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Showing posts from January, 2014

Latin America: The usual forces, with surprising Results

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Reposted January 30th, 2014 The Usual Forces, With Surprising Results Javier Corrales is the John E. Kirkpatrick 1951 professor of political science at Amherst College.
January 29, 2014

The expansion of L.G.B.T. rights in Latin America has followed a storyline that is similar to the expansion of civil rights more generally across the globe, but with some twists. The key forces include rising incomes, social movements, political parties and conservative actors. But in the politics of gay rights in Latin America, these forces have defied expectations.

Gay rights in Latin America have expanded the most in countries whose incomes are highest, namely Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Mexico. This much was predictable. Yet high income has been neither sufficient nor necessary. Not-so-rich Ecuador established same-sex civil unions constitutionally, whereas the very rich Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago have dismal records on gay rights.

We know that when social movements are s…

High Court Have Taken a Stand

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Reposted: January, 30th, 2014

  High Courts Have Taken a Stand

Omar G. Encarnación, a professor of political studies at Bard College, is the author of the recent essay “International Influence, Domestic Activism, and Gay Rights in Argentina.” January 29, 2014
Written:January 29, 2014
Latin America’s gay rights revolution has highlighted the ingenuity of gay activists and the leadership of politicians like Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. In July 2010, she became a gay rights heroine when she signed Latin America’s first same-sex marriage law, over vigorous opposition from the archbishop of Buenos Aires (today Pope Francis). But the celebration of activists and politicians has overlooked another hero in this campaign: the region’s high courts. Their embrace of gay rights has been nothing short of audacious, especially in contrast to recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court.
It is striking that the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to find a con…

Hate crime vs Hate Incident and Joseph Sanchez

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14th January, 2014

Was it a crime of passion? Was it a hate crime or incident? That is what a community is asking itself ! The police suggests the motive was robbery, the family disputes that. UniBAM says the murder of Joseph Sanchez was a hate crime. What do we really know? First let us define what is a hate crime and how the laws are structured in other countries. We know, hate crime laws speak to the following:
laws defining specific bias-motivated acts as distinct crimes;criminal penalty-enhancement laws;laws creating a distinct civil cause of action for hate crimes; andlaws requiring administrative agencies to collect hate crime statistics. Hate crimes are criminal acts--such as vandalism, arson, assault, or murder--committed against someone because of his or her race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, age, or gender. In a hate crime, the person is selected because of a characteristic that he or she cannot change. Hate incidents are actions motivated by prejudi…

No Justice for Guyanese Transgender murdered

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Reposted January  13th, 2014
Justice urged for transgender murders during vigil Posted By Staff Writer On January 13, 2014 @ 5:06 am In Local News | No Comments One year after sex worker Wesley Holder was brutally slain and his bloodied body left near a city church, police are yet to apprehend those responsible. In his memory, his relatives, friends and members of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) held a vigil and walk on Saturday. The small group of about 20 persons holding a banner, flag and placards first gathered at the site where Holder’s body was found on the morning of January 11, 2013 – just off of High Street behind the Carnegie School of Home Economics. The area is now overgrown with high grass but all of those taking part in the vigil walked to the spot where Holder’s body was found. Wesley Holder Tears flowed and the grief was evident. A moment of silence was observed before the group headed to Smyth Street as they chanted “We need ju…

A dollar amount linked to Homophobia, a lack of security and dignity in Belize

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January 11th, 2014

The far right in Belize has spoken of homophobia as not being a problem in Belize because gay men are not killed in Belize like Jamaica or they are jailed like in Uganda. While the state has no laws, or intention to move aggressively against its L.G.B.T citizens, the lack of a legal framework that compensates individuals who experience hate and abuse will continue, as the state by indifference, omission or inaction have chosen to make the social and economic rights concern of its L.G.B.T citizens invisible. Through a lack of visibility in legislation, in proactive planning, in investment in training in the justice system, in public education are the main points of  concern. To be fair, the gender policy while progressive offers not guarantee of substantive commitment in the short-term, but only sets normative values in policy which can be considered in baby steps. Additionally, the government of Belize has made no no investment in research, nor ensuring that discri…

Legal Analysis of Guyana cross-dressing analysis

Reposted January 9th, 2014 (By Sheila I. Velez-Martinez) A Commentary on McEwan, Fraser, Clarke, Persaud and SASOD vs. AG of Guyana On September 6, 2013, the High Court of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Guyana released an important decision regarding the country’s law prohibiting cross dressing “for an improper purpose.” The decision and order in McEwan, Fraser, Clarke, Persaud and SASOD vs. AG of Guyana includes both encouraging and troubling elements. In the case, the High Court was called to address a constitutional challenge to section 153(1)(xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act. Section 153(1)(xlvii) makes a criminal offence of a man wearing female attire, and a woman wearing male attire, publicly, for any improper purpose. Chief Justice Ian Chang decided that section 153 (1) (xlvii) is immune from the constitutional challenge brought by the four transgender litigants and their supporting organizations. As an 1893 law, pre-dating Guyana’s independen…