Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill April 2013 Updates


Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | April 05, 2013.

uganda flagWe have been watching the progress of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill on this site.Previous updates can be seen at http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/02/19/ugandas-anti-homosexuality-bill-moves-up-to-1-on-parliaments-notice-of-business/

Since the end of March,  Uganda’s Parliament had a  short recess and returned to business on April 03. However something unusual seems to have occurred. The Parliament’s website has suddenly stopped posting its usual daily Order Paper, which outlines the Agenda for the day. The last Order Paper which was posted was on March 14 and it reflected the Anti-Homosexuality Bill at Number 3.  However since then there have been two days of sessions, April 03, and 04,  (it does not sit on a Friday) without any such Order Paper and so the public is in the dark and did not know in advance what was to be debated in Parliament on those days.

Parliament had been working on the controversial Marriage and Divorce Bill, where cultural conflict caused heightened emotions with the bill suspended as agreement could not be reached on the issue of outlawing marital rape and other matters surrounding divorce and cohabitation. See http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/641349-uganda-parliament-at-crossroads.html

Now wearing of miniskirts in Uganda could also soon land one in jail or attract heavy fines if Parliament approves a new piece of legislation that seeks to further clarify the offense of pornography in the country’s laws. The Ugandan government is riding on its view that pornography has become such an “insidious social problem” to get the Bill through Parliament. See http://www.africareview.com/News/Ugandan-government-tables-Bill-to-outlaw-miniskirts/-/979180/1739976/-/2irhiez/-/index.html

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Openly gay man banned from Catholic Church duties after marrying partner


David Edwards | Raw Story | April 5, 2013

An openly gay man in New York says that the Catholic Church banned him from teaching religious instruction and his duties as a Eucharistic minister because he legally married his partner of 10 years.

Nicholas Coppola, 47, told WNBC that officials at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church in Oceanside knew he was gay, but the church had to take action after receiving an anonymous letter complaining that a gay, married man was teaching religion.

“While not on a witch hunt, I know it would be of concern to you if a catechist were in fact ‘married’ as described,” the letter said.

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TX: Plano mayor to chair LGBT Pride celebration


NTXPride

NORTHSIDE PRIDE | Plano Mayor Phil Dyer, far left, attended the North Texas Pride launch party as honorary chair in March. The event is set for June 1 at the American Legion. (Courtesy of Matthew Bado)

ANNA WAUGH  |  News Editor | Dallas Voice | April 5, 2013

PLANO — In a milestone for the LGBT community in Collin County, outgoing Plano Mayor Phil Dyer has agreed to attend the North Texas Pride event this June. It’s believed to be the first time a Collin County mayor has attended an LGBT Pride Month celebration since then-Carrollton Mayor Becky Miller sparked a major controversy by appearing at Dallas Pride in 2006.

Morris Garcia, co-chair of North Texas Pride, said the group wanted to reach out to Dyer because he’s been supportive of the LGBT community since taking office in 2009.

“Mayor Dyer has been a good friend to the community,” Garcia said. “He’s very open and welcoming to sit down and listen to concerns of the community.”

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TX: Campus LGBT centers under attack


TAMU

GIGGING THE GAYS | Texas A&M student Emily Bach holds up a sign in opposition to ‘The Religious Funding Exemption Bill,’ during a meeting of the Student Senate on the Texas A&M campus on Wednesday. The bill, designed to cut funding for the GLBT Resource Center, passed 35-28. (Stuart Villanueva/The Eagle)

FROM STAFF REPORTS | Dallas Voice | April 5, 2013

AUSTIN — LGBT resource centers at Texas universities became the target of legislation this week aimed at defunding them based on religious and health reasons. State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, withdrew a budget amendment Thursday night that would have cut state funding from universities with “Gender and Sexuality Centers.” It was unclear whether Zedler would try to revive the measure later in the session.

Matthew Posey, Zedler’s legislative director,  declined to comment on what led to Zedler’s decision.

Meanwhile, the Texas A&M University Student Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would allow students to opt out of funding the campus GLBT Resource Center if they have religious objections.

Zedler’s amendment would have prohibited universities from using state funds “to support, promote, or encourage any behavior that would lead to high risk behavior for AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis B, or any sexually transmitted disease.”

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Is the Supreme Court Going to Settle for “States’ Rights” on Same-Sex Marriage?


Peter Dreier, Truthout | News Analysis | Truthout | April 6, 2013

Same sex marriage protest.Ryan Toney, a student at The George Washington University, demonstrates with other supporters of same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, March 27, 2013. (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

Peter Dreier reviews some of the options available to the US Supreme Court in its review of two same-sex marriage cases now before it and their relationship to the 1967 decision that struck down antimiscegenation laws and allowed interracial couples to marry.

Should the states decide whether black Americans can marry white Americans?

Today that idea seems absurd. Most Americans believe that states shouldn’t be allowed to trample the basic right of interracial couples to marry – even if a majority of people in a state want to do so. It would be unfair – a clear violation of equal rights. That’s one reason we have a federal government.

In 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, the nation’s highest court knocked down state anti-miscegenation laws.

Now the nation – and the Supreme Court – confront a very similar situation, only this time the issue is same-sex marriage.

