Sunday, May 24, 2015

I Wouldn’t Say That…

“Jamaica is well-known historically as a global leader on human rights…” when the killing of LGBT people continues unabated.

That was opening of a Jamaica Observers article on the President Obama’s visit to Jamaica when he said that they have to improve the way they treat LGBT people.
When President Obama visited Jamaica last month, he challenged us all, saying: "You're more eager for progress that comes not by holding down any segment of society, but by holding up the rights of every human being, regardless of what we look like or how we pray or who we love."
Through public and private dialogue, we engage diplomatically and with full respect for the sovereignty of Jamaica on all issues that impact historically marginalised populations, including women and girls, persons with disabilities, and the LGBT community. And we will continue to do so with everyone -- including those with whom we disagree -- via respectful dialogue and debate. I would hope that we all agree that violence against another person is never acceptable.
Anyone who attends the Transgender Day of Remembrance knows that many of the names are from Caribbean, Central, and South America. Those who fall outside the gender norms are persecuted, especially those who fall outside the male spectrum.

It Should Never Be Put To A Vote

Human rights by definition are inherent to all human beings and should never be voted on.

That being said, I am glad with the outcome of the vote on marriage equality in Ireland.
Ireland votes for gay marriage
May 24, 2015

People living in the Republic of Ireland have voted in favour of same sex marriage.

It's the first country in the world to hold a vote on the issue.

Up until now two men or two women were not allowed to marry each other but now that's changed.

Almost two million people voted, with 62% voting yes.
It is nice to see so many people realize that people should not be denied a basic human right because they are different. Most of the time human rights are voted down by those in power. We would probably still have slavery if Congress didn’t act, we probably would still have segregation if Congress did step up and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and women would probably not have the right to vote when they did if Congress didn’t give them the right to vote.

So I am very happy to see the people in Ireland vote for marriage equality, because how many times here in the U.S. did we see ballot initiatives pass state constitutional amendments banning marriage equality.

Update 11:00AM

Ireland still does not allow trans people to change their birth certificates.
Una Mullally: Transgender rights are human rights and new Bill needs to recognise this
While the Gender Recognition Bill is welcome, there are huge shortcomings
Irish Times
January 26, 2015

Last week, the Seanad debated the Gender Recognition Bill. Ireland is the only country in the EU that has no provision for legal gender recognition, so if we’re going to make a Bill, let’s make it a good one. There’s an incredible amount of ignorance surrounding trans issues. Most people grapple with the basic vocabulary. But at its simplest, transgender refers to people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex assigned to them at birth.

The Bill goes some way to making trans people visible in a society which has up until now rendered them invisible. It’ll provide the formal recognition of trans people, a gender recognition certificate, that will allow trans people to change their birth certificate, the foundational document of all of our lives. Dr Lydia Foy, an Irish heroine, has been fighting for nearly 20 years for her gender identity to be recognised, beginning legal proceedings in 1997. In 2007, the High Court ruled that Irish law in her case was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Like much positive social change in Ireland, it takes brave people to put their head above the parapet to get things done. Still, trans people wait. The Bill has yet to be enacted. At the moment, there is no legislation that protects trans people, and now is the time to change that.
Let’s hope that with this vote on marriage equality that the Irish legislature gets off their butts and passes the bill.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic
Every Saturday I take time off from written on serious topics to have some fun…

(From the archives)

Memorial Day was introduced to honor the men and women who died while serving the in the United States Armed Forces. We want to make sure that message is not forgotten this weekend.

1) This recording was made live at St. Patrick's Cathedral, during Sen. Robert Kennedy's funeral. (Hear it here.) While both of Bobby's older brothers were decorated war heroes, he served too -- enlisting in the Navy in 1943. Are you a veteran? Are there veterans in your family? (We are grateful and want to hear about it.)
My father, he served in the coastal defense force during the height of the German U-Boats attacks off of our coast and then after VE Day he was transferred to the Pacific as an AA battalion.

2) Memorial Day also kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food?
Lobster, New England clam chowder, corn on the cob, steamers clams, and beer. A local store has lobster for $2.99/lb

3) Name a scent that reminds you of someone special in your life.

