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Homosexuality
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 01 Feb 2016
Posts: 1109

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
shivaathervedi wrote:

Other question;

What Homosexuality has to do with Ismaili Heritage? Is this an Ismaili Tariqa issue?
We are not immune to the influences around us. Hence we have Ismailis who drink, gamble and are homesexuals as well. When we have Ismailis who are homesexuals, it becomes a Tariqa issue.


Absurd!!
You wrote," When we have Ismailis who are homosexuals, it becomes a Tariqa issue".
No, it is not a Tariqa issue but a moral issue, an ethical issue. Imam said," follow the ethical values of Islam". Homosexuality has nothing to do with Ismaili ethical values.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 01 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admin wrote:
I was once attending a conference by Desmond Tutu and one sentence he said struck me, he said there are so many problems in the world that why should we waste time on what people do in their bedroom.

I think this becomes an issue when people who are homosexuals parade the streets with board which says "Ismaili" then they use and misuse our names in the same way people brand Muslim of "Terrorist" and generalise that they do what they do because they are Muslims!

These are personnal issues which people should not brand as they are "Ismaili Gay and Lesbian". I don't have anything against them but why put the name "Ismaili queers" which would generalised their choice and attempt to label a whole community for their own advantage as an approved community standard which it is not.


I agree with you. Any Gay or Lesbian should not use word Ismaili with them. In North America Problem popped up when a Lady from Canada on TV shows declared herself as a Lesbian belong to Ismaili faith. Shameful statements have hurt Ismaili faith.
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6273

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are even worse, a group of people paraded in Toronto with large board saying that they were "Ismaili" Gay and Lesbian. Why not a board saying "Canadian" Gay and Lesbian, why bring religion into it?
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23602

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivaathervedi wrote:
Absurd!!
You wrote," When we have Ismailis who are homosexuals, it becomes a Tariqa issue".
No, it is not a Tariqa issue but a moral issue, an ethical issue. Imam said," follow the ethical values of Islam". Homosexuality has nothing to do with Ismaili ethical values.
Are you saying moral and ethical issues are not Tariqah issues? What are the messages of the Qur'an and the Ginans about? I am not saying whether homosexuality is acceptable or not, I am simply saying that it is something we have to deal with in our Tariqah.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 01 Feb 2016
Posts: 1109

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
shivaathervedi wrote:
Absurd!!
You wrote," When we have Ismailis who are homosexuals, it becomes a Tariqa issue".
No, it is not a Tariqa issue but a moral issue, an ethical issue. Imam said," follow the ethical values of Islam". Homosexuality has nothing to do with Ismaili ethical values.
Are you saying moral and ethical issues are not Tariqah issues? What are the messages of the Qur'an and the Ginans about? I am not saying whether homosexuality is acceptable or not, I am simply saying that it is something we have to deal with in our Tariqah.


In my opinion Admin should not had allowed this topic on Ismaili Heritage. My point is homosexuality is not Ismaili Heritage. Why to propagate it on this site, if yes then what is the agenda? Ismaili Tariqa has nothing to do with it. This should stay private and not propagated. I think this topic should be deleted from this site for good.
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6273

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This discussion is justified in view of the fact that changing laws in some countries allow 2 people of same gendre to get married as marriage definition has changed from man and women to "between 2 persons".

Recently a women married her dog because since dogs can inherit, some judge has ruled that a dog is a person.

Now imagine a situation where a woman comes to Mukhi with her legally wedded dog and say we want to get married religiously and get blessings?

They may say that our Constitution respect the law of the land.

This will happen and the discussion is healthy and necessary.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 01 Feb 2016
Posts: 1109

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admin wrote:
This discussion is justified in view of the fact that changing laws in some countries allow 2 people of same gendre to get married as marriage definition has changed from man and women to "between 2 persons".

Recently a women married her dog because since dogs can inherit, some judge has ruled that a dog is a person.

Now imagine a situation where a woman comes to Mukhi with her legally wedded dog and say we want to get married religiously and get blessings?

They may say that our Constitution respect the law of the land.

This will happen and the discussion is healthy and necessary.


