi kotba storiċi – bħalma hija
l-Bibbja – jaf b'din il-metodo-loġija. Kull xjenzjat, studjuż tal-affari tiegħu, jaf li ma jistax jieħu kelma jew tnejn meħudin f'kuntest storiku ta' eluf ta' snin ilu u taqlibhom litteralment, kelma b'kelma, f'sintassi, moderna. Min jagħ-mel hekk, ikun qed iqarraq bih innifsu u bl-oħrajn.
Id-diżastri naturali "Acts of God"?
Min jinterpreta l-Bibbja b'mod litterali se jsib bosta problemi: il-Bibbja tgħid li d-dinja hija kwadra, ċatta; l-ewwel bnedmin kellhom x'jaqsmu flimkien bejn l-istess familja, inċest, biex tkabbret l-umanità; id-dulluvju nsibuh fil-mitoloġiji kollha ta' żmien il-Lhud, bl-isem ta' Noe jsir Gilgamesh, eċċ.
It-tsunami jridu jispjegawh bħala xi kastig t'Alla u t-terremoti ta' dan l-aħħar iridu jis-pjegawhom għax Alla rrabjat għalina għax se jidħol id-divorzju. Katastrofi naturali, għax jiċċaqalqu t-"tectonic plates", jinterpretawh bħala kastig minn Alla. L-aħħar tad-dinja ilhom jgħidu li waslet minn jaf kemm-il darba u jinterpretaw l-Iskrittura eżatt!!
Hitler, għall-"ġid komuni" kien juża l-Iskrittura biex qatel sitt miljun Lhudi "il-qattiela t'Alla"; ried jeqred lill-gypsies, il-ħandikappati u lill-omosesswali!
Min hu mimli bil-preġudizzji kontra l-omosesswali juża l-Iskrittura biex isawwathom.
James Nixon, ta' 12-il sena, kien imur l-iskola b'T-shirt tgħid:
"Homosexuality is a sin.
Islam is a Lie
Abortion is murder
Some issues are just black and white"
Id-diriġenti tal-Iskola, f'Ohio, giegħluh ineħħi dan il-"hate speech". Il-ġenituri tiegħu tellgħu l-Iskola l-Qorti u l-Qorti tagħthom raġun għax għalkemm qed jabbuża mil-libertà tal-kelma imma rebaħha fuq "freedom of religion".
Il-persekuzzjoni tal-omosesswali tibda bl-użu tal-"Kliem sagri" fl-Iżlam jew fil-kulturi ġudeo-kristjani. Fl-Afganistan, it-Talibani, jaqbdu l-omoses-swali u jidfnuhom ħajjin – jitfgħulhom ħajt tal-ġebel fuqhom u jarawhom imutu bil-mod il-mod.
Sal-1967 fl-Ingilterra stess kienu għadhom jikkastraw lill-omosesswali.
Fl-1954 il-matematiku Alan Turing (li rnexxielu jiskopri Enigma Codes tan-Nażi) u salva miljuni ta' ħajjiet, kellu jagħmel suwiċidju għax kien omosesswali u tefgħuh fil-ħabs u kellu jingħata "hormone injections", ikabbar sidru, u jgħaddi mill-umiljazzjonijiet ta' sħabu l-ħabsin li jabbużaw minnu.
Pasturi bħal Rev Jerryu Falwell, fundatur ta' Liberty University, jgħid
"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals"
Il-Pastur Pat Robertson, fundatur tal-Christian Coali-tion, kandidat presidenzjali fl-1988, jgħid li l-omosesswali jridu jiġu fil-knejjes kristjani u jobżqu d-demm biex jagħtu l-AIDS lin-nies li jmorru l-knisja!
Il-Pastur Fred Phelps, tal-Westboro Baptist Church, jgħid "God hates Fags and Fag enablers". Organizza 22,000 dimostrazzjoni kontra l-omosesswali u għandu 'slogans' li jgħidu; "Thank God For Aids".
