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Archive for the ‘LGBT’ Category

Things are hopping in Iran:

Funeral for Iranian Cleric Turns Into a Vast Protest

By ROBERT F. WORTH and NAZILA FATHI

Published: December 21, 2009

[BEIRUT, Lebanon — The funeral of a prominent dissident cleric in the holy Iranian city of Qum turned into a huge and furious antigovernment rally on Monday, raising the possibility that the cleric’s death could serve as a catalyst for an opposition movement that has been locked in a stalemate with the authorities…]

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/world/middleeast/22cleric.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

In California we are playing these games as we work to unscramble the mess of Prop 8. Human rights are possible to achieve, as this article indicates! In addition to Mexico City, this article says Uruguay has managed to legalize same sex marriage for the whole country.

Mexico City Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: December 21, 2009

Filed at 5:50 p.m. ET

[MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City lawmakers on Monday made the city the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, a change that will give homosexual couples more rights, including allowing them to adopt children….]

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/12/21/world/AP-LT-Mexico-GayMarriag.html?ref=global-home

Ahh, the new pragmatism, even the birthers are screaming:

King: Nelson sold out anti-abortion movement

By JASON HANCOCK 12/21/09 8:35 AM

[Two days after praising U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., to Des Moines Register columnist Kathie Obradovich, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, released a statement attacking the lawmaker for an abortion compromise in health care reform.

In order to garner Nelson’s support, Senate Democratic leaders included a provision in their version of health care reform that would allow states to ban abortion coverage for women receiving federal subsidies on proposed government-organized private insurance marketplaces, dubbed exchanges….]

http://iowaindependent.com/24126/king-nelson-sold-out-anti-abortion-movement?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IowaIndependent+%28Iowa+Independent%29

This is article is an example of one of the darker and more serious sides of the education of young people. Don’t let this happen to your school board.

Revisionist History Dept

McCarthy 101.

DAVE MANN | DECEMBER 11, 2009 | POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE

[It takes serious revisionist thinking to believe that history has “vindicated” Joseph McCarthy, but that’s what some members of the State Board of Education contend. If they get their way, that’s how Texas schools will portray the late red-baiting U.S. Senator in social studies classes….]

http://www.texasobserver.org/pi/revisionist-history-dept

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What she said HERE.

Amnesty International is calling this an important speech.

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Not only that, of the seven races, two other women have won, and a third looks likely. See the Houston Chronicle HERE.

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Today’s installment of the continuing saga of H.R. 3950.

We left off on the 8th with the tabling of the Nelson amendment. In fact,  three additional events occurred on the 8th. The first two items were introduced to the floor but have not been acted upon. They are: The Dorgan modified amendment and a motion by Senator Crapo to commit the bill to the Committee on Finance. The third item was acted upon, and a unanimous agreement was reached to devote a specified time to debate.

(As it reads below, the “Pending” Reid amendment refers to the approved amendment, which ordered  H.R. 3950 to lie on the table and changed it from the home ownership bill to the health reform bill. It is now the bill around which all action is occurring.)

On December 8th the Daily Digest reported the following:

Pending:

Reid Amendment No. 2786, in the nature of a substitute.

Page S12648

Dorgan Modified Amendment No. 2793 (to Amendment No. 2786), to provide for the importation of prescription drugs.

Pages S12685-88

Crapo motion to commit the bill to the Committee on Finance, with instructions.

Page S12685

A unanimous-consent-time agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the bill at approximately 9:30 a.m., on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, and that following any remarks of the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Finance, or their designees, for up to 10 minutes each, the next two hours be for debate only, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees, with Senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each; the Republicans controlling the first 30 minutes, and the Majority controlling the second 30 minutes; with the remaining time equally divided and used in alternating fashion; provided further, that no amendments are in order during this time.

Page S12742

Measures Considered:

Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act–Agreement: Senate continued consideration of H.R. 3590, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the first-time homebuyers credit in the case of members of the Armed Forces and certain other Federal employees, taking action on the following amendments proposed thereto:

Pages S12745-99

On December 9th the Daily Digest reported the following:

Pending:

Reid Amendment No. 2786, in the nature of a substitute.

Page S12745

Dorgan Modified Amendment No. 2793 (to Amendment No. 2786), to provide for the importation of prescription drugs.

Pages S12745, S12753-99

Crapo motion to commit the bill to the Committee on Finance, with instructions.