If constitution of a particular country dictates don't recite Du'a, will an Ismaili obey the Farman or the constitution?
We are Muslims, and Islam does not allow marriage of a woman with a dog or a monkey. I don't think an Ismaili woman dare to bring a dog in three piece suit with neck tie in front of Mukhi to recite Nikah Khutba.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23602

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivaathervedi wrote:


If constitution of a particular country dictates don't recite Du'a, will an Ismaili obey the Farman or the constitution?
If the law of the land does not allow us to practice our faith, we should not live in that land. That is the guidance of the Imam.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23602

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivaathervedi wrote:

I have a question for you, did any Pir in Ginans mentioned about homosexuality, gay and lesbians?
I have not come across any references in the Ginans. I know of Ginans which mention the prohibition of extra marital sex.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How homosexuality became a crime in the Middle East

Colonialism, culture wars and fundamentalist politicians have restricted sexual freedom


IN THE 13th and 14th centuries two celebrated male poets wrote about men in affectionate, even amorous, terms. They were Rumi and Hafiz, and both lived in what is now Iran. Their musings were neither new nor unusual. Centuries earlier Abu Nuwas, a bawdy poet from Baghdad, wrote lewd verses about same-sex desire. Such relative openness towards homosexual love used to be widespread in the Middle East. Khaled El-Rouayheb, an academic at Harvard University, explains that though sodomy was deemed a major sin by Muslim courts of law, other homosexual acts such as passionate kissing, fondling or lesbian sex were not. Homoerotic poetry was widely considered part of a “refined sensibility”, he says.

The modern Middle East views the subject very differently. A survey by Pew Research Centre in 2013 found that most people in the region believe homosexuality should be rejected: 97% in Jordan, 95% in Egypt and 80% in Lebanon. In 2007 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then the president of Iran, told a crowd of incredulous students at Columbia University in New York that “in Iran we don’t have homosexuals”. In 2001 the Egyptian Ministry of Culture burnt 6,000 volumes of Abu Nuwas’s poetry. What happened?

More...
https://www.economist.com/open-future/2018/06/06/how-homosexuality-became-a-crime-in-the-middle-east?cid1=cust/ddnew/email/n/n/2018067n/owned/n/n/ddnew/n/n/n/nna/Daily_Dispatch/email&etear=dailydispatch
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23602

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tanzania's anti-homosexuality purge is making Ottawa anxious

Official anti-gay prejudice in Tanzania is causing Canadian officials to reassess this country's relationship with one of Canada's biggest aid recipients.

Arrests of gay men in Zanzibar over the weekend, and the launch of "anti-gay patrols" in the capital Dar es Salaam on Monday, are the latest incidents to alarm Canadian diplomats. They've come up this week at high-level meetings involving not only Canadian and Tanzanian officials but also those of other western donor nations.

Tanzania's homophobic actions are particularly uncomfortable for Canada, which gave Tanzania more than $125 milllion in direct aid last year, making it Canada's sixth-largest aid recipient in the world.

Canada co-chairs the Equal Rights Coalition, a group of 40 nations that Canada helped to create. The coalition promotes LGBT equality around the world and has roundly condemned some of the practices used in Tanzania — particularly the use of forced anal exams to collect "evidence" of homosexual behaviour, which in Tanzania can lead to a life sentence in prison.

More..
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/tanzanias-anti-homosexuality-purge-is-making-ottawa-anxious/ar-BBPxJCX?li=AAggNb9
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23602

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruling on law banning gay sex delayed in Kenya High Court, what you need to know

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s High Court has postponed until May 24 a ruling on whether to strike out or uphold a colonial-era law banning gay sex, a judge said on Friday.

Judge Chacha Mwita told a packed court in the capital, Nairobi, that the bench constituted to hear the case needed more time to prepare for the ruling, which had been due on Friday.

“The judges on the bench also sit in other courts … we need more time,” Mwita said.


Same-sex relationships are illegal in more than 70 countries, almost half of them in Africa, where homosexuality is broadly taboo and persecution is rife.

In Kenya, where same-sex relationships can lead to a 14-year jail sentence, campaigners for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LGBT) rights have become increasingly vocal in recent years.