Iva, diżgrazzjatament, min
juża l-Iskrittura biex isawwat lill-gays, jikkwota barra mill-
kontest passaġġi jew sentenzi tal-Kelma t'Alla, jasal biex jekk ma nwaqqfuhx jibda jgħidilna li l-għeltijiet kollha tas-soċjetà huma għax hawn l-omosesswali. Joħolqu mib-
egħda tant kbira kontra l-omosessewali li mbagħad il-persekuzzjoni u l-qtil tagħhom tibda tkun deskritta bħala r-Rieda t'Alla!
Barra mill-gays jeħlu magħ-hom ukoll il-Palestinjani għax jikkwotaw l-Iskrittura li t-Territorji Okkupati huma ta' Iżrael għax hekk jgħid Alla! Addio drittijiet tal-bniedem, riżoluzzjonijiet tal-Ġnus Magħquda, inġustizzji mal-Palestinjani... għax hekk jgħid Alla tal-Iskrittura tagħhom.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2011 By RAPHAEL VASSALLO
The case of a transsexual woman denied the right to marry exposes glaring confusion over the legal rights of LGBT persons, with no local remedy in sight
The United Nations this week made history by endorsing gay, lesbian transgender rights for the first time ever. But Malta has yet to overcome a number of legal stumbling blocks in achieving full LGBT equality – including a glaring contradiction when it comes to legal recognition of acquired gender through surgery.
The ongoing saga of Joanne Cassar – a post-op transsexual woman who has been fighting for the right to marry for six years – has thrown this anomaly into sharp focus.
The case has now yo-yoed between all Malta’s courts, without reaching any clear conclusion. On the one hand, Cassar’s acquired status as woman has been recognised at law, and her birth certificate amended accordingly; but while a lower court granted her the right to marry after contestation by the Registrar of Marriages, the Appeals Court overturned the earlier ruling.
And while the Constitutional Court duly acknowledged that Cassar’s rights had been breached, it stopped short of according her the right to marry… resulting in a curious anomaly whereby the State now recognises human rights violations, but at the same time offers the victim no workable remedy.
Cassar’s legal representative Dr David Camilleri told MaltaToday that the issue revolves around a number of judgements (and conflicting interpretations thereof) handed down by the Constitutional Court in recent years.
“Through these judgements, it was established that the fact that a transgender was not recognised as a person of the acquired sex (the sex acquired after the gender reassignment surgery) in all acts of civil status breaches his fundamental human rights – namely article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, the right to privacy,” Camilleri said.
“The remedy provided by these judgements was for the details of the person in question to be corrected on the birth certificate and an annotation is made on the certificate stating that the correction is being made on the basis of the relative court judgement. One such landmark case was Joseph sive Tracey Ellul vs The Attorney General, in which Dr Jose’ Herrera and myself were assisting Ellul.”
As a result of section 257A, a transgender could now ask the court to order that an annotation is made in the birth certificate reflecting the change in sex. The court only needed to ascertain that there was a permanent physical change in sex (gender reassignment surgery), and that the person was not married and was domiciled in Malta.
“We were arguing in Joanne Cassar’s case that by this amendment (257A) once a judgement was obtained then the state would have in fact recognised the person as a member of the acquired sex to all intents and purposes at law. With regard to Joanne Cassar, we argued that this means that the person would have a right to marry a man as any other person who was born a woman. The Attorney General on the other hand stated that this section was simply there to protect her privacy.”
According to Camilleri, the Constitutional Court stopped short of giving a remedy in ordering her marriage banns to be published because, it argued, marriage as a matter of public policy and in Malta marriage is a bond between a man and a woman (born as a woman).
This however flies in the face of a seminal European Court of Human Rights ruling, Christine Goodwin vs UK (July 2002), which stated “…that a test of congruent biological factors can no longer be decisive in denying legal recognition to the change of gender of a post-operative transsexual. There are other important factors – the acceptance of the condition of gender identity disorder by the medical professions and health authorities within Contracting States, the provision of treatment including surgery to assimilate the individual as closely as possible to the gender in which they perceive that they properly belong and the assumption by the transsexual of the social role of the assigned gender.”