Page S12745

A unanimous-consent-time agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the bill at approximately 10 a.m., on Thursday, December 10, 2009, that following Leader remarks the time until 1 p.m., be for debate only and equally divided, with the time until 11 a.m. controlled between the two Leaders, or their designees; with the remaining time until 1 p.m. controlled in alternating 30-minute blocks of time with the Majority controlling the first block and the Republicans controlling the next block.

Page S12833

As you may have figured out these two days look pretty much identical, except the page numbers are different. That’s where all the rhetoric in the Senate Chamber is occurring. The Daily Digest is recording them. It truly is remarkable that so many mostly men can spend so much time exhorting, day in and day out.

If you want to see what they are saying go HERE.

Look to the right under Floor Schedule and click on the link that says Daily Digest. Scroll down to the part that says:

[Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act–Agreement:  Senate continued consideration of H.R. 3590, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the first-time homebuyers credit in the case of members of the Armed Forces and certain other Federal employees, taking action on the following amendments proposed thereto:

Pages S12745-99]

Click on “Pages s12745-99”.

That takes you to:

Pages S12745-S12799

1 . HEALTH CARE: IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESS — (Senate – December 09, 2009)

2 . RESERVATION OF LEADER TIME — (Senate – December 09, 2009)

3 . SERVICE MEMBERS HOME OWNERSHIP TAX ACT OF 2009 — (Senate – December 09, 2009)

4 . RECESS — (Senate – December 09, 2009)

5 . SERVICEMEMBERS HOME OWNERSHIP TAX ACT OF 2009–Continued — (Senate – December 09, 2009)

6 . MORNING BUSINESS — (Senate – December 09, 2009)

7 . CLIMATE CHANGE — (Senate – December 09, 2009)

#1, 3 and 5 are the debate indexes. Check them out. For example Senator Graham is on page s12791, and talks about Obama’s mandate to have the debate on C-Span for transparency. He does some finger pointing at Senator Reid’s announcement that Democrats have been working off camera to reach the “broad Consensus” reported yesterday in the media.

Senator McConnell, earlier in the day on page s12744, essentially threatens the Democrats with the recent election in New Jersey:

There is a new development. Just yesterday–just yesterday in my home State–there was a special election for the State senate. Why would that be worthy of commentary on the Senate floor? Let me describe the situation. It is a 3-to-1 Democratic district. Because of State issues, the Democratic State administration was intensely interested in winning that seat. They spent $1 million cumulatively–the candidate, the Democratic State party, and an outside interest group–in support of the Democrat–$1 million on one side of a State senate race in a rural area of my State.

On the other side was a Republican candidate, who was outspent 5 to 1–outspent 5 to 1 in a 3-to-1 Democratic district. The Republican candidate for the State senate won by 12 points. How did that happen? He had one message–one message: oppose the Reid bill, oppose what PELOSI is doing, oppose what the Democrats in Washington are doing.

And on it goes. By the way, the number of proposed amendments to this bill now submitted for review is up to THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEVEN!!!

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Embrace Diversity, End Discrimination

The focus of this year’s Human Rights Day, 10 December, is Non-discrimination.

Today a special event was to be held, at 1:15 EST in the Trustee Council Chamber, at UN Headquarters, in New York, in recognition of Human Rights Day. It is to include a panel discussion on race, poverty and power, in relationship to development. It will be opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who synopsized this year’s focus recently as:

“Discrimination targets individuals and groups that are vulnerable to attack: the disabled, women and girls, the poor, migrants, minorities, and all those who are perceived as different.

… But these victims of discrimination are not alone. The United Nations is standing with them, committed to defending the rights of all, and particularly the most vulnerable.  That is our identity and our mission.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Often repeated, Hillary Rodham Clinton, then First Lady said in 1995; Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights, once and for all”. It bears repeating until reality matches truth. At the US State Dept. Dr. Esther Brimmer took note of the fact that the US has finally joined the Human rights Council in her speech HERE.

“Commit, Act and Demand: You Can End Violence against Women”

The Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers (CWGL) will cosponsor with MADRE, a discussion tonight at 7:00 PM EST. entitled “Sex Workers Rights are Human Rights”. For more information contact; www.madre.org.

The 16 days campaign sponsored by CWGL, has highlighted 16 global partners that represent commitment and dedication in the struggle to end violence against women. They have description links to all the highlighted partners HERE.

Seven were also noted in an earlier Grab and Keel post HERE.

Directorate of Gender Affairs – ANTIGUA and BARBUDA

On November 25 the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honourable W. Baldwin Spencer, made note of their efforts to eliminate violence to women in his speech HERE.