Kenya arrested 534 people for same-sex relationships between 2013 and 2017, the government said. Kenya’s high court began hearings on the law last year.

Campaigners say the colonial-era law violates Kenya’s progressive 2010 constitution, which guarantees equality, dignity and privacy for all citizens.

They also submitted arguments based on India’s rejection of a similar law in August.[nL8N1WD360]

Reporting by Baz Ratner and John Ndiso; Editing by Paul Tait and Darren Schuettler

https://www.cnbcafrica.com/news/east-africa/2019/02/22/ruling-on-law-banning-gay-sex-delayed-in-kenya-high-court-what-you-need-to-know/
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brunei to Punish Adultery and Gay Sex With Death by Stoning

The sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, has advocated a conservative vision of Islam.


HONG KONG — When Brunei announced in 2013 that it was bringing in harsh Islamic laws that included punishments of death by stoning for adultery and gay sex, the move was met with international protest. Some investments by the country’s sovereign wealth fund, including the Beverly Hills Hotel, were targets of boycotts and calls for divestment.

Following the outcry, Brunei, a sultanate of about 430,000 on the island of Borneo, delayed carrying out the harshest provisions of its Shariah law.

Now, it is quietly going ahead with them.

Beginning on April 3, statutes allowing stoning and amputation will go into effect, according to an announcement posted by the country’s attorney general last year that has only recently received notice.

That has set off a renewed outcry from human rights groups.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/28/world/asia/brunei-stoning-death.html?emc=edit_th_190329&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=453053090329
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taiwan Legislature Approves Asia’s First Same-Sex Marriage Law

HONG KONG — As tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the rainy streets of Taipei on Friday, lawmakers in Taiwan voted to legalize same-sex marriage, a first for Asia.

“We want to marry!” supporters outside the legislature chanted in approval of the measure, as they applauded and waved signs and rainbow banners.

“On May 17th, 2019 in #Taiwan, #LoveWon,” President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted after the vote. “We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country.”

The legislature faced a deadline imposed by Taiwan’s constitutional court, which in 2017 struck down the Civil Code’s definition of marriage as exclusively between a man and woman. The court gave the government two years to revise the law, or same-sex couples would automatically be allowed to have their marriages registered by the local authorities.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/17/world/asia/taiwan-gay-marriage.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190518
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kenya’s High Court Upholds a Ban on Gay Sex

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya’s High Court on Friday upheld laws that criminalize gay sex, declining to join the handful of nations that have recently abolished a prohibition imposed by Britain during the colonial era.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the court, announced in a courtroom packed with activists who wanted to see the laws overturned, keeps Kenya aligned with most of Africa. Anti-gay laws and conservative cultural mores remain prevalent across most of the continent. In addition to the threat of prosecution, discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are common.

“A sad day for the rule of law and human rights,” said Eric Gitari, a co-founder of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, a Kenyan civil rights group, who was one of the petitioners in the case. He said he and others would appeal the ruling.

Téa Braun, director of the Human Dignity Trust, an international gay rights advocacy group, noted in a statement that Kenya’s constitution guarantees human dignity and freedom from discrimination.

“Yet in handing down this disappointing judgment, the court has ruled that a certain sector of society is undeserving of those rights,” she said.

The Kenyan ruling came on the same day, however, that Taiwan had its first same-sex weddings, which were legalized last week by the legislature.

More than 70 countries criminalize gay sex, most of them Muslim countries or former British colonies, according to advocacy groups.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/24/world/africa/kenya-gay-ban-british.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190525
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coke Ad Riles Hungary Conservatives, Part of Larger Gay Rights Battle

WARSAW — By the standards of Western advertising, Coca-Cola’s billboard campaign in Hungary was pretty tame.

Three couples are shown enjoying a soda, smiling and seemingly in love. One picture shows a man, a woman and a Coke; another two women and a Coke; and a third shows two men and a Coke.

“Love is Love,” is the campaign slogan. But in the current climate in Eastern and Central Europe, where “L.G.B.T. ideology” has taken the place of migrants as public enemy number one for many nationalist leaders, love is not love.

It is a threat.