Camilleri argues that this ruling contradicts the argument of the Constitutional Court.
“The consequence of this would be that when transsexuals apply to the public registry to marry, the director of public registry cannot refuse to issue the relative banns,” he asserts. “We are quite optimistic that the outcome will be positive. If, on the other hand, the outcome is against our petition, then the judgement of our Constitutional Court would be final and this would seem to imply that Parliament would have to legislate in favour of some life partnership applicable to post operative transsexuals. However we feel this would not be a sufficient remedy to redress the breach in their rights as protected in article 8 and 12 of the Convention.”
Earlier this year, the Malta Gay Rights Movement issued policy guidelines for a law on gender identity, but the proposals have not been taken up by legislators so far.
[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on Malta Today's website.]
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 , by Norman E. Grech, Iklin
In times when the Maltese are finally accepting change and after the much-desired Yes to divorce victory, it is now expected that attention of those who give a toss what happens in our society will focus on gay rights, zoning in on the right to gay marriages.
Like most of those who do “give a toss”, I have already had the opportunity to discuss this subject with people of opposing thoughts. I must say that when one truly takes in whatever everyone has to say, one starts to look at things differently!
My first reaction to gay marriage is a downright no! I have nothing against gay people; in fact I have quite a few friends who are gay. If this is who they are, who am I to want them to be different? They too, should enjoy all important rights enjoyed by heterosexual persons.
However a marriage is between a man and a woman. Or is it? Why not call it a “union”? Then again, what’s in a name and in terminology as opposed to a way of life?
There is also the big question of “should gay people then be officially allowed to raise children?” Aren’t children better off being brought up in an environment wherein they can “learn” mother and father roles? Different thoughts and ways of looking at this matter are surely exchanged here.
I was recently rather intrigued by an argument put by a very good friend of mine who favours gay marriages and who has no problem having gay people raising kids. The question of love and desire! If two people (my friend argued) truly love each other and desire to share their lives, who are we to stop them? This argument of love and desire can also be applied to raising children. If two gay people can shower a child (whether adopted or biologically born to one of the couple) with love and attention, why should we stop this from happening? Wouldn’t they be better off from other kids in a “traditional marriage” which is under turmoil?
The question and my concern come out strongly: “Where do we draw the line?” My fear is that this could lead to another situation which until now has been completely disallowed in western countries. If a man truly loves and desires to live with two women, and each of the women honestly desire and love to share their lives with a man and another woman, should we then use the same argument? And if these three people living together and who truly love and desire each other, also wish to raise children, what can we then say to that? In this unit, a raised child would have the possibility of witnessing a male and a female role. So in a way, the problem under the first scenario is lessened!
Society is truly evolving and one can argue that morals are directly related to “what we are accustomed to”, “what is traditionally accepted”. Sometimes, parameters enveloping what is right and wrong are vague.
[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Alternattiva Demokratika welcomed the United Nations’ declaration on human rights violations, based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
AD deputy chairperson and spokesperson for civil rights Yvonne Arqueros Ebejer described the declaration as a step forward for human rights and the LGBT community.
She stressed the “utmost importance” of having an official UN process to certify human rights abuses against gays, including discriminatory laws and acts of violence.
She said that in 76 countries worldwide, “consensual same-sex relations are illegal, while harassment and discrimination are common in many more. In some societies, such as Uganda and Iran, basic gay rights are still inexistent and being gay can actually lead to death.”
Arqueros Ebejer said that even though in Malta homosexuality was decriminalised in the 1970s and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at work was made illegal following Malta's EU accession, “people with an LGBT identity are still being discriminated in various other areas, most notably when it comes to family policy.”
She added that green parties were always the most progressive parties when it comes to LGBT rights. "The LGBT community can rest assured on Alternattiva Demokratika's support.”