In part, he said that the Dr. The Honourable Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, who is The Minister of Education, Sports, Youth and Gender Affairs, is guiding activities for the 16 days which are “aimed at mobilizing all well-thinking persons to play our part in bringing an end to violence against women”.

One example of these island activities was the march dedicated to increasing awareness and accountability among men, held on November 25th.

The Women’s Council for Domestic & Family Violence Services (WCDFVS or (WA) – AUSTRALIA

The Women’s Council states that it: [..was established in 1977 and now represents 54 Women’s Refuges and domestic and family violence services in Western Australia….]

They set forth their Strategic Plan 2008 – 2011

The key objectives of the WCDFVS Strategic Plan 2008 – 2011 are to:

Strengthen our unified voice on domestic and family violence issues;

Maintain the WCDFVS as an independent, viable and credible organization;

Improve the access of women and children to Women’s Refuges, Safe Houses and services which seek to deal with the effects of domestic and family violence;

Provide leadership in the area of domestic and family violence issues to key stakeholders and the community;

Increase the community awareness of the incidence, effects and responses to domestic and family violence;

Collaborate with key stakeholders in the development of policies, legislation and programs which impact on women and children experiencing domestic and family violence; and

Ensure access and equity for all members in rural and remote locations.

United Women Banja Luka – BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA

United Women, based in Banja Luka, says it best themselves:

by Aleksandra Petric

[When United Women Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina started activities in 1996, the issue of violence against women was largely ignored by official authorities at all levels. Rape in a marriage was not recognized as criminal act. There were no legislative and public policy documents in BiH that would protect women from violence at home and in public sphere. We opened Center for Legal and Psychosocial Assistance for Women and the first SOS Telephone for Women and Girls Victims of Violence in our region…]

Women’s Action for Change (WAC) – FIJI

WAC’s partner IWDA, stated in May 2009: […The abrogation of Fiji’s Constitution and Declaration of Emergency will directly impact the economic, social and political environment for all people living in Fiji, extending the underlying uncertainty, division and fear that are legacies of four coups in 20 years. …]

In September of this year, Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations over Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s refusal to hold elections by 21010.

Despite the State’s difficulties, WAC just sent a message to Copenhagen 15, asking for commitments to reduce Carbon dioxide emissions to 350 ppm. They are concerned that small island states will be unable to survive global warming. WAC is fighting for family, the future and their children’s future.

Women Won’t Wait – INTERNATIONAL

In their bio, they say:

[Women Won’t Wait” is an international coalition of organizations and networks working to promote women’s health and human rights in the struggle to address HIV and AIDS and end all forms of violence against women and girls.

“Women Won’t Wait” seeks to speed up effective responses to the linkages of violence against all women and girls and the spread of HIV….]

WWW works in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and North America. Most of their campaigns were begun in 2007 and few in 2008. In the United States they have formed the following:

Formation of the Women of Colour United (WOCU) Coalition for the Elimination of VAW and HIV&AID

Women of Color United

[Founded on April 1st 2007, Women of Color United is a network of (Latin American, Native American/American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander American, Arab-American/Middle Eastern American and African American) individuals and organizations that brings together constituencies of over 50,000 women nationwide. WOCU individuals and member organizations include survivors of violence, women living with HIV&AIDS, violence against women (VAW) survivor groups and service agencies, HIV & AIDS service and advocacy organizations, immigrant and Diaspora groups, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, sororities, and other women’s groups..]

MEGEN – KENYA

Their site is currently listed as under construction. Originally set up as a project within FEMNET to work with men, they are in the process setting up their own office. Xy OnLine, a directory of groups and publications dedicated to gender politics published a downloadable article Oct. 8, 2009, in regards to the MEGEN as seen in their description below:

MEGEN (Men for Gender Equality Now)

Defying the Odds: Lessons learnt from Men for Gender Equality Now (Kenya)

Thu, 08 Oct 2009 – 08:57 | MEGEN (Men for Gender Equality Now)

Categories:

MEGEN activists share their personal experiences as individuals and as Changemakers. While writing their stories, the activists were asked to reflect on their own change processes: what sparked their activism around gender and violence? And how has the MEGEN platform been helpful in this process? The publication also includes short briefs on the work of the project, highlighting the challenges, successes and lessons learnt in different program areas. In the process of developing this booklet, many people have been of great help; the dedicated MEGEN activists who shared some of their life experiences in their own writing, the then MEGEN Project Coordinator Kennedy Odhiambo Otina and other FEMNET staff members and MEGEN teams.