Soon after the Coke ads appeared, a pro-government internet news site ran a banner headline: “The Homosexual Lobby Has Now Besieged Budapest — They Won’t Give You A Chance to Avoid It.”

Istvan Boldog, a lawmaker representing Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s far-right Fidesz party, used Facebook to call on the public to boycott Coca-Cola products until the company “removed its provocative posters from Hungary.”

The battle over the billboards is just a small skirmish in what is emerging as a broader campaign across the region against gay rights. Right-wing politicians complain that their traditional cultures are undermined by a decadent and dangerous import from the irreligious West.

In 2013, Russia made it illegal to expose minors to discussion of “nontraditional” sexual relationships.

More recently, Poland’s leaders have focused attention on what they call “L.G.B.T. ideology,” painting it as an insidious threat to the nation. Other parties in the region are watching closely to see how effective it proves.

In the run-up to national elections in October, Poland’s governing Law and Justice Party, along with Catholic Church leaders, have stepped up their attacks. More than two dozen provincial governments have declared their localities “L.G.B.T.-free,” and the party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has said Poland will not live under “the rainbow flag.”

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/09/world/europe/gays-hungary-poland-lgbt-ideology.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190810?campaign_id=2&instance_id=11408&segment_id=16040&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=453053090810&login=email&auth=login-email
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swamidada



Joined: 19 Aug 2019
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A person's genes do not determine whether they will be attracted to members of the opposite sex, scientists believe. The research debunks the idea that there is a so-called "gay gene," say the authors of the study published in the journal Science. They said the findings highlight the complexity of human traits such as sexuality.

Between two to 10 percent of the world's population at any given time report having same-sex partners, according to research cited by the authors. But scientists aren't sure what determines whether a person will identify as gay, straight, bisexual, or somewhere else on the spectrum of sexuality.

The study involved 477,522 participants. Researchers scanned their genomes to uncover whether there are genes associated with same-sex attraction. This approach is known as a genome-wide association study (GWAS).

The participants of the study were part of the UK Biobank cohort and consenting customers of 23andMe, a genetic testing service.

The team found five loci—or the position of a gene on a chromosome—associated with same-sex attraction. The loci had small individual effects, spread across the genome, which partly overlapped in females and males, they explained. But the team said these couldn't meaningfully predict a person's sexual behavior.

"There is certainly no single genetic determinant (sometimes referred to as the "gay gene" in the media)," they wrote. "Our findings provide insights into the genetics underlying same-sex sexual behavior and underscore the complexity of sexuality."

It appears that, like most behavioral traits, sexuality is influenced by a range of genetic variants which can't be picked up in the sample size, they said.

Appearing to allude to the discrimination which LGBT people face, the authors wrote: "Our findings provide insights into the biological underpinnings of same-sex sexual behavior but also underscore the importance of resisting simplistic conclusions—because the behavioral phenotypes are complex, because our genetic insights are rudimentary, and because there is a long history of misusing genetic results for social purposes."

In an article accompanying the research in Science, Melinda Mills, Professor of Sociology at the University of Oxford, who did not work on the paper wrote: "Although they did find particular genetic loci associated with same-sex behavior, when they combine the effects of these loci together into one comprehensive score, the effects are so small (under 1 percent) that this genetic score could not be reliably used to predict same-sex sexual behavior of an individual."

https://start.att.net/news/read/article/newsweek-scientists_debunk_the_idea_there_is_a_gay_gene_tha-rnewsweek/category/news+
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japan’s Support for Gay Marriage Is Soaring. But Can It Become Law?

The country is being pulled in two directions as it experiences a “boom” in L.G.B.T. awareness but also remains committed to a sometimes inflexible traditional culture.


TOKYO — Ikuo Sato stood in front of a Tokyo court in April and told the world he was gay.

To a packed room, he described the anxiety he had felt as a young man, struggling to express his sexuality in Japan’s restrictive society. If the law is changed to allow same-sex marriage, he said, perhaps “we’ll make a society where the next generation doesn’t have to feel that way.”

Somewhere in the courtroom, his partner sat silently watching, hoping to go unnoticed. His family and co-workers do not know he is gay, and he hopes — at least for now — to keep it that way, fearing discrimination in his workplace.