AD chairperson Michael Briguglio added that "in the coming months one expects further debates in Maltese society on discrimination in general and LGBT rights in particular.”
He also vowed that “as the only progressive party in Malta, AD will be ensuring that lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and transgender persons will not be excluded from such debates.”
[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on Malta Today's website.]
Sunday, 19 June 2011
Article published on 19 June 2011 by Daphne Caruana Galizia
One of the saddest aspects of the divorce referendum aftermath (fear not, this is not about that subject) was reading Eddie Fenech Adami’s words about divorce being the thin end of the wedge, leading on to what he intimated were terrible and unnatural evils to do with homosexuals getting above themselves and demanding rights which belong only to heterosexuals.
His words have been echoed by those who think it would upset the natural order of things if homosexuals were to be allowed to marry somebody of their gender. Talk of the natural order of things conveniently bypasses the fact that marriage does not exist in nature and that it is entirely a social construct, which came into existence not for reasons of love between a man and a woman but to safeguard property and inheritance rights and ensure the legitimacy of children. That latter necessity is from where the proscription on sex outside marriage stems, and why a wife’s adultery was considered a fatal transgression while a husband’s was not.
When I say this to people who quarrel with me about the mystical union of marriage and how it should be kept above and beyond the reach of mere homosexuals, I am pounced on with the inevitable ‘Ha!’ by those who imagine they have found the flaw in my argument. “You see,” they say, “marriage is for the procreation of children! So we are right after all – it is a vehicle for reproduction.”
But no, not at all: it is the property and inheritance rights that are the primary consideration and not the children. The children, to put it as brutally as it would have been put in the days when marriage really was a contract – for that is how it started out, before the fanciful notions were piled onto it – were there for no other reason than to service those very same property rights, that very same inheritance. Children were not children in the way that we think of them today. They were heirs. They were brought into the world solely for dynastic reasons or to work within the household’s economic unit, the farm or the workshop.
If the justification for marriage were truly the ability to reproduce, as so many people claim when fighting against the possibility of same-sex marriages, then the marriages of the infertile – including all the thousands struggling with IVF and the like – would be null and void, and women over the age of 50 would be denied permission to marry.
Perhaps those who approach the anti-gay marriage argument from the reproduction perspective might like to consider applying the exact same arguments against the marriages of older heterosexuals. A heterosexual couple in their 50s are about as likely to have children together as a homosexual couple of any age.
I understand the reservations of those who think that way, because many years ago, while I was still growing up and trying to come to terms with the world about me, I used to feel that way myself. But only a little bit and not for long. I soon came round to the conclusion, as very many people do after trials and tribulations, that life is fragile and short, that we can all be undone in a moment because we hang by a thread at the mercy of an erratic fate, and that consequently, we should seize and celebrate whatever adds to the sum total of human happiness, rather than persisting in finding new reasons to perpetuate misery for its own sake or because we think that it is ‘the natural order of things’.
The way I think now is this: if two people want to get married, let them. It’s no skin off anyone else’s nose and none of our business either, assuming they are old enough to enter into that kind of contract in a country where you’ve got to be 21 to go into a casino but can commit yourself to marriage at 18, or 16 with parental permission.
What makes me saddest about all this is not the disparagement and fear of other human beings because they are homosexual, but the total lack of insight that people who think this way have into their own thoughts. They don’t realise that their reasoning is exactly like that of those who disparaged and feared (and in some parts of the world, still do) other human beings because they are women.
The historic records and the newspapers of the time show that in the days of emergent feminism the very same arguments used today against homosexuals were used then against women. People genuinely believed what they said and wrote about the natural order of things being overturned by allowing women to vote or manage their destiny, in the very same way that Eddie Fenech Adami genuinely believes that homosexuals are another class of person who shouldn’t be allowed to marry each other.
