Jan. 15th, 2009 04:36 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (obama-lgbt)
Just read on MeFi about the "UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity", which states the following (bureaucratic bits removed):

1. We reaffirm the principle of universality of human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights whose 60th anniversary is celebrated this year, Article 1 of which proclaims that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights";
2. We reaffirm that everyone is entitled to the enjoyment of human rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status..;
3. We reaffirm the principle of non-discrimination which requires that human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity;
4. We are deeply concerned by violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on sexual orientation or gender identity;
5. We are also disturbed that violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatisation and prejudice are directed against persons in all countries in the world because of sexual orientation or gender identity, and that these practices undermine the integrity and dignity of those subjected to these abuses;
6. We condemn the human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity wherever they occur, in particular the use of the death penalty on this ground, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest or detention and deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health;
10. We call upon all States and relevant international human rights mechanisms to commit to promote and protect human rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity;
11. We urge States to take all the necessary measures, in particular legislative or administrative, to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention.
12. We urge States to ensure that human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are investigated and perpetrators held accountable and brought to justice;
13. We urge States to ensure adequate protection of human rights defenders, and remove obstacles which prevent them from carrying out their work on issues of human rights and sexual orientation and gender identity.


Yes, the one I live in.


66 countries did sign it, including 6 nations in Africa, several in South and Central America, and most of Europe.
Japan signed it.

57 members of the Islamic Conference issued a joint statement opposing it. The representative of the Vatican made a statement opposing it too, of course.

Other countries that failed to support it include China and Russia. Woohoo! Great company there.

I don't think I'd heard about this before, but I was probably paying more attention to the election at the time.

Closer to home, I hope "don't ask, don't tell" really is going out the window as promised soon. I'm just afraid the economic problems are going to derail social progress for a while, but who knows, maybe things can be combined somehow.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (murata-ono no komachi-me)
It looks like they've really called Proposition 8 as a pass.

Although I was telling C. to be quiet during Obama's speech last night, it was hard not to be thinking the same things in my heart that he was muttering aloud.

I do question the power of our democracy.

I do wonder what message California has sent to the world.

Democracy? Rather, the tyranny of the majority.

Liberty? Well, don't start me.

Opportunity? For whom?

Unyielding hope? My hope has yielded pretty thoroughly to the armies of fear and hatred cloaked in the guise of Christianity.

When your opposition will stop at nothing, when they will outright lie about everything, when they don't care how much money they spend in order to impose their theocracy on you, it's very hard to fight back.

To the so-called Christians who are currently glorying in their successful effort to destroy the official standing of married couples and families, I hope you someday feel the same kind of pain that you've just caused. (And I hope you realize that those couples will still be couples and those families will be still be families--you can't change that no matter how many lies you spread.)

To the Unitarians, Quakers, Episcopalians, and other religious groups who fought this tooth and nail, (and to the small handful of Catholic and other religious officials who spoke out against their own churches), thank you. Overall, religion was a major force for evil in this mess, but the exceptions should be noted. I feel a strong urge to say that if you are a member of a religion that is behind the initiatives against same-sex marriage in various states and you are not speaking out against it in your church, though, I am really, really not happy with you right now. It's probably unfair of me to feel that way, but I do. You know, it's not hard to find a church that does almost entirely good things (e.g., Unitarians, Quakers, etc.) instead of some good things and some bad things (e.g., LDS, Catholics, etc.). I just don't understand ... but it's probably impossible for me to understand, so I should give up trying to before I lose more friends than I probably just did. I'm sorry. I'm just so angry and so hurt right now.

(The official line from the No on 8 campaign is to wait until the official count is totally completed, but I don't think things are going to change at this point. I'll be waiting for the next step and I'll try to do more this time, somehow. More thoughts later. Sorry, I'm sure you were looking forward to my shutting up about this.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Let's Tap for Wii looks kind of cool! I don't know why they're featuring the least visually interesting of the games, but whatever. There's a video at the link--give it a look. I do think the Wi can open up new ways of gaming. Gimmick, schmimmick. And gamers who are turned off by the fact that a game console and some of its games are advertised occasionally with children can pretty much bite me. Games don't have to be dark and edgy to be fun.