The couple’s story epitomizes the contradictions that shape the lives of gay people across Japan.

In many ways, there has been dramatic change. Lawsuits filed this year by Mr. Sato, his partner and five other couples seeking recognition of same-sex marriage are the first of their kind in Japan. Public support for same-sex marriage has surged in the last few years, making it seem suddenly within reach. Local governments are increasingly recognizing same-sex partnerships, and even Japan’s famously rigid companies have begun coming out in favor of them.

Yet in other ways, the gains remain abstract. Gay people face overwhelming pressure to conform to the silent, stifling norms of a society in which many parents and workers are still uncomfortable with the idea of their own children and colleagues being gay. And the conservative politicians who run the country and extol its sometimes inflexible culture refuse to touch the issue.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/27/world/asia/japan-gay-marriage.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_191128?campaign_id=2&instance_id=14106&segment_id=19151&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=453053091128
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In India, a Gay Prince’s Coming Out Earns Accolades, and Enemies

Prince Manvendra’s journey from an excruciatingly lonely child to a global L.G.B.T.Q. advocate included death threats and disinheritance.


NEW DELHI — Born into a royal family that once ruled the kingdom of Rajpipla in India, he was raised in the family’s palaces and mansions and was being groomed to take over a dynasty that goes back 600 years.

But then he gave an interview that prompted his mother to disown him and set off protests in his hometown, where he was burned in effigy.

Since coming out as gay in that 2006 interview, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil has faced a torrent of bullying and threats, and was disinherited by his family for a period.

But he has also earned global accolades for his L.G.B.T.Q. advocacy, becoming one of the few gay-rights activists in the world with such royal ties.

As part of his efforts, Prince Manvendra, 55, has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” three times, swapped life stories with Kris Jenner on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and is working to establish a shelter for L.G.B.T.Q. people on his property in the Indian state of Gujarat. He is also working with several aid agencies to prevent the spread of H.I.V. among gay men.

Prince Manvendra and his husband, deAndre Richardson, have spent the last few months in lockdown getting the shelter ready. They envision a safe space where those who have been disowned by their families can get back on their feet and learn job skills.

“I know how important it is to have a safe space after coming out,” the prince said.

Although India abolished the princely order in 1971, the honorary titles are still commonly used for royal descendants, and traditional responsibilities are still carried out.

When the prince shared that he was gay in that front-page newspaper interview 14 years ago, it created a storm of mostly negative publicity. It was shocking for a member of an Indian royal family, especially one from the rigidly conservative Rajput warrior clan that once ruled over large parts of northern and central India, to come out so publicly. At the time, being gay was a criminal offense in India under the archaic British law in effect at the time. The law was struck down in 2018.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/31/world/asia/india-prince-manvendra-gay-rights.html?campaign_id=2&emc=edit_th_20200801&instance_id=20907&nl=todaysheadlines&regi_id=45305309&segment_id=34983&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Evangelical Adoption Agency Will Now Serve Gay Parents Nationwide

The decision comes as more cities and states require organizations to accept applications from L.G.B.T.Q. couples or risk losing government contracts.


One of the country’s largest adoption and foster care agencies, Bethany Christian Services, announced on Monday that it would begin providing services to L.G.B.T.Q. parents nationwide effective immediately, a major inflection point in the fraught battle over many faith-based agencies’ longstanding opposition to working with same-sex couples.

Bethany, a Michigan-based evangelical organization, announced the change in an email to about 1,500 staff members that was signed by Chris Palusky, the organization’s president and chief executive. “We will now offer services with the love and compassion of Jesus to the many types of families who exist in our world today,” Mr. Palusky wrote. “We’re taking an ‘all hands on deck’ approach where all are welcome.”

The announcement is a significant departure for the 77-year-old organization, which is the largest Protestant adoption and foster agency in the United States. Bethany facilitated 3,406 foster placements and 1,123 adoptions in 2019, and has offices in 32 states. (The organization also works in refugee placement, and offers other services related to child and family welfare.) Previously, openly gay prospective foster and adoptive parents in most states were referred to other agencies.

