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-Cara

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Let’s start this entry off with the basics, May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia. Why May 17th, because on May 17th, 1990, homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO). Who is WHO, they are the “directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends”.

Some people might be wondering what is the difference between Gay Pride Day and the International Day Against Homophobia. Pride is about people’s pride in their sexuality and celebrating it. The International Day Against Homophobia is about letting society, governments, countries and the world know that homophobia is unacceptable and it will no longer be tolerated.

Here are some things to help bring the point home that homophobia still exists, not only on an individual level, but on a global level as well.

This is a photo of the public hanging of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, two Iranian teenage gay lovers, legally murdered on July 19, 2005, because they were gay. This is real.

Next, I will review the anti-homosexual laws globally.

Let’s start with Africa

Algeria – Fine and up to 3 years in prison
Angola – Labor camps
Benin – Up to 3 years
Botswana – Fine and up to 7 years
Cameroon – Fine and up to 5 years
Comoros – Fine and up to 5 years
Djibouti- 10 to 12 years
Eritrea – 3 to 10 years
Ethiopia – 10 days to 3 years
Gambia – Fine and up to 14 years
Ghana – Fine
Guinea – 6 months to 3 years
Guinea Bissau – Labor camps
Kenya [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Lesotho – Up to 7 years
Liberia – Fine
Libya – Fine up to 5 years
Malawi – Up to 14 years[can be expelled as undesirable aliens as well]
Mauritania – Up to three years and a fine of one million francs for sexual acts with a person of the same sex under the age of 21. [Some sources say that the death penalty applies if sodomy is committed. I could not confirm.]
Morocco – 6 months up to 3 years
Mozambique – Labor camps
Nigeria – 5 to 14 years [in northern states under Muslim law the punishment can be death]
São Tomé and Príncipe – Labor camps
Senegal – 1 to 5 years and a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs
Seychelles – Fine and up to 2 years
Sierra LeoneLife
Somalia – For sexual intercourse 3 months up to 3 years, an act of lust different from sexual intercourse from 2 months to 2 years, areas under Sharia have instituted death for men and women.
Sudan – 5 years to 100 lashes/Death for sodomy [Between September 1983 and April 1985 hundreds of men and women were lashed for “intended” unlawful heterosexual intercourse, but none, as far as is known, for sodomy.]
Swaziland [Male only] – Fine US $90 – Prison
Tanzania – Fine and up to 25 years [In Zanzibar male homosexual acts are punished with up to 25 years imprisonment or fine. Lesbian acts are punished with up 7 years imprisonment or fine.]
Togo – Fine and up to 3 years
Tunisia – Fine and up to 3 years
Uganda [Male only] Fine and up to Life [The first country in the world to have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (since 2004)]
Zambia [Male only] Fine and up to 14 years
Zimbabwe [Male only] – Fine and up to 1 year

Next Let’s hit up Asia:

Bahrain [Male only] Fine and up to 10 years
Bangladesh – Life in prison/death
Bhutan – 1 month up to 1 year
Brunei – Fine and up to 10 years
India – Fine and up to 10 years
Iran [Male only] Prison/Lashings/Death [Sex change operations have been given official government support as means to cure a gender identity disease.]
Malaysia – Fine and up to 20 years
Maldives [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Myanmar/Burma – 10 years up to Life
Oman – Fine and up to 3 years
Pakistan – 2 years to Life
Palestinian Authority (Gaza) [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Qatar – Fine and up to 5 years
Saudi Arabia – Death [Jail time, fines or whipping may be used in lieu of the death penalty.]
Singapore – 2 years
Sri Lanka – Fine and up to 10 years
Syria – Fine
Turkmenistan [Male only] Fine and up to 2 years
United Arab Emirates – Death
Uzbekistan [Male only] Fine and up to 3 years
Yemen – Flogging up to Death

Europe is Next on the List

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [Male only and not recognized internationally] – Fine and 10 to 14 years

Next North America

Antigua and Barbuda – Up to 15 years
Barbados Life
Belize – Up to 10 years
Dominica – Up to 10 years
Grenada [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Saint Kitts and Nevis [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Saint Lucia [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Fine and up to 10 years
Trinidad and Tobago – Up to 25 years

Oceania is Next on the List

Cook Islands [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Kiribati [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Nauru [Male only] – Up to 14 years hard labor
Niue [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Palau [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Papua New Guinea [Male only] – Fine and up to14 years
Samoa – Fine and up to 7 years
Solomon Islands – Fine and up to 14 years
Tokelau [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Tonga [Male only] – I could not find the sentence
Tuvalu [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years

And Last but of Course not Least is South America

Guyana [Male only] – Life

[Sources: Wikipedia, Behind the Mask, and On Lesotho]

While I was doing all this research I noticed a lot of, “but these laws are rarely enforced in some cases” going around, like that makes it alright somehow. That is a flawed way to think, the point is they can be implemented at any time and it gives the impression to the citizens of these countries that homosexuals are less than and that is unequivocally unacceptable and untrue.

As Carl Schurz once said, “From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor’s rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.”

We must evolve together not individually.

