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Behind the Aegis

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Banning homosexuality fosters hate crime and homophobia, says UN report

Men suspected of same-sex relationships in countries that outlaw them are subjected to examinations which ‘amount to torture’

Criminalising homosexuality amounts to torture in many of the 76 countries where same-sex relationships are outlawed, a United Nations report has declared.


Prof Juan Mendez, the organisation’s special rapporteur on torture, has called for decriminalisation in his latest submission to the UN’s human rights council on the grounds that the bans – which sometimes carry the death penalty – legitimise homophobia and hate crimes.

In one of the strongest denunciations of laws that are enforced in many African, Asian and Middle Eastern states, Mendez, a former Argentinian political prisoner, urges governments to reconsider their statute books.


“A clear link exists between the criminalisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, police abuse, community and family violence and stigmatisation,” his report says.

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Seems like a "water is wet" type of story, the problem is it seems few are willing to speak up and condemn these things on a regular basis. We also see this is true in our own country (the US) especially when it comes to new laws regarding transgender rights, and even supposed liberals pitch a fit. We also see the continuing of attempts at laws to deny marriage equality, as well as the laws which currently exist in many states which actively and legally deny LGBT persons from employment and housing.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Feb 19, 2016, 01:40 AM (4 replies)

Survivors of 1980s AIDS crisis reveal what happened to them

From the role of lesbians to the vanishing of whole neighborhoods, real LGBTI people share their experiences

Survivors of the 1980s AIDS crisis have shared accounts of their experiences.

As the UK celebrates LGBT History Month, users of Reddit revealed what it was like to be living in what felt like a constant state of tragedy.

Real LGBTI people remember the confusion, the lack of information, the lack of support from the government because of the suffering from the virus known only at the time as GRID (gay-related immune deficiency).

‘I’m a 62-year-old gay man. I thankfully made it through the epidemic that started in the early 80s and went right through the mid-90’s. You ask what it was like? I don’t know if I can even begin to tell you how many ways AIDS has affected my life, even though I never caught the virus,’ one user said.

‘By the early 80s, I had what I would consider a really large circle of friends and acquaintances and once the epidemic really started to hit, it was not uncommon to find out three, four or more people you knew had died each month. We set up informal and formal support groups to look after our friends who took sick. Feeding them when they would eat. Changing them. Washing them. Acting as go-between with families who “were concerned” about their sons, nephews, brothers, etc., but wouldn’t lend a hand to help because AIDS was, you know, icky.

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Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 03:03 AM (13 replies)

Russia fines gay activist for giving advice to LGBTI teens on social media


Russia has fined a gay rights activist the maximum fine just for giving advice to LGBTI teens on social media.

Sergei Alekseenko, director of the LGBTI group Maximum, was found guilty of violating the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law in Murmansk, north-western Russia.

He was ordered to pay 100,000 rubles ($1,300, €1,200).

Alekseenko was found guilty of posting on Maximum’s web page that presented homosexuality in a positive light to children.

In one, he was trying to combat the myth that to be gay meant being evil, or wrong, or disgusting.

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Sergei Alekseenko
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 03:00 AM (0 replies)

The Architecture Genius: Frank Goldberg

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has a wonderful program on PBS (you can find past episodes on Hulu and YouTube) called "Finding Your Roots." It is a genealogical program that explores the family history of three individuals. This week's episode focused on "Visionaries". The are Richard Branson, of Virgin Enterprises, Maya Lin, creator of the Vietnam National Memorial, and Frank Goldberg, or as he is better known, Frank Gehry! The entire episode was interesting; it usually is. But what was interesting was the exploration of Gehry's Jewish past to the "Settlement of the Pale" and a cousin who survived three concentration camps! The DNA profile ( a feature of the program), showed he was 98% Ashkenazi Jew!

Here is a clip: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365656530/

And here is the profile: http://www.pbs.org/weta/finding-your-roots/profiles/frank-gehry/

I don't know when the actual program will be available on YouTube (usually takes a couple of days). But, if you have the PBS app or Hulu, you should be able to view it tomorrow!

"Finding Your Roots" has a past episode titled: Our People, Our Traditions, which explores the Jewish histories of Carole King, Tony Kushner, and Alan Dershowitz. There is a YouTube version, but it is $1.99. Check your PBS app!

As someone currently involved in tracking down Jewish ancestors, let me just say, it is not very easy if your parents, grandparents, or Great-grandparents were not from this country. Many records were destroyed in their native lands (for me Ukraine and Russia), or were lost to the Holocaust, but it is interesting when you stumble across the passenger list of a ship which brought your relatives to the US.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Feb 3, 2016, 01:54 AM (0 replies)
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