The decision comes amid a high-stakes cultural and legal battle that features questions about sexuality, religious freedom, parenthood, family structure and theology.

Adoption is a potent issue in both conservative Christian and gay communities. Faith-based agencies play a substantial role in placing children in new families. Meanwhile, more than 20 percent of same-sex couples with children have an adopted child, compared to 3 percent of straight couples, according to a 2016 report from the Williams Institute at U.C.L.A. School of Law. Gay couples are also significantly likelier to have a foster child.

“To use a Christian term, this is good news,” said Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, a fellow with the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress. “For too long the public witness of Christianity has been anti-this or anti-that,” he added. “Today the focus is on serving children in need.”

Bethany’s practice of referring gay couples to other agencies was not official, the agency’s leaders say. “It was a general understanding that was pervasive,” said Susanne Jordan, a board member and former employee. But since 2007, the organization had a position statement saying that “God’s design for the family is a covenant and lifelong marriage of one man and one woman.”

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https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/us/bethany-adoption-agency-lgbtq.html?campaign_id=2&emc=edit_th_20210302&instance_id=27628&nl=todaysheadlines&regi_id=45305309&segment_id=52599&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Landmark Ruling Cracks Door Open for Same-Sex Marriage in Japan

A court found that it was unconstitutional for the country not to recognize the unions. But change would come only if Parliament passes legislation.


TOKYO — A Japanese court on Wednesday ruled that the country’s failure to recognize same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, a landmark decision that could be an important step toward legalizing the unions across the nation.

The ruling, handed down by a district court in the northern city of Sapporo, came in a civil suit against the Japanese government by three same-sex couples. The lack of recognition of their unions, they said, had unfairly cut them off from services and benefits accorded to married couples, and they sought damages of around $9,000 per person.

The couples argued that the government’s failure to recognize same-sex unions violated the constitutional guarantee of equality under the law and the prohibition against discrimination regardless of sex.

The court agreed, writing in its decision that laws or regulations that deprived gay couples of the legal benefits of marriage constituted “discriminatory treatment without a rational basis.”

But the court declined to award the couples damages, making a somewhat convoluted argument that the government could not be held liable because the issue of same-sex marriage had only recently entered Japan’s public discourse.

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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Poland, an L.G.B.T.Q. Migration As Homophobia Deepens

An escalation in verbal attacks by the Polish government, with the support of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the threat of physical violence on the streets of many cities, has triggered an exodus of gay people.


For months, government ministers spewed vicious rhetoric about gay people. Trucks blasted anti-gay hate messages from loudspeakers on the streets of Poland’s cities.

Finally fed up with an increasingly hostile environment for gay people in Poland under the governing Law and Justice party, Marta Malachowska, a 31-year-old who works in social media, decided to move to Berlin with her girlfriend in December.

“Last year the situation became too much for me,” Ms. Malachowska said, adding that she had suffered a nervous breakdown during the country’s presidential election last summer when anti-L.G.B.T.Q. rhetoric engaged in by the governing party became especially shrill in an effort to appeal to socially conservative voters. The final straw came when a close friend was assaulted because of her sexual orientation, she said.

Arriving in Berlin, she knew she had made the right choice.

“The first thing I saw was a giant rainbow flag hanging across the street from our flat,” she said. “I take my girlfriend’s hand when we walk in the street, without thinking.” She added: “Back in Poland, there was always this fear inside me. Here, literally no one cares.”

People have for decades left Poland looking for opportunities elsewhere in Europe — an exodus that grew after the country joined the European Union in 2004. But now their numbers are being added to by gay people fleeing an increasingly hostile environment in Poland.

According to a 2020 survey by ILGA-Europe, an international gay rights organization, Poland now ranks as the most homophobic country in the European Union. Activists say that violence against gay people in Poland surged last year, and included cases of physical violence, insults and the destruction of property.

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swamidada



Joined: 02 Aug 2020
Posts: 821

PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mormon sex therapist ousted from faith for critiques
Associated Press Thu, April 22, 2021, 1:43 PM
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A sex therapist in Utah who has publicly challenged her faith's policies on sexuality has been kicked out of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints following a disciplinary hearing.