KAFA: Enough violence and Exploitation– LEBANON

KAFA is a non-profit, non-political and non-confessional organization whose goal is to; “Contribute to the eradication of all sorts of gender based violence and exploitation of women and children and the realization of all their rights”.

They focus on gender based violence, child molestation and trafficking. They have a hot line, and work from the premise of UN Security Resolution 1325., offering downloads, doing advocacy, awareness raising and victim support.

BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights – NIGERIA

From 1996, BAOBAB has evolved from a group of assorted ad hoc parties into a full sized agency. On December 2nd, their newsletter says following event took place:

[As part of its campaign to mark the 2009 “16 Days against Gender Based Violence” campaign, the BAOBAB team with its network of “Men against Violence against Women ” in the lead, took the advocacy to the streets! While in a particular popular area of Lagos known for its busy commercial bus activities-called ‘Oshodi’, the team shared anti-gender based violence messages with the crowd – heightened with the aid of their traditional talking drums! ‘Ohhh’ was the almost unsaid expression on their faces as they appreciated the fact that men are now in the fore-front of advocating the end of violence against women. And…guess what? The BAOBAB led network of men ran out of the IEC anti gender-based materials as the demand for them was so overwhelming! However, this ‘minor crisis’ of IEC material shortage did not deter the team, who carried on with their verbal messages and talking drums. The team captured some of the comments by the men on the streets:..

Rutgers University, Human Rights House – UNITED STATES

Rutgers organized a coffeehouse event to bring attention to the 16 days campaign and gender violence. Spokeswoman Christina Doonan said:

[…By bringing together poets, musicians, dancers and artists for an evening of entertainment dubbed “Justice and Java: Expressions Against Gender Violence,” our goal is to draw spectators from the university community and also members of the broader local community in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Our two primary goals are to engage in consciousness-raising and to raise funds for a local women’s shelter. Taking advantage of our opportunity to have an audience, we will provide our viewers and listeners with information about the various forms of gender violence, its prevalence, and the resources available locally for those who have encountered it, or know someone who has.  Given the fact that university campuses are sites of increased risk for gender violence, we feel that this campaign is a particularly important human rights issue here at Rutgers”….]

The Advocates for Human Rights – UNITED STATES

For more than 25 years, the Advocates for Human Rights has worked to help humans fully realize their rights in the United States and around the world. They offer legal, education and training, and other forms of activism. In the United States, their support several projects including:

*  Death Penalty Project

* Immigrant Rights

* Post-9/11 Project

* US Compliance with International Treaties (Shadow Reporting)

* Women’s Human Rights

* Human Rights in the US Toolkits

On the International front their most recent activity is the release, December 7th, of a new report entitled: “Human Rights in Ethiopia: Through the Eyes of the Oromo Diaspora”. It will be available for the upcoming United Nations, Human Rights Council review of Ethiopia’s compliance with its human rights obligations.

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The continuing saga of H.R. 3590.

Members of the Senate have now submitted 150 amendments to H.R. 3590, including approved S.AMDT.2786, which changed the name of the bill to the PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS, and substituted the health care text for that of the original bill involving homeownership. As you may recall that amendment was approved on November 21st when the motion for cloture was agreed to.

Since that time the following additional five amendments have been approved, one amended amendment has been approved and one has been tabled:

S.AMDT.2791 – Mikulski Amdt. 2791 As Amended (by AMDT.2808.); To clarify provisions relating to first dollar coverage for preventive services for women.

S.AMDT.2826 – Bennet Amdt. No. 2826; To protect and improve guaranteed Medicare benefits.

S.AMDT.2870 – Whitehouse Amdt. No. 2870; To promote fiscal responsibility by protecting the Social Security surplus and CLASS program savings in this Act.

S.AMDT. 2899 – Stabenow Amdt. No. 2899; To ensure that there is no reduction or elimination of any benefits guaranteed by law to participants in Medicare Advantage plans.

S.AMDT.2926  – Kerry Amdt No. 2926; To protect home health benefits.

S.AMDT.2939 – Pryor Amdt. No. 2939; To require the Secretary to provide information regarding enrollee satisfaction with qualified health plans offered through an Exchange through the Internet portal.

And one motion to successful tabling of an amendment S.AMDT.2963 – Motion to Table Nelson Amdt. No. 2962; to prohibit the use of Federal funds for abortions.

