Tag Archives: lesbians

Being Gay In Indonesia Is Not Always A Happy Time

In a recent workshop held in Jakarta for gays and lesbians, men and women recounted the problems they encountered living in a Muslim society when they informed parents and other family members about their sexual orientation. Valen, a gay man, said: “if I told my mother that I had decided to become a heterosexual, she would certainly throw a party.” He recounted to the audience how his partner had died in his house and he finally had to tell his mother that he was gay. “I got down on my knees and told her. I also said that even though our relationship is not deemed as normal, I treated my partner better than the way my heterosexual sister treated hers.” Eventually, his mother came to accept who he was.

A mother came onto the stage named Pinta and spoke from her heart about her children and their sexual beliefs. “I have promised all of my children that I will accept them and their problems no matter what, as long as they don’t hide anything from me, so I have to accept my son’s sexuality as well.”

Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world and, unlike Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia, gays and lesbians can speak in public about their sexual identity without being punished.

Gay Rights, Low Priority Say Mullen

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military is confronted with a host of issues, including two wars, which must be the major focus of their attention. He indicated the need to give additional study to implications of how the “military culture” woudl be impacted by overturning the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mullen says he is aware President Obama wants to change the policy at some point, but any change requires an act of Congress so it is not up to the military. General James Jones, the White House national security adviser noted, “we have a lot on our plate now.”

General Jones is correct there is a lot on the plate right now, but among the most important needs is for additional soldiers. The key issue can be simply stated as — the military needs more soldiers and there are thousands of gays and lesbians who want to serve their nation. Why deny this valuable resource?

Swedish Gays Wait On Church Approval

The Swedish parliament’s new law which grants gays and lesbians the right to have a legal marriage came into effect on May 1st but there will be a delay in making the law operational until the Lutheran Church which was the state church until 2000 makes a decision as to whether the church will sanction such marriages. According to a church official: “the new law implies a change in the marriage ceremony, and the Church has to be given a chance to take a stand on that.” However, he also noted there has been no evidence that gays or lesbians are rushing to the Lutheran Church in order to get married.

Most probably the delay stems from historic reasons and does not reflect an attempt to circumvent the law. One can assume that many gays and lesbians have no interest in having a church ceremony and certainly non-Christians couldn’t care less. Gays and lesbians have waited for years so, hopefully, a few more months will be endurable.

Ex-Military Officers Warn-Watch Your Backside!

The fact someone has served in the military forces of this nation does not ensure they have ideas that must be accepted because of their service to the nation. More than 1,000 retired military officers, including several who held high positions in the armed forces, warned President Obama and Congress that it would be a disaster for the nation to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. A statement issued by these neanderthals said repeal of the “don’s ask, don’t tell,” policy would “have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.”

Let’s see, according to these individuals, parents “lend their sons and daughters to military service!” Really, I thought young men and women join the armed forces because they desire to serve and in many cases against the wishes of parents. This statement is ridiculous. Gays and Lesbians are serving in the military and there are no reports of straights heading straight out the barracks in search of a phone to call mom and dad about the horrors of being with gays and lesbians.

How about these retired people getting out of the sun.

Knights Out A Gay Army Group

A group of graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point came out in support of the right of gays, lesbians and transgender individuals who wish to continue serving their nation but are tired of being compelled to either remain silent or lie. Lt. Dan Choi,said “we’re publicly announcing our sexuality, our orientation. It’s just one part of wqho we are in saying that we are standing to be counted.” Thirty eight members of Knights Out are following the example of similar groups at the Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy who have announced their sexual orientation. Choi made clear his group was prepared to accept the consequence of their statements.

There is now a Service Academy Gay and Lesbian Alumni social network which is working to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which began under President Clinton. Most polls indicate the majority of Americans have swung over to supporting the right of gays and lesbians to serve in the military force. Isn’t it about time Congress and the President listened to the voice of the people?

Army Fires Gay Soldiers

Congressman Jim Moran charged that the Army discharged 11 soldiers in January who violated the military policy of that openly gay servicemen could not be members of the armed forces. They can remain if the keep secret the reality of who they really are. “How many good soldiers are we willing to lose due to a bad policy that makes us less safe and secure? asked the legislator. The Pentagon policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was instituted under President Clinton and remains in effect until members of the armed forces and the president can join the world of 2009. During the past ten years about 10,000 men and women who wanted to serve their nation were denied that opportunity because they were honest.

President Obama supposedly is consulting with military officials about changing the policy and allowing members of the military who are honest to serve and be gay. In virtually all other aspects of life, being gay or lesbian does not result in being fired. Why should the military be any different than the rest of American society?

British Gays Get Rights In Workplace

Discrimination against gay people in the British workplace will be subject to greater restrictions due to actions of the court. Llillian Ladele, the reigstrar who refused to conduct a same sex civil partnership “as a matter of religious conscience” lost her case against the local government and a worker who was called a “faggot” by colleagues won his case in court. The employment appeal tribunal said the Islington Council had every right to discipline Ms. ladele because her refusal to carry out responsibilities of her position was blatantly an act of discrimination. It also ruled an individual who was constantly insulted by fellow workers by expressions such as “faggot” was being forced to work in a hostile environment.

These decisions reflect a growing trend that rights of gays and lesbians will be protected in the British workplace.

US Military Officers-End Gay Ban Policy!

More than 100 retired generals and admirals appealed to the incoming Obama administration to end the infamous “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which prevents gays from openly serving in the armed forces. “As in the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly,” wrote the officers, “our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion and sexuality.” In a September interview, Obama made clear he opposed the current policy which bans gays, but wanted to ensure change came as a result of “working through a process, getting the Joint Chiefs of Staff clear in terms of what our priorities are going to be.”

Several officers urged Obama to avoid making the Clinton mistake of appearing to challenge military authority in pushing for an end to the gay ban. Fortunately, for Obama, life has changed and attitudes have changed over the past decade and most senior military commanders are ready to accept gays and lesbians in the ranks.

Australian Catholic Church Not Gay To Gays

Australia’s Archbishop John Bathersbury bluntly informed a church in St. Mary’s South Brisbane Parish it would be closed down if it didn’t cease being so friendly to gays and lesbian people. Bishop Power of Brisbane says, “at times there are a lot of people who can be disillusioned, and it is good if there is a place where they can feel at home.” Most who come to the parish have been excluded from their own churches. Bishop Power of Brisbane expressed a sympathetic view of the situation. “I would have a lot of sympathy for a parish which is reaching out to gay people.”

We are living in the 21st century and churches still are debating an issue which by the end of this century will be regarded as something that all people accept as natural.

Gays And Lesbians In Australia Gain Rights

Gays and Lesbians in Australia won a major victory when Victorian MPs voted to allow lesbians, single women and infertile couples greater access to fertility treatment as the lowerf house voted 47 to 34 for the proposal. Rainbow Families Council spokeswoman Felicity Marlowe said, “For families like mine that are same-sex parented families i would mean better legal certainty for our children… getter legal obligations for their non-birth parents and more rights bestowed upon them… What we’d really wanting to see is that people understand that the spirit of this Bill is that the rights and best interests of children are upheld and we believe that voting in favor of it in the upper house will ensure that our chidren are not second-class citizens.”

We live in the 21st century where for the first time those of gay or lesbian orientation will have the right to enjoy the rights of other citizens.