Just as the former prime minister speaks with total conviction about the evils of gay marriage, so countless other men (and even very many women, oddly enough) spoke against the evils of allowing women to vote in general elections. Allowing women to vote, allowing married women to hold property, to have rights over their own children, would upset the natural order of things.
I once asked an elderly (intelligent and opinionated) relative how she stood for a situation in which she was told that she was not fit to vote because she was a woman. “We just accepted it,” she said. “It was the way things were, the way they had always been. We took it for granted.” There you have it: the natural order of things. They took it for granted. And now, we find it unbelievable that they did so until some very difficult women – probably dismissed as lesbians who hated men − began to throw themselves under horses at the races in England.
We needn’t go that far back, either, even though being told they were not fit to take a decision on politicians is within the experience of Maltese women in their 80s and 90s. When even women of my generation got married, the law gave the husband total control of communal property, including the marital home, and of the children.
Wives, in the rare event that they worked, did not even have rights over their own earnings. As part of the community of property, they fell under the husband’s full administration. The law gave the husband full autonomy in deciding matters involving place of residence, administration of property and anything to do with the children, without the need to consult or inform the wife.
Women lived in a precarious state where the husband, should he see fit to do so, could sell the marital home without their knowledge, still less their consent. There were countless cases in which the marital home was used to make good for borrowing, put up as security for a business loan and then lost, even gambled away, all without the wife knowing about it until she woke up to read in the newspaper the notice of a judicial sale, or until she found letters from the bank sequestered away in some drawer.
Now, we look back and wonder how in heaven’s name we thought such a situation acceptable. It seems horrific, something out of the Dark Ages, but it was still like that in the early 1990s and people took it for granted as the natural order of things.
It was the natural order of things that a married woman could not buy a car on hire purchase because it was her husband who had to sign the bills of exchange, and in whose name the car consequently was, even if she paid the deposit and instalments herself. The natural order of these things wasn’t questioned until my generation began to get married in the late 1980s. We were the first to carry on working after marriage in any significant number (and the number was not significant at all), and so we were the first to really discover in a big way that we couldn’t buy things with our own money unless we had our husband’s permission, while he could buy things with his money and even ours without even telling us.
I will never forget the sense of anger, humiliation, degradation and injustice I felt when, in 1991 and about to move into our new home, I popped down to the shops to put a deposit on a much-needed large American fridge and get it delivered, with the balance paid on delivery because that is the way things should be done. The salesman told me that unless I paid the full amount before delivery, then I would have to come back with my husband so that they could get his signature on the order note. Given that I was the one paying for the ruddy thing, and not my husband, I told him that he could keep his fridge and hopefully find a nice man to sell it to. But of course, it wasn’t his fault. It was the law.
A lot of women must have been as angry as I was on making the same discoveries at roughly the same time, because something gelled. When the White Paper on the new family law, Shab Indaqs Fiz-Zwieg (Equal Partners in Marriage) was published soon after that, there were the exact same arguments about undoing the natural order of things. “You must have a head of household,” people said, all of them men. “How can you have two captains of a ship?” And of course, the captain had to be the husband because it would undo the natural order of things to place a woman in charge of a man and his earnings. We were still living in the Mad Men era even though it was 1993.
I have no doubt that we will eventually come to see our reluctance to allow homosexual marriage with the same incredulity that we now regard past reluctance to allow women to vote in general elections, or a legal situation which dictated that the husband called all the shots and did as he chose without consultation, while the wife was utterly powerless to do anything autonomously other than pack her bags and leave him, whereupon she lost her right to the marital home because of ‘abandonment’. Oh, and she had to leave without the children.
So when it comes to homosexual marriage, let us not be so categorical about what is and what isn’t the natural order of things, what should be allowed and what will bring down the wrath of the heavens, always bearing in mind that when women were finally allowed to vote – and for the first time ever be represented in Parliament and not left unrepresented as though they did not exist or were children – there actually were people who thought that the end of the world was nigh.