4) When was the last time you had your hair cut or trimmed?
A year ago, it is time for another hair cuts.
5) Crazy Sam runs on Dunkin'. Are you loyal to a particular brand of coffee?
DD, they know me by name there at Dunkin’ Donuts

6) If money was no object, what home improvement would you like to make this summer? 
A new roof.

7) What was the last thing you bought purely for your own enjoyment?
A projector.

8) When was the last time you rode a bike?
I can’t even remember that far back, probably sometime in the eighties.

9) Sam worries that many of her song selections reflect her decidedly Baby Boomer sensibilities. Is there a song or a performer that you'd like to see featured in a Saturday 9 this summer?
Well I’m a Baby Boomer so I want the Eagles, Queen, the Doobies Brothers, the Allman Brothers, and maybe some folk like the Mamas and Papas, Peter, Paul and Mary, and the Kinston Trio.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Not All Religions Hate Us…

Wow! Have you seen what the Church of England is thinking about doing?
Church of England to consider transgender naming ceremony
Vicar of Lancaster Priory proposes motion for General Synod to consider ceremony to mark a person’s gender transition
The Guardian
By Karen McVeigh
Thursday 21 May 2015

The Church of England is to debate plans to introduce a ceremony akin to a baptism to mark the new identities of Christians who undergo gender transition.

The Rev Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, has proposed a motion to the General Synod to debate the issue, after he was approached by a young transgender person seeking to be “re-baptised” in his new identity.

The motion, which was passed by Blackburn Diocese last month, calls on the House of Bishops to consider whether it should introduce a new service to mark the milestone in the life of a trans person. A spokesperson for the Archbishops’ Council confirmed that the motion had been received, but said it would not be debated imminently.
Wow! That is so cool! I never even thought of that, but it is such a great idea to welcome a trans people to the congregation.

And of course the conservative do not like, according to the Christian Today,
Andrew Symes, of the conservative evangelical group Anglican Mainstream, said: "The Christian faith has always taught that people are created male and female. We speak for the conservative traditional point of view. We are aware there are a number of people who want to change from one gender to another and that's a new thing for the church to deal with. It would be something that would go against the teachings of the church up till now. It would be something that would cause controversy.
It should be interesting to see what happens with this.

Have We Been Thrown Under The Bus Again?

Have you seen the news? The Boy Scouts are thinking about allowing gay leaders and everyone is jumping up and down giving each other high-fives, but nowhere did I see anything at trans scout leaders.
Boy Scout president calls for end to ban on gay leaders
USA Today
By John Bacon
May 21, 2015

The president of the Boy Scouts of America on Thursday called for an end to the group's ban on gay troop leaders.

Robert Gates, a former secretary of Defense, told a meeting of the organization's leadership in Atlanta that "we cannot ignore the social, political and judicial changes taking place in our country."

Gates said he would not ask the board to vote today to drop the ban but said the board must consider the proposal. Even if the board votes to end the ban, Gates said sponsors for each of the 100,000 troops nationwide could set their own rules for their troop's leadership.
Do you see anything about trans scout leaders? Or even trans scouts?

And what did HRC (The “world’s largest LGBT organization”) President Chad Griffin have to say?
Gates' comments also drew partial applause from Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.

"We welcome as a step in the right direction President Gates' announcement that the organization will not revoke the charters of chapters that welcome gay Scout leaders and employees," HRC President Chad Griffin said. "But, as we have said many times previously, half measures are unacceptable, especially at one of America's most storied institutions."
Umm… Mr. Griffin aren’t you forgetting somebody?

Are those tire tracks across our backs?

Meanwhile the Girl Scouts,
Girl Scouts welcomes transgender girls
By Katia Hetter
May 20, 2015

(CNN) Transgender girls are welcome in the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, a stance that has attracted controversy from some conservative groups over the past week.

"Our position is not new," said Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts USA's chief girl expert. "It conforms with our continuous commitment to inclusivity."

The Girl Scouts' guidance on serving transgender girls, on its "Frequently Asked Questions" page, was actually made public four years ago.

"Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority," states the FAQ. "That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe."
And of course the conservatives have blown a gasket, the Christian Post said…
"This means girls in the organization will be forced to recognize and accept transgenderism as a normal lifestyle," the petition states. "Boys in skirts, boys in makeup and boys in tents will become a part of the program. This change will put young innocent girls at risk."
Oh dear! Boys in skirts!