Natasha Helfer received a letter Wednesday from a regional church official explaining the reasons for her removal from the Salt Lake City-based church, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Helfer was disciplined by church leaders in Kansas, where she lived before moving to Utah in 2019.

“After carefully and prayerfully considering this matter,” the letter states, “it was the decision of the council to withdraw your church membership in response to conduct contrary to the law and order of the church.”

Helfer shared the letter on Facebook. Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said that, based on the letter, regional church leaders' decision was not related to her private practice as a therapist.

“As the letter shared by Ms. Helfer indicates, the decision of the local leaders was based on her public, repeated opposition to the church, church leaders and the doctrine of the church, including our doctrine on the nature of the family and on moral issues,” Hawkins said in a statement.

Helfer has been outspoken on sexual issues and supports same-sex marriage, counsels that masturbation is not a sin and says pornography should not be treated as an addiction. She had said that she hoped to remain in the church.

The story was originally reported by The Washington Post.

Helfer told the Tribune that she was asked to leave her disciplinary hearing before it began on Sunday because she refused to turn off her phone, which contained her notes.

“It is common for participants to be asked to turn off technology (including cell phones) or leave it outside the room, as was the case with this council,” Hawksins said. “All but one of the participants complied with that request and had brought their statements in writing.”

Church members are taught not to have sex before marriage, engage in passionate kissing, touch another person’s private parts or arouse “emotions in your own body” that are supposed to be reserved for marriage. Homosexual relations also are forbidden even if a person is married or in a relationship.

Helfer did not immediately respond to The Associated Press' request for comment.

Her ouster means she’ll be leaving a religion she’s been a member of since she was 5 years old.

While not a lifelong ban, the withdrawal of a person's membership by church leaders amounts to the harshest punishment available for a member of the faith. These ousters used to be called excommunication before the faith changed the terminology last year to “withdrawal of church membership.”

People in this category can’t go inside temples where members are married and other ordinances such as baptisms for dead relatives are performed.

Sam Young, a man who led a campaign criticizing the church’s practice of allowing one-on-one interviews of youth by lay leaders that sometimes included sexual questions, was kicked out of the church in 2018. Kate Kelly, founder of a group pushing for women to be allowed in the religion’s lay clergy, was excommunicated in 2014.

https://currently.att.yahoo.com/news/mormon-sex-therapist-ousted-faith-184321431.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To Protest Iran’s Anti-Gay Abuses, an Artist Painted a Dictator’s Car

“Wherever there is injustice, we need to talk about it,” Alireza Shojaian said.


The Paykan was the first car manufactured in Iran. Produced from 1967 to 2015, it started life as a licensed copy of an outmoded British vehicle, the Hillman Hunter, but it nevertheless became a symbol of national pride, priced for middle-class Iranians.

Paykans eventually became ubiquitous on the streets of Tehran, serving as sedans, wagons, pickups and taxis. In 1974, as a token of connection (or collusion) between two regimes, the shah of Iran gave a Paykan limousine to Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romanian dictator.

That very car made news again this May among Iranians, at home and in the expatriate community, when it appeared for sale at a Bucharest auction house. Though it had an expected hammer price of 10,000 euros, it ended up selling for €95,000. It has resurfaced, colorfully painted by the Iranian artist Alireza Shojaian, who identifies as queer, and was displayed recently at a human rights conference held in Miami.

“I am from Iran, but to be able to continue my art, I had to leave my country,” Mr. Shojaian said in a call from Paris, where he was granted asylum in 2019 after three years in exile in Beirut, citing the Iranian government’s brutal repression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

The painting style that Mr. Shojaian used on the Paykan recalls the Shahnameh, a 10th century Persian epic poem. It is inspired specifically by the tale of Rostam, a father who kills his own son. Some panels depict the Iranian athlete Navid Afkari, who was arrested in 2018 during anti-government protests and executed by the state two years later. Others are inspired by Ali Fazeli Monfared, a 20-year-old gay man who was reportedly beheaded by family members when his sexuality was discovered.