Ahem. Sorry, where'd that soapbox come from?

([ profile] wiifanboy is a good account to friend on LJ or add to your RSS reader if you want news on Wii games and stuff.) is out of beta and will now track your investments, 401(k)s, IRAs, etc. It'll even chart your investments against the S&P 500.

I almost wish there were a social aspect to Mint so you could see what your friends are doing. I know this is a HUGE taboo in American culture--god forbid you know about the state of your friends' finances--but I can't help but think that's part of why we tend to make such bad decisions. We don't have real people-like-us financial models other than our parents, who are obviously at different life stages and started working/investing in a different economy. So they're not even very good models, but they're often the only ones we have.

Stéphane Dion's accent is a little hard for me to understand, but I know the whole French-English thing is a complex sociolinguistic issue in Canada, so I'm not even going to speculate about whether it's a problem. But I hear that Harper kind of sucks, so ... good luck, Canada! I'd try to make more sense of it but I'm having enough trouble making sense of California's politics at the moment--there's a nation-worth of doublespeak right there.

Speaking of France, for those of you who went there recently, you can refresh your memory with Google Street View for France now.

Donations to No on Proposition 8 are being matched if you donate today--double your money!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Printable No on Proposition 8 information in a few different languages:
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (secularism-octopus-me)
[ profile] joedecker linked to this article claiming that the California Catholic Conference had also endorsed Proposition 8 (along with the LDS church), and that the CCC had declared "only a relationship that can produce children should be called marriage." I really wanted to find the CCC's exact wording, but I haven't yet been able to find anything along those lines. I found "Although cultural differences have occurred, what has never changed is that marriage is the ideal relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and the continuation of the human race." (This is not true, as any student of history knows.) There's also this statement: "When men and women consummate their marriage they offer themselves to God as co-creators of a new human being. Any other pairing -- while possibly offering security and companionship to the individuals involved -- is not marriage." That's a bit obnoxious to say the least, but I can't find anything quite as direct as what the Chronicle is referencing.

I hope California Catholics and Mormons will continue to think for themselves, and consider whether they really want to attempt to break up other people's marriages, and whether allowing other people to marry really affects their own marriages or the practices of their churches.

If you live in California and can vote here and haven't registered to vote, please do so now. Based on my experience working at the polls, Bay Area voters tend to find that their registrations have been lost. You need to register ASAP so that you can confirm your registration well before the election. Remember, if you register as an absentee voter, you don't even have to go to the polls! Your ballot will be mailed to you and you can mail it in to vote without even leaving your house. Easy! It's really important to do this, because there are a lot of very fired-up culturally conservative groups who will be going all out to ensure that Proposition 8 passes.

Proposition 8 will deny the court-ruled constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry in California. It may or may not legally destroy the marriages of my friends and others who got married after the ruling was made. If you are inclined to vote for Proposition 8, and you are comfortable with the notion that you may actually be officially and legally destroying existing marriages--not notionally or metaphorically as the religious conservatives claim same-sex marriage will--then I can see no reason why we should be friends. It's a slap in my face and a full assault on my friends. (I don't think anyone my f'list is going to vote for Proposition 8, but just to be clear ...)

(P. S. Once again, please DO NOT comment with Catholic- or Mormon-bashing comments. I have both Catholic and Mormon friends, and while I obviously disagree with them on whether membership in these groups is a good thing, I respect the fact that they frequently disagree with their leaderships, can think for themselves, and will make their own decisions on these issues. Nasty statements about them will be deleted.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
So the current head of the LDS church has directed the membership to give time and money to support the anti-marriage proposition that Californians will be voting on in November.

Personally, I think this is an excellent time for the countless people who officially joined the church as children (don't get me started) but who no longer consider themselves Mormons to do the right thing and get themselves off of those membership rolls. Here are instructions on how to have your name removed from LDS church records. Feel free to pass that on, because if former members/child members never did anything to get themselves removed from the lists, they're still on there.

I've been meaning to do it for years, since I haven't had any interest in following any religion-specific beliefs for, oh, 15 year or so. But now it's important that they can't count me in their numbers. So I'll be hooking up my computer to the printer and finally getting this done this week, I hope.