Il-Ġens Illum: In-Nazzjonijiet Uniti għaddiet riżoluzzjoni li tirrikonoxxi omosesswali u transesswali d-drittijiet tal-persuni
18 ta' Ġunju 2011
Id-dikjarazzjoni tan-Nazzjonijiet Uniti tesprimi tħassib serju dwar abbużi li jsiru fuq xi persuni minħabba l-orjentazzjoni sesswali tagħhom tant li se tikkummisjona rapport globali dwar id-diskriminazzjoni kontra l-persuni omosesswali.
Attivisti tan-Nazzjonijiet Uniti iddeskrievew din ir-rizoluzzjoni bħala waħda storika għax s'issa dejjem kien hemm nuqqas kbir ta qbil dwar din il-kwistjoni.
Saturday, 18 June 2011
The United Nations has endorsed the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people for the first time ever, passing a resolution hailed as historic by the US and other backers and decried by some African and Muslim countries.
The declaration was cautiously worded, expressing "grave concern" about abuses because of sexual orientation and commissioning a global report on discrimination against gays.
But activists called it an important shift on an issue that has divided the global body for decades, and they credited the Obama administration's push for gay rights at home and abroad.
"This represents a historic moment to highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face around the world based solely on who they are and whom they love," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.
Following tense negotiations, members of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council narrowly voted in favour of the declaration put forward by South Africa, with 23 votes in favour and 19 against.
Backers included the US, the European Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries.
Those against included Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan. China, Burkina Faso and Zambia abstained, Kyrgyzstan did not vote and Libya was suspended from the rights body earlier.
The resolution expressed "grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity".
More important, activists said, it also established a formal UN process to document human rights abuses against gays, including discriminatory laws and acts of violence.
According to Amnesty International, consensual same-sex relations are illegal in 76 countries worldwide, while harassment and discrimination are common in many more.
"Today's resolution breaks the silence that has been maintained for far too long," said John Fisher of the gay rights advocacy group Arc International.
The White House in a statement strongly backed the declaration.
"This marks a significant milestone in the long struggle for equality, and the beginning of a universal recognition that (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights - and entitled to the same protections - as all human beings."
The resolution calls for a panel discussion next spring with "constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against" gays, lesbians and transgender people.
The prospect of having their laws scrutinised in this way went too far for many of the council's 47-member states.
"We are seriously concerned at the attempt to introduce to the United Nations some notions that have no legal foundation," said Zamir Akram, Pakistan's envoy to the UN in Geneva, speaking on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
Nigeria claimed the proposal went against the wishes of most Africans. A diplomat from the north west African state of Mauritania called the resolution "an attempt to replace the natural rights of a human being with an unnatural right".
[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]
L-għaqda Drachma LGBT u Drachma Parents Group, għaddew ittra lill-Isqfijiet ta' Malta u Għawdex dwar il-vjolenza fuq persuni omosesswali. Din l-ittra inkitbet mill-'European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups' lill-Papa Benedittu XVI, u fiha talbu li jkun hemm rispett sħiħ lejn id-drittijiet umani u l-integrità ta' dawn il-persuni. Din l-ittra kienet ippreżentata waqt attività imsejħa Europride 2011, li qed issir f'Ruma.
L-ittra tgħid li "qegħdin nappellaw lill-Qdusija tiegħu l-Papa Benedittu XVI biex jikkundanna l-atti ta' vjolenza kontra persuni 'gay', 'bisexual' u 'transgender' u biex tittneħħa l-penalizazzjoni madwar id-dinja kontra dawn il-persuni. Is-silenzju qed jitqies mill-persuni li jagħmlu dan l-att bħala approvazzjoni ta' dawn l-atti."
