Today I will divert from my usual discourse about my crazy brain or my up and down attempt at reducing girth. Today is the day for Bloggers Unite For Human Rights. Bloggers around the world have been challenged to help elevate awareness by drawing attention to the challenges of human rights. I’ve seen Bloggers who usually focus on cosmetics, fashion, science fiction, music, celebrities, and more who are setting aside their normal topic to join the ranks
Maurice and I married at our church on June 16, 2007 in California. Our minister presided over the ceremony and our assistant minister sang for us. We share the same banking account, the same expenses, we argue, we make love, share a car, share some interests, and most evenings we share routine lives that we enjoy together that would be of little interest to others. Maurice and I have publicly made a covenant that we are married and joined for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, the state of California disagrees. Currently this state, as most of the states in the U.S. do not recognize same sex marriage. If California changed its law and we were able to marry in this state the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, signed by Bill Clinton in 1996, says a state does not have to acknowledge a partnership between persons of the same sex as a marriage even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state. Sadly,the United States is not alone; there are currently only 5 countries that define a legal union between same sex partners as a marriage. There is now an import update below.
The photo above sent outrage through much of the world in 2005. It’s the execution of two teenage boys in Iran found guilty of homosexuality. I presume they saw their deaths as a blessing. News reports say that prior to their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months, severely beaten and given the lash 228 times. According to human rights campaigners, over 4000 homosexuals have been put to death in Iran since 1979.
Currently there are three countries whose penalty for homosexuality is life imprisonment and six countries whose penalty is death. In many others those guilty or accused of homosexual acts are tortured, flogged, imprisoned for decades or sent to labor camps. Oddly, North Korea has no penalty officially on the books outlawing homosexuality, however, no public reference or discussion of homosexuality is allowed.
Only two months ago, near me in the Los Angeles area, 15 year old Larry King was shot to death by one of his classmates. Larry, who was openly gay had the courage to start wearing mascara, lipstick and jewelry to school, despite being bullied by a group male students who teased him. The gunman, 14 year old, Brandon McInerney, walked into Larry’s computer class and shot him in the head. Larry died three days later when he was removed from life support. The incident will be tried as a hate crime.
An important update:The California Supreme Court has announced this morning they have overturned the ban on same sex marriage based on our current constitution. As the largest state in the nation, this will have a profound effect on the entire nation.
Unfortunately, as I stated above marriage between same sex couples in California will not be recognized by most states across the country. Already there is an initiative to place a new amendment to the constitution which would override the courts decision.
Despite these challenges, today is a day to celebrate in California,though it does not change the affect the many abuses I mentioned above.
For most of you, what I’ve shown here is probably not news. I could document more abuses. I could provide commentary. I could suggest solutions. I’d rather you receive better information and what you can do about it by following the links below. I simply hope I’ve encouraged you to do so.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Campaign (U.S.)
I Also recommend a beautifully written post on the subject on the blog Focus Organic.Com
7 comments on Bloggers Unite For Human Rights
Superb post! You articulated the injustice of political/religious/legal attitudes towards homosexuals succinctly. It should act as a rallying cry to anyone who sympathises with their plight.More power to you.Ben (Ozscot)
It’s a sad world getting better because of people like you! John
How’d the vote go?
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!
Thank you for all the supportive comments. Stefanie, your post is beautiful. I’m honored that you provided a link and I have enthusiastically reciprocated.
Hey Bradley~ Congrats on the vote in California! It must have been an accident. It makes far too much sense for it to have been done intentionally! I hope it makes life easier or at minimum more comfortable for yourself and Maurice.