Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter January, 2010

Will’s father commented about how difficult school is for queer students. “Most parents worry about if they make a grade, make a team, or do things like that. When we sent Willi to school, we worried that it would be the last time we would see him.” Stated in interview in the documentary movie Anti-Gay Hate Crime: A & E Investigative Reports. Available from Amazon.Com and Amazon.Ca.
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There are times when major life events force us to stop our daily activities, to review our lives, and to see things from a very different perspective. Those events can include car accidents, fires, floods, the loss of loved ones. For many people around the world, the earthquake in Haiti was such an event. The staggering loss of property and life caused us to rethink our priorities, and to take time to honor those who lost their lives.

This month, the earthquake in Haiti is on the minds of the entire world. This disaster has been one of the worst world disasters in recent history. The impact of the earthquake is being felt around the world. Citizens of many countries were vacationing or residing in Haiti when the earthquake struck. At Stop Hate 2000, our hearts are with the people impacted by the earthquake - the survivors, the relatives and loved ones of those who were injured or died, those who lost homes or businesses, and all of the relief workers.

Numerous humanitarian groups are assisting with the relief efforts. Donations to assist Haiti can be made through a wide variety of sources. A person can donate online to the organizations listed below.

.Unitarian Universalist Service Committee - United States, Canada

Some people feel gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified people are all about sex. All they talk about is sex, and all they want is sexual freedom. That stereotype is false. There are many queer people who are involved in humanitarian work. An article on news system tells of a gay cruise ship that is helping deliver needed supplies for Haiti. The Edge news system carries an article about the relief work the GLBT group, the Rainbow World Fund is doing in Haiti.

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Concerns over how prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, and other prisons for suspected terrorists, continue. The National Public Radio web site has an article about the suicides of three people detained in the Guantanamo Bay facility. According to the article, sources believe the three people who committed suicide were moved from the main prison to an undisclosed location just hours before their suicides. The reports are of concern, and help illustrate the need to be vigilant when protecting human rights, even in countries where human rights are generally well respected.

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Human rights generally tend to be fragile. Internationally, gay rights tend to be very fragile. Some countries are generally quite supportive of sexual minority groups, while other countries engage in state-sanctioned acts of prejudice and homophobia. Reports of gay rights outside of North America continue to contain reasons for concern.

Prisons have long been dangerous places for sexual minorities. Homophobia and transphobia can make prison life very difficult for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified individuals. An editorial on the Bilerico web site discusses a development in Italy, where it appears there are plans to make a prison for only trans-identified people. This prison could help protect sexual minorities from phobic prison violence, and might be a step in the right direction in the penal system. The editorial, “Italy’s All-Trangender Prison: That’s Amore?”, is worth reading.

The Chinese police shut down attempts to choose a Chinese representative for the Mr. Gay Pageant. Because the event was closed, an Associated Press article on the Edge news network informs us that China will not be sending a delegate to the Mr. Gay Pageant.

Last month, we reported about the developing situation in Uganda. Unfortunately, this story is one that seems to be refusing to go away. The Daily Monitor, a Ugandan news source, gives us the sense that the author of the anti-homosexual bill, David Bahati fears for his own safety. According to the article, a cousin disappeared, and he has received what could be considered to be death threats. Political pressure tactics that include making real or implied threats against people’s lives are counterproductive and wrong.

An interesting news item in states the brains behind the Ugandan bill, David Bahati, is wanting to come to the United States to attend a prayer breakfast organized by the Fellowship Foundation, a conservative religious group. A Daily Monitor article provides additional details. According to the Daily Monitor article, the prayer breakfast is in Washington, D.C., and that the organization has “several high-ranking” politicians as members. The article indicates Bahati may speak at the event, and President Obama might attend the prayer breakfast.

In the opinion of this contributor, David Bahati, the author of Uganda’s anti-homosexual legislation is a man who has murderous level of hatred of gay people. American political or religious figures who share this man’s company at a prayer breakfast are going to come away looking very bad. In fact, political figures attending a breakfast event with a homophobe of such international notoriety as David Bahati are risking their reputations and political futures. Trying to convince moderate conservatives to support a person who has been linked with Bahati could be very difficult. American Christian groups that would allow a person like Bahati to speak run the risk of being tarred with the same brush as Bahati. Even some rather outspoken homophobic American religious figures are reluctant to be associated in any way with this Ugandan political figure. Perhaps, that is the reason why an article on the Advocate web site indicates Bahati’s will not be allowed to attend the breakfast. According to the Advocate article, Bahati was invited to the breakfast before he introduced this genocidal bill.

Anybody with news about hate crimes or discrimination is welcome to email us.

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