-Cara


Reason 82 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

When meat, fish, or poultry is barbecued, dripped fat over the open flame sends up plumes of carcinogenic smoke, coating the food. Other unhealthful chemicals are created just by extended cooking times. Chemists are telling meat eaters today to keep those grill times down. Even environmentalists are saying that restaurant grilling is an important source of soot and smog. But you still need to cook your meat thoroughly: How else are you going to kill all of those nasty bacteria?

As of April 2, 2008, all 50 states have either applied for extensions of the original May 11, 2008 compliance deadline or received unsolicited extensions, meaning that the REAL ID Act will not become an issue at federal facilities and airports until December 31, 2009…

What am I talking about? Did you know about this? May 11th of next month? I looked into this craziness, and according to good old Wiki, by the people for the people, ;) ,

The REAL ID Act of 2005 is U.S. federal law which imposes certain security, authentication and issuance procedures standards for the state driver’s licenses and state ID cards, in order for them to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes”, as defined by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Currently, the Secretary of Homeland Security has defined “official purposes” as presenting state driver’s licenses and id cards for boarding commercially operated airline flights, entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants. The Act is Division B of an act of the United States Congress titled Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005.

The Real ID Act implements the following:

  • Establishing new national standards for state-issued driver licenses and non-driver identification cards;
  • Waiving laws that interfere with construction of physical barriers at the borders;
  • Updating and tightening the laws on application for asylum and deportation of aliens for terrorist activity;
  • Introducing rules covering “delivery bonds” (rather like bail bonds but for aliens who have been released pending hearings);
  • Funding some reports and pilot projects related to border security; and
  • Changing visa limits for temporary workers, nurses, and Australian citizens.

In the left hand corner ladies and gentleman we have, Real Nightmare Dot Org and in the right hand corner we have Homeland Security. Let the fight begin…

According to Real Nightmare Dot Org

The Real ID Act is a law signed by President Bush in May 2005, which, if it is accepted by and carried out by the states, would turn state driver’s licenses into a genuine national identity card and impose numerous new burdens on taxpayers, citizens, immigrants, and state governments.

Real ID would force the states to standardize driver’s licenses cards across the nation into a single national identity card and database. It does this by stipulating that state driver’s licenses and state ID cards will not be accepted for “federal purposes” – including boarding an aircraft or entering a federal facility – unless they meet all of the law’s numerous conditions, which include:

  • Standardized data elements and security features on the IDs
  • A “machine readable zone” that will allow for the easy capture of all the data on the ID by stores or anyone else with a reader
  • The construction of a 50-state, interlinked database making all the information in each person’s file available to all the other states and to the federal government

A requirement that states verify the “issuance, validity and completeness” of every document presented at motor vehicles agencies (usually called “DMVs”) as part of an application for a Real ID card.

Simply put, Real ID would offer significant costs and disadvantages without any corresponding advantages:

  • By definitively turning driver’s licenses into a form of national identity documents, Real ID would have a tremendously destructive impact on privacy.
  • The Act would impose significant administrative burdens and expenses on state governments, and would mean higher fees, longer lines, repeat visits to the DMV, and bureaucratic nightmares for individuals.
  • Yet, it would not be effective at increasing security against terrorism or bring any other benefits which would justify those costs.

For more FAQs go to http://www.realnightmare.org/about/2/.

Then according to The Department of Homeland Security,

REAL ID is a nationwide effort intended to prevent terrorism, reduce fraud, and improve the reliability and accuracy of identification documents that State governments issue.

The REAL ID Act requires that a REAL ID driver’s license be used for “official purposes,” as defined by DHS. In the proposed rule, DHS is proposing to limit the official purposes of a REAL ID license to those listed by Congress in the law: accessing a Federal facility; boarding Federally-regulated commercial aircraft; and entering nuclear power plants. DHS may consider expanding these official purposes through future rulemakings to maximize the security benefits of REAL ID.

Continuing to protect the privacy of license holders was a key consideration for DHS in the development of this NPRM [A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is filed with the Secretary of State when DHS proposes to adopt, amend or repeal a rule. ], which contains a detailed analysis of the three key privacy issues posed by the Act: (1) the connectivity of the databases; (2) the protection of the personal information stored in the State databases; and (3) the protection of the personal information stored on machine readable technology on the DL/IDs. We invite comments on whether the steps outlined within the NPRM are appropriate and adequate.

I am sure they do…for more of DHS take on the REAL ID go here and for those who are truly brave and want to know it all, Minimum Standards for Drivers Licenses and Identification Cards Acceptable by Federal Agencies for Official Purposes: Final Rule.

I’ll keep my opinion to myself on this one and just leave you with this…

;)

-Cara

——————————-

If you like the idea of being welcome at the places where your food is produced, don’t count on your not-so-local poultry grower allowing you, the consumer, to view his massive sheds of monocultured birds any time soon. Without natural immunities that could otherwise be acquired by outdoor life, his flocks need to be protected from the slightest infection. When operators are even slightly lax in applying rigorous measures of “biosecurity,” a case of the sniffles in one bird can escalate to a mass outbreak, forcing a giant cull involving millions of birds.

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