Showing posts from September, 2013

Positive statements from Religious Leaders

By Peter Wickham | Sun, September 29, 2013 - 12:00 AMIf someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? . . . . If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem . . . . They’re our brothers. – Pope Francis, July 2013.
A case in point is the energy and time we are spending on homosexuality . . . . Regrettably, when the problem is discussed, it is not to promote justice for people, but rather to victimize, oppress, ridicule and discriminate against persons whose lifestyles differ from others and this is contrary to the gospel message of inclusion of all people in God’s Kingdom. – Canon Wayne Isaacs, September 22, 2013.
Several years ago, popular Christian calypsonian Ronnie Clarke penned a tune entitled TC, or Those Christians, which launched a scathing attack on people he argued professed Christianity but were not “true Christians”…

Minsterial Declaration on Ending Violence and Discrimination based on SOGI

Reposted 27th, September, 2013

Ministerial Declaration on Ending Violence and Discrimination Against Individuals Based on Their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Media NoteOffice of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 26, 2013
The following is a declaration issued by members of the LGBT Core Group at the United Nations following their meeting.
Begin Text:
1. We, ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, El Salvador, France, Israel, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and United States, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – members of the LGBT Core Group at the United Nations – hereby declare our strong and determined commitment to eliminating violence and discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
2. In so doing, we reaffirm our conviction that human rights are the birthright of every human being. Those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) mu…

The constitutional challenge to the cross-dressing law

Just a little over two weeks ago, acting Chief Justice Ian Chang delivered his decision on a motion that had been filed in Guyana’s high court in 2010, and which challenged a law under which seven persons were arrested and charged with dressing in female attire for an improper purpose under Section 153 (1) (XLVII) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act Chapter 8:02. Four of the seven arrested persons and the Society for Sexual Orientation Discrimination, represented by a group of lawyers under the Faculty of Law UWI Rights Advocacy Project (U-RAP) and Gino Persaud who served as instructing counsel, challenged the law as violating several fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Guyana constitution. In his judgment, Justice Chang upheld the law in its entirety, rejecting all arguments about its unconstitutionality. At the same time, he emphasized that there is nothing to prohibit “a person wearing an ‘attire’ for the purpose of expressing or accentuating his or her p…

Belize PM Independence Speech Supports Equality for "all" citizens

22nd September, 2013

 Belize became an independent nation in 1981, but it was in 2013 that she finally matured in a way that was inclusive, principled, rational and constructive. I am sure the Belize Evangelical Association dropped off their seats when Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke so eloquently about the achievement of the state, but more precisely, his belief in what is the role of the state when he stated,"

Legal analysis of cross-dressing case in Guyana

Reposted 21st, September, 2013Criminalising Cross-Dressing in Guyana: Quincy McEwan et al vs. Attorney General of GuyanaBy Seshauna Wheatle|21 September 2013|Legal Developments 2013 has been a busy year for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights (LGBT) in the Commonwealth Caribbean. As noted in a previous post by activist and attorney-at-law Maurice Tomlinson, there is a series of cases in which laws that adversely affect the Caribbean LGBT are being challenged in the courts. In one of those cases, Quincy McEwan et al vs. Attorney General of Guyana, a Guyanese law criminalising cross-dressing has been unsuccessfully challenged before the High Court of Guyana. Se-Shauna Wheatle is a Lecturer in Law at Exeter College, University of Oxford. Section 153(1)(xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act, Chapter 8:02 of the Laws of Guyana makes it a criminal offence for a man to wear ‘female attire’, and for a woman to ‘male attire’, in public, for an ‘improper purpose’. …

Adela Hernandez, 1st Transgender Woman Elected to Office in Cuba

Reposted: 21st, September 2013
Adela Hernandez, Transgender Woman, Wins Office In Cuba By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ 11/16/12 09:27 PM ET EST
Adela Hernandez, 48, center, poses for a photo neighbors in the village of Caibarien, Cuba, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. Hernandez, a biologically male Cuban who has lived as a female since childhood, served two years in prison in the 1980s for "dangerousness" after her own family denounced her sexuality. This month she made history by becoming the first known transgender person to hold public office in Cuba, winning election as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the central provin
HAVANA -- Adela Hernandez, a biologically male Cuban who has lived as a female since childhood, served two years in prison in the 1980s for "dangerousness" after her own family denounced her sexuality.
This month she made history by becoming the first known transgender person to hold …

Trinidadian Transgender Sues on Rights Violation

Reposted 21st, September, 2013, May 14, 2001 In conservative Caribbean, transsexuals fight for rights

SAN FERNANDO, Trinidad (AP) � Inside Jowelle De Souza's small beauty shop, she's the master of color and cuts. Outside, she's hailed as a champion of transsexual rights in this socially conservative Caribbean country.
De Souza, who had a sex change operation when she was 19, was recently awarded $5,000 by a High Court judge in an out-of-court settlement to pay for charges of unlawful arrest and police harassment.
She is the first transsexual in Trinidad to sue the state for a violation of constitutional rights. Such suits are rare throughout the Caribbean where sexual minorities often stay silent about mistreatment for fear of reprisals.
"It's one of the biggest problems in our community. It primarily affects transsexual women � male to female," said Shannon Minter, an attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a U.S. organi…

Senator Arrested on False Accusation

Reposted: September 1st, 2013
Senator rearrested, slapped with 9 charges hours after court dismissed cases against herBy July 11, 2013 Opposition senator, Vynnette Frederick, second from left, leaves the Central Police Station in Kingstown on Thursday, July 11, 2013, in the company of her lawyers and Vice-President of the New Democratic Party, St. Clair Leacock, left. (IWN photo) Opposition Senator, Vynnette Frederick was, Thursday afternoon, slapped with nine charges hours after the court dismissed six charges against her.
Frederick was granted bail at the Central Police Station in Kingstown around 5 p.m. Thursday and is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.
Trinidadian Keith Scotland, one of Frederick’s attorneys, said nine charges were proffered, but did not detail them.
“We wouldn’t want to speak too much about the charges because they are now before the court,” he told I-Witness News shortly after Frederick was released on Thursday.
Andrew Pilgrim, QC, …