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Marriage Equality Support Advances As Job Discrimination Bill Lags


Chris Geidner | Buzz Feed | April 4, 2013

View this image ›

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid speaks to members of the press as Senate Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin looks on. Image by Alex Wong / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Marriage equality may have made tremendous advances over the past 20 years in the Senate, where half the chamber now supports it, but efforts to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination have stalled.

In fact, while the Employment Non-Discrimination Act used to have much more support than the then-foreign notion of same-sex couples’ marriage rights, marriage equality in 2013 has basically caught up in terms of Senate support — while ENDA hasn’t gained much ground.

In 1996, only 14 senators were willing to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act — which bans federal recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages and allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex couples’ marriages performed in other places. At the time, The Washington Post pointed out this week, only three senators went so far as to publicly support marriage equality.

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From the Supreme Court Forward


Justin Snow | Metro Weekly | April 4, 2013

When Edith Windsor exited the Supreme Court after nearly two hours of arguments March 27 on the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, a roar erupted among the hundreds of marriage-equality supporters who had gathered outside. ”Edie! Edie!” the crowd chanted, waving rainbow flags alongside American flags.

The 83-year-old lesbian widow at the heart of one of two landmark gay marriage cases before the Supreme Court strode over to a horde of reporters and television cameras looking frail, but as confident as ever. With several pages of a prepared statement in one hand, she crumpled them up.

”Hi, I’m Edie Windsor and somebody wrote me a large speech, which I’m not going to make,” she said. ”I wanted to tell you what marriage meant to me.”

Speaking about the more than four decades she spent with her late wife, Thea Spyer, Windsor offered her unique definition of marriage. “It’s a magic word,” Windsor said. “For anybody who doesn’t understand why we want it and why we need it, it is magic.”

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Meet the GOPer Who Worked With Monsanto to Sneak the “Monsanto Protection Act” into Law


 | Salon | AlterNet | April 5, 2013

Anger at the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” — a biotech rider which protects genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks — has been directed at numerous parties in Congress and the White House for allowing the provision to be voted and signed into law. But the party responsible for anonymously introducing the rider into the broad, unrelated spending bill had not been identified until now.

As Mother Jones’ Tom Philpott  notes, the Senator responsible is Missouri Republican Roy Blunt — famed friend of Big Agrigulture on Capitol Hill. Blunt even  told Politico’s David Rogers that he “worked with” Monsanto to craft the rider (rendering the moniker “Monsanto Protection Act” all the more appropriate). Philpott notes:

The admission shines a light on Blunt’s ties to Monsanto, whose office is located in the senator’s home state. According to OpenSecrets, Monsanto first started contributing to Blunt back in  2008, when it handed him $10,000. At that point, Blunt was serving in the House of Representatives. In  2010, when Blunt successfully ran for the Senate, Monsanto upped its contribution to $44,250. And in  2012, the GMO seed/pesticide giant enriched Blunt’s campaign war chest by $64,250.

… The senator’s blunt, so to speak, admission that he stuck a rider into an unrelated bill at the behest of a major campaign donor is consistent with the tenor of his political career. While serving as House whip under the famously lobbyist-friendly former House Majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) during the Bush II administration, Blunt built a formidable political machine by transforming lobbying cash into industry-accomodating legislation. In a blistering 2006  report, Public Citizen declared Blunt “a legislative leader who not only has surrendered his office to the imperative of moneyed interests, but who has also done so with disturbing zeal and efficiency.”

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Obama’s Social Security Cuts: Wrong Policy, Dumb Politics


|Our Future Blog | April 5, 2013

President Obama’s decision to include cuts to Social Security benefits in his budget is wrong policy and dumb politics.

His chained CPI plan is wrong because it hurts Americans who have worked hard their entire lives and who need the support that Social Security gives them.  It is wrong because Social Security is financed separately and does not contribute to the deficit. And it is dumb politically because:

1. Republicans will now call the chained CPI Obama’s proposal – or the Democratic proposal.

2.  Republicans will try to pass these cuts – because cutting Social Security has always been their goal.

3.  Whether the chained CPI passes or not, Republicans will attack Democrats in the next election for trying to cut Social Security.

Furthermore, in the 2014 Congressional elections seniors will vote in larger numbers than the rest of the population – and they will punish Democrats.

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Gay detainee accuses immigration authorities of endangering his life


Ken Williams | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News | April 5, 2013

(Editor’s note: This article contains language that may offend. Because of the seriousness of the allegations, the coarse language and anti-gay slurs are being used in context. Please be forewarned.)

SAN DIEGO – A 26-year-old gay man is accusing two immigration guards in El Centro, Calif. of making anti-gay slurs at him, violently roughing him up while in custody, and putting in danger his health and his life.

He is pleading for immigration officials to give him a crucial medicine needed to prevent seizures and a special diet necessary to control his colitis.

Ivan “Max” Flores Acosta, of New York City, attempted to enter the United States from Mexico on March 15 without having legal paperwork. Immigration authorities detained him at El Centro Service Processing Center in California’s Imperial County. What happened to Acosta while he was in custody at the processing center will be detailed later.

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