L-ittra tgħid li "f'Jannar ta' din is-sena, David Kato, attivist għad-drittijiet ta' persuni 'gay' inqatel b'mod brutali fl-Uganda. Vjolenza, tortura u qtil ta' persuni 'gay', ġraw f'diversi pajjiżi madwar id-dinja u min qed iwettaqhom ħafna drabi hu konvint li dawn l-atti huma konformi mat-tagħlim tal-Knisja. Dan hu msaħħaħ mill-fatt li f'Diċembru tas-sena 2008, il-Qdusija tiegħu l-Papa irrifjuta li jagħti appoġġ lil dikjarazzjoni tal-Ġnus Magħquda fuq l-orjentazzjoni sesswali u l-identità sesswali. Dik id-dikjarazzjoni kienet tinkludi parti li fiha ssejjaħ lill-Istati biex jiżguraw li l-orjentazzjoni sesswali taħt l-ebda ċirkostanzi m'għandha ssofri min ebda penalitajiet kriminali, eżekuzzjonijiet jew arresti".
L-ittra talbet lill-Qdusija tiegħu l-Papa Benedittu XVI biex jipprovdi informazzjoni ċara lill-Kristjani kollha fuq il-passaġġi tal-Bibbja, liema passaġġi qed jintużaw biex jiġġustifikaw azzjonijiet vjolenti kontra persuni b'orjentazzoni sesswali differenti.
L-ittra tgħid ukoll li llum minn studji moderni fil-psikjatrija u l-psikoloġija, joħroġ li l-orjentazzjoni sesswali ma tistax tinbidel. L-ittra talbet ukoll lill-Knisja biex tikkonsidra l-pożizzjoni tagħha fuq ir-relazzjonijiet bejn persuni tal-istess sess. L-ittra talbet lill-Papa biex il-Knisja ma tibqax tħeġġeġ lill-Kattoliċi biex jivvutaw kontra liġijiet għal relazzjonijiet bejn persuni tal-istess sess.
Monday, 13 June 2011
Sunday, 12 June 2011
YouTube: [CNN: Documentary on Reparative Therapy] AC360 - The 'Sissy Boy' Experiment - Part Three (Ryan Kendall)
In 1970, a five-year-old boy named Kirk Murphy was subjected to an ex-gay experiment. Under the care of Dr Ivor Lovaas and George Rekers, then a doctoral student, of UCLA, he underwent therapy to eliminate supposed effeminate behaviors. In 1974, Lovaas and Rekers jointly published a paper about the boy they renamed "Kraig," heralding his treatment for "childhood cross-gender problems" a success and claiming he had been transformed from a gender-confused homosexual-in-waiting to a healthy, heterosexual young man. On the back of this study, Rekers built a career as an anti-gay activist and a supposed expert in childhood sexual development. He co-founded the Family Research Council and championed reparative therapy to turn gay men straight. In 2003, Kirk, aged 38 years old and gay, committed suicide.
Il-Gimgha rajt ftit minn Xarabank u vera tellghali l-istonku ghax huwa minnu li ahna tal-Mazzun ma noqoghdux lura fil-kritika ta’ dak kollu mmuffat, mimli ghanqbut, fundamentalist, fanatiku u intoleranti, izda l-hdura ta’ Gordon-John Manche tassew bezzghatna ghaliex din hija tip ta’ hdura li thaddar lil haddiehor u anke meta kellna battibeki ma’ membri tal-kult tieghu, r-River of Love f’dan il-blog, stajna nhossu li l-intoleranza taghhom mhiex gejja minnhom, izda mill-fatt li huma dghajfa bizzejjed biex jigu nfluwenzati mill-mibeghda ta’ Manche.
Ghalhekk l-isem tal-kongragazzjoni tieghu hija tassew tad-dahk fil-wicc u nsult lil dawk kollha li verament huma toleranti ghall-minoritajiet. Kif tista’ ssejjah lilek innifsek li tnixxi xmara ta’ mhabba meta inti daqshekk intoleranti u iebes fi kliemek u ghemilek lejn min ma jaqbilx mieghek u hlief gelgul ta’ mibgheda ma johrogx minn fommok?