On the other side, the following five amendments have been rejected and 4 motions have been rejected:

S.AMDT.2836 – Murkowski Amdt. No. 2836; To ensure patients receive doctor recommendations for preventive health services, including mammograms and cervical cancer screening, without interference from government or insurance company bureaucrats.

S.AMDT.2901 – Thune Amdt. No. 2901; To eliminate new entitlement programs and limit the government control over the health care of American families.

S.AMDT.2905 – Lincoln Amdt. No. 2905; To modify the limit on excessive remuneration paid by certain health insurance providers to set the limit at the same levels as the salary of the President of the United States.

S.AMDT.2927 – Ensign Amdt. No. 2927; Relative to limitation on amount of attorneys contingency fees.

S.AMDT.2942 – Gregg Amdt. No. 2942; To prevent Medicare from being raided for new entitlements and to use Medicare savings to save Medicare.

McCain Motion to Commit H.R. 3590 to the Committee on Finance; Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009.

Hatch Motion to Commit H.R. 3590 to the Committee on Finance; Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009

Johanns Motion to Commit to the Committee on Finance; Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009

McCain Motion to Commit H.R. 3590 to the Committee on Finance; Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009.

As you can see, with only twelve amendments dispensed out of one hundred and fifty, the battle and debate for our national health care is not done. It seems a little unrealistic for Reid to say they will be done by the Holiday Break- but hey, he’s the expert.

Senator Boxer’s successful push to get the “Nelson Abortion” abortion tabled , was tremendous. It might take some of the pressure off. HERE is the vote:

Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs —54
Akaka (D-HI)Baucus (D-MT)

Begich (D-AK)

Bennet (D-CO)

Bingaman (D-NM)

Boxer (D-CA)

Brown (D-OH)

Burris (D-IL)

Cantwell (D-WA)

Cardin (D-MD)

Carper (D-DE)

Collins (R-ME)

Dodd (D-CT)

Durbin (D-IL)

Feingold (D-WI)

Feinstein (D-CA)

Franken (D-MN)

Gillibrand (D-NY)

Hagan (D-NC)Harkin (D-IA)

Inouye (D-HI)

Johnson (D-SD)

Kerry (D-MA)

Kirk (D-MA)

Klobuchar (D-MN)

Kohl (D-WI)

Landrieu (D-LA)

Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Leahy (D-VT)

Levin (D-MI)

Lieberman (ID-CT)

Lincoln (D-AR)

McCaskill (D-MO)

Menendez (D-NJ)

Merkley (D-OR)

Mikulski (D-MD)

Murray (D-WA)Nelson (D-FL)

Reed (D-RI)

Reid (D-NV)

Rockefeller (D-WV)

Sanders (I-VT)

Schumer (D-NY)

Shaheen (D-NH)

Snowe (R-ME)

Specter (D-PA)

Stabenow (D-MI)

Tester (D-MT)

Udall (D-CO)

Udall (D-NM)

Warner (D-VA)

Webb (D-VA)

Whitehouse (D-RI)

Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs —45
Alexander (R-TN)Barrasso (R-WY)

Bayh (D-IN)

Bennett (R-UT)

Bond (R-MO)

Brownback (R-KS)

Bunning (R-KY)

Burr (R-NC)

Casey (D-PA)

Chambliss (R-GA)

Coburn (R-OK)

Cochran (R-MS)

Conrad (D-ND)

Corker (R-TN)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Crapo (R-ID)DeMint (R-SC)

Dorgan (D-ND)

Ensign (R-NV)

Enzi (R-WY)

Graham (R-SC)

Grassley (R-IA)

Gregg (R-NH)

Hatch (R-UT)

Hutchison (R-TX)

Inhofe (R-OK)

Isakson (R-GA)

Johanns (R-NE)

Kaufman (D-DE)

Kyl (R-AZ)

LeMieux (R-FL)Lugar (R-IN)

McCain (R-AZ)

McConnell (R-KY)

Murkowski (R-AK)

Nelson (D-NE)

Pryor (D-AR)

Risch (R-ID)

Roberts (R-KS)

Sessions (R-AL)

Shelby (R-AL)

Thune (R-SD)

Vitter (R-LA)

Voinovich (R-OH)

Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting – 1
Byrd (D-WV)

If you want to know more go HERE.

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Link over to the Confluence HERE. They caught it as Senator Boxer was able to effectuate  tabling the  Nelson Amendment on abortion. I’ll have more later.

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