“The sympathy we get for the story of the athlete is much bigger than the sympathy for Ali the gay young man,” Mr. Shojaian said. “This is the result of what the government did. With the lack of the knowledge in the society, they dehumanized him.”

“So I am putting both of them next to each other, saying, ‘they both are human beings; they both are children of this country,’” Mr. Shojaian continued. “And, wherever there is injustice, we need to talk about it.”

A sound installation plays inside the car. The first track is a reading of a note sent by Mr. Monfared to his boyfriend, who had fled to Turkey to seek asylum on the basis of his sexuality. “Ali also had the plan to go there, after three days, to join his boyfriend. He had the ticket,” Mr. Shojaian said.

Mr. Shojaian relished the opportunity to bring attention to his community's plight, but had to shift media to create an art car. “Usually, I use colored pencils, which is a very light material that I had to carry with me, because I always had to be an exile,” he said.

The car was acquired and the project funded by an organization called PaykanArtCar, which plans to choose an activist artist to repaint it annually to call attention to other repressed communities in Iran. A nonprofit based in Florida, it is run by Mark Wallace, an ambassador-level representative to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. Mr. Wallace, a longtime figure in Republican politics, is also the head of a group called United Against Nuclear Iran.

The car was unveiled on Oct. 4 at the Human Rights Foundation’s Oslo Freedom Forum in Miami. The foundation was founded by Thor Halvorssen, who approaches human rights from an individual rights perspective but aims to unite people across the political spectrum, he said. Donors to the foundation reflect this: they have included conservative organizations such the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the National Christian Foundation and the Donors Capital Fund; along with more liberal individuals like the Google co-founder Sergey Brin, the eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and the former Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias.


The car, painted by the artist Alireza Shojaian, depicts two Iranian men who were killed, one by the government, and one by family members.Credit...Courtesy of John Parra/Getty Images for PaykanArtCar

Still, these affiliations can raise suspicion in the Iranian diasporic community.

“Advocating for L.G.B.T.Q. rights in Iran is a noble thing,” said Nahid Siamdoust, assistant professor of media and Middle East studies at the University of Texas, Austin. “But neocon and right-wing organizations have used human rights reasonings and justifications in order to propel their own conservative policies — not just in the Middle East, but also at home.” Unfortunately, she continued, “those artists and spokespeople end up being the ones who lose their legitimacy with the wider population.”

Indeed, the backgrounds of the project’s sponsors have brought a backlash. The vehicle was set to be exhibited for the second time in late October at the Asia Now art fair in Paris, but the invitation was rescinded just days before the opening.

A public statement from the Asia Now founder and director, Alexandra Fain, offered an explanation. “This decision is in no way taken against the artist Ali Reza or his artistic practice,” Ms. Fain said, “and least of all against his commitment to the L.G.B.T.Q.+ cause, which Asia Now has always actively endorsed.” She went on, “The problem is neither the artist nor the project, but the organization supporting this project, which uses the L.G.B.T.Q.+ cause for priority reasons that are other than purely artistic, and which endanger the safety of the people working with us on our Iranian platform.” (Mr. Wallace, when asked for a comment, said, “I consider those statements defamatory.”)

Mr. Wallace defended both the art car project and his advocacy against the Iranian government. “Do I think that the regime should change or should be changed? Yeah. I do,” he said. “But I also think that the L.G.B.T.Q. community shouldn’t be killed by hanging from cranes inside of Iran, too. And I think it’s OK to think that.”

Mr. Halvorssen, too, offered a stern defense of the effort. “Trying to tar us by claiming that anyone who has conservative positions is instantly disqualified for having them is some kind of distortion of cancel culture that frankly is really quite reprehensible,” he said. “You should judge us for what we are doing. We should be criticized for having a car that stands for advocating against the mistreatment of gay people in Iran? And that’s a conservative principle? That’s absurd.”

Regardless of the controversy, Mr. Shojaian sees great merit in bringing attention to the issue. “Whoever is doing anything for the L.G.B.T. rights in Iran, I really appreciate that, because I totally understand how difficult that is,” he said, mentioning activists and organizations working, from exile, in Iran, such as 6rang. “We need to work to educate the society.”

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