Ahna nissugerixxu lill-martu, Mariella l-Psikologa taghmillu naqra psikoanalizi ucouncelling ghax ir-ragel taghha ghandu problemi serji li jidhru f’ghajnejh ghax kull darba jitkellem fuq l-omosesswali jew fuq dawk li ma jaqblux mieghu, jibda’ jtir ix-xrar tal-hdura minnhom!
Dan il-bniedem mhux biss huwa intoleranti, izda fanatiku—tahlita tal-biza’ li meta tigbed in-nies tghallimhom jistmerru lil dawk li l-mexxej taghhom ma jaqbilx maghhom. Ghalxejn jikkwota mill-Bibja siltiet ta’ l-imhabba t’Alla meta hu ghandu daqshekk mibgheda u hdura qalila ghall-omosesswali fih.
Halliha li dan Manche ihawwad ghax daqqa jikkwota siltiet t’imhabba u moghdrija mill-Bibja, imbaghad jikkwota xi silta tal-wahx mill-antik testament mimlija mibgheda u massakkri, li zgur li tispicca thawwad lil dawk li jahsbu li Alla huwa verament imhabba bla qies.
Ahna tal-Mazzun li ghandna fostna min hu intiz sew fil-Bibja daqs Manche jew aktar, insostnu li l-Bibja tista’ tuzaha biex tippriedtka hafna mhabba jew biex tippriedtka hafna hdura.
Issa l-body language ta’ Gordon-John Manche tispara messaggi t’intolleranza u mibgheda minkejja li l-hin kollu sejjer li jhobb lil kulhadd ghax mibghut minn Alla. Fid-Dinja, kulhadd jaf li mhux li tghid importanti, izda x’taghmel!
Jekk l-attivitajiet tar-River of Love qed jghinu biex tikber il-mibgheda lejn xi minorita’, mela Manche qed ixerred il-hdura u ahjar jara kemm hu vera agent t’Alla ghax aktar jagixxi bhala agent tax-xitan; u jiftakar li x-xitan jista’ jinqeda bin-nies t’Alla stess bhalma ghamel fil-Bibja!
Ninsabu certi li fix-Xarabank tal-Gimgha, l-aktar li hadu gost kienu dawk l-omofobici u l-Knisja Kattolika li kienet l-unika istituzzjoni li f’Dicembru 2008 ma ffirmatx id-dikjarazzjoni fuq l-orjentazzjoni sesswali li parti minn kienet tghid li taht l-ebda cirkustanza l-omosesswalita’ m’ghandha tigi ppenalizzata bhala att kriminali.
Dan ghaliex f’diversi pajjizi l-omosesswali huma arrestati, torturati u anke maqtula. Konna nistennew li bhala r-raprezzentant tal-Kattolici li jemmnu f’Alla li jhobb lil kulhadd indaqs u li hu mhabba bla qies, il-Papa jiffirmaw din id-dikjarazzjoni mill-ewwel u mhux jaghti ezempju daqshekk hazin u jzommuha d-dikjarazzjoni lura.
Fl-ahhar mill-ahhar, Gordon-John Manche mhux jaghmel pjaciri lilu nnifsu jidher fuq it-televizjoni u jobzoq il-hdura hekk kif ixejjer il-Bibja f’idu. Ahna wasalna ghall-konkluzjoni li hu daqshekk kontra l-omosesswali ghaliex probabli ghandu tendenzi omosesswali u biex jikkompensa ghalihom qieghed johrog aktar bil-hdura kontrihom.
Din ta’ Evangelisti u tele-Evangelisti jitkellmu bi hdura kontra l-omosesswalita’ li mbaghad ikun omosesswali huma mhiex xi fenomenu gdid, l-aktar fl-Istati Uniti fejn Ted Haggard, Paul Barnes u aktar ricenti George Alan Rekers u Albert Odulele lkoll kellhom relazzjonijiet ma’ rgiel ohra u spiccaw inqabdu. Meta investigaw l-assi taghhom sabu li kellhom miljuni kbar ta’ dollari l-bank u eluf kbar ta’ segwaci.