(I know there are a couple of active LDS members on my f'list, and I know that everyone's dealing with this in their own ways, and I hope my feelings about this don't bother you. And to be fair, I've read several articles saying that many active church members are unhappy with the church's interaction with politics in this way and/or specifically with the church's stance on marriage rights in particular and GLBT issues in general.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kogura_shinobu-EH?!-me)
You offend God not only by stealing, taking the Lord's name in vain or coveting your neighbor's wife, but also by wrecking the environment, carrying out morally debatable experiments that manipulate DNA or harm embryos," said [Bishop Gianfranco] Girotti, who is responsible for the body that oversees confessions.

The seven social sins are:

1. "Bioethical" violations such as birth control

2. "Morally dubious" experiments such as stem cell research

3. Drug abuse

4. Polluting the environment

5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor

6. Excessive wealth

7. Creating poverty


Excuse me, but lack of birth control contributes directly to #5 and #7. Give me a break. And don't get me started on #2. Or #6.

Also: Morally debatable? So if not everyone agrees on something, nobody can do it? Er, let me introduce the Vatican to the first original deadly sin, because I believe they're rolling in it.

It is nice, though, that the Vatican and the Southern Baptist Convention are moving to support the fight against global warming. In terms of human rights issues, though, I say there's a lot to be desired.

(I know there are multiple Catholics on my f'list, including some very dear friends, but I imagine that at least some of you had a similar reaction to mine. My problem is with the policy-makers of the Church, though, not its membership--and more importantly, with the effect that these policies have in the world. I think I got in trouble last time I talked about this stuff, though. Maybe we could all agree to replace some of these with things like "Abusing the poke feature on Facebook" and "Talking loudly in movie theaters" and "Forgetting to put yourself on Away in IM," the latter of which I'd owe several penances for.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kasai-gender-me)

[ profile] pegkerr mentioned "an upcoming vote in the House this week on ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 2015), would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee based on his sexual orientation or 'gender identity.'" You can read about it at Wikipedia. California already has such a law, and I am sure that my representative will support this one (because Pete Stark is awesome), but you may want to contact yours.

This ENDA is different from others because it includes some degree of protection for transgendered people:

Section 3 (a) (6) GENDER IDENTITY- The term 'gender identity' means the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth.

Section 8(a)(3) CERTAIN SHARED FACILITIES- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to establish an unlawful employment practice based on actual or perceived gender identity due to the denial of access to shared shower or dressing facilities in which being seen fully unclothed is unavoidable, provided that the employer provides reasonable access to adequate facilities that are not inconsistent with the employee's gender identity as established with the employer at the time of employment or upon notification to the employer that the employee has undergone or is undergoing gender transition, whichever is later.

Section 8(a)(4) DRESS AND GROOMING STANDARDS- Nothing in this Act shall prohibit an employer from requiring an employee, during the employee's hours at work, to adhere to reasonable dress or grooming standards not prohibited by other provisions of Federal, State, or local law, provided that the employer permits any employee who has undergone gender transition prior to the time of employment, and any employee who has notified the employer that the employee has undergone or is undergoing gender transition after the time of employment, to adhere to the same dress or grooming standards for the gender to which the employee has transitioned or is transitioning.

For more information on transgender issues in the workplace, check out Dr. Jillian Todd Weiss' blog, Transgender Workplace Diversity.

P. S. If you think this issue doesn't affect anyone you know, you're probably wrong. *g*
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kogura_shinobu-EH?!-me)


I'm giving you the local CBS station's page for the story because CNN would rather inform you that Paris Hilton's parents approved of her sex video rather than tell you that Mexico City approves of same-sex civil unions.

Bread and circuses. Heavy on the circuses.

In other news, Tennessee citizenry found to be 80% bigots. Okay, less than that, since lots of people didn't vote, but "apathetic" isn't a huge improvement over "bigoted," really.

(P. S. ¡Para la Ciudad de México, muchas gracias por tu compasión! ¡Felicitaciones!)

(No, I don't speak Spanish, as you can tell :p)


wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)

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