Friday, February 26, 2010
Com certeza, tais decisões caíram como um raio, duas vezes, em menos de 30 dias, sobre as cabeças ruins e mentalidades preconceituosas daqueles que ainda insistem em permanecer na ignorância, fonte inesgotável do preconceito. Nada me pareceu mais apropriado para massacrar a homofobia do que comparar a intensidade da luz e a força poderosa do raio, às duas recentes decisões judiciais proferidas pelos Tribunais de Minas Gerais.
1º Caso - Após árdua caminhada por mais de 5 anos, vislumbrar o Direito prevalecer sobre a discriminação às uniões entre pessoas do mesmo sexo, é algo tão gratificante , assim como o olhar da mãe para o filho que acaba de nascer. Todo o sofrimento é imediatamente esquecido para dar lugar a uma alegria infinita!
No Direito Homoafetivo é comum que os processos judiciais caminhem por trilhas jamais conhecidas, enfrentando todo tipo de obstáculo, inclusive as crenças pessoais e religiosas dos seus julgadores, como foi o caso em tela. Para conseguir os Direitos Previdenciários para um cidadão, após o falecimento do seu companheiro, foram necessárias mais de mil páginas para levar o convencimento aos Juízes Julgadores.
Depois de duas derrotas no Juizo de 1ª Instância, veio a vitória no Tribunal de Justiça de Minas Gerias, perante três desembargadores, que reconheceram seu Direito à Pensão da Previdência Privada, Pecúlio e Plano de Saúde. Houve o consenso, de forma pioneira, pela divisão em 50% dos benefícios para o companheiro e 50% para a mãe do falecido.
O voto proferido pelo Relator, seguido pelos outros julgadores, pode ser considerado uma jóia de valor incrível, principalmente quando diz:
... Quando a Constituição Federal assinalou a igualdade sem distinção de sexo, proibindo qualquer forma de discriminação (inciso IV, art.3º ) aí compreendeu a questão dos homossexuais...
2º caso - O segundo raio, isto é, a segunda causa, também foi referente aos Direitos Previdenciários, reivindicados à UFMG por um funcionário aposentado e por sua vez, negados!
Oportunidade que provocou a propositura de ação judicial perante a Justiça Federal de Minas Gerais, para fazer prevalecer o direito de indicar o companheiro para ser seu beneficiário.
Por incrível que possa parecer, de pronto, o pedido foi aceito e julgado procedente pelo Juiz Federal da 20ª Vara, concedendo ao funcionário aposentado da UFMG, o direito de fazer a pretendida indicação do seu companheiro para os benefícios previdenciários.
Não se conformando com esse resultado, a UFMG recorreu para a 2ª instância, em Brasília, cujo julgamento ocorreu no dia 9 passado. Por unanimidade os julgadores federais deram voto favorável e mantiveram a decisão mineira.
Os exemplos citados acima são provas incontestáveis da abertura do judiciário mineiro em receber as reivindicações baseadas no Direito Homoafetivo. As esperadas leis específicas ainda não existem, mas a jurisprudência está se firmando no sentido de considerar como União Estável ou Sociedade de Fato, a parceria entre pessoas do mesmo sexo e suas conseqüências.
Não só a lei é fonte do direito; a jurisprudência , que é o conjunto de julgados num mesmo sentido, serve como base para os pedidos, principalmente na ausência de leis.
A sutil diferença entre as duas formas de convivência, citadas acima, está na maneira de dividir os bens adquiridos juntos na constância da união, em caso de separação ou herança. Na Sociedade de Fato, termo empregado para questões patrimoniais, há necessidade de cada um comprovar sua colaboração na aquisição dos bens durante o período da parceria e consequentemente cada um terá direito aos bens que conquistou ( da mesma maneira que os casais heteros).
Razão pela qual, não se deve nunca descuidar das provas através dos documentos angariados no dia a dia. Sempre é bom ficar atento quando houver necessidade de ações judiciais, além do mais, não podemos falhar no pedido, exatamente quando o judiciário se mostra disposto a fazer justiça aos homossexuais, em todos as áreas do Direito.
A esperança na lucidez dos julgadores brasileiros, como aqui demonstrado, nos leva ao otimismo de afirmar que, o preconceito e a discriminação na justiça brasileira estão com os dias contados!
Maria Emília Mitre Haddad
Yesterday, on 25 February 2010, the European Court of Human Rights, has its first hearing on a case regarding same-sex marriage. The Court’s hearing was on the admissibility and merits in the case of Schalk and Kopf v. Austria(application no. 30141/04).
Professor Robert Wintemute was granted a permission by the Court to make oral submission on behalf of the four third-party interveners: the FIDH (the Fédération Internationale des ligues des Droits de l'Homme, Paris), the ICJ (the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva), the AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe, London), and ILGA-Europe (the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Brussels).
A decision on admissibility, followed if appropriate by a judgment, will be delivered at a later date.
Details of the case
The applicants, Horst Michael Schalk and Johann Franz Kopf, are Austrian nationals who were born in 1962 and 1960 respectively and live in Vienna. They are a same-sex couple and live together.
In September 2002 the applicants asked the competent authorities to allow them to contract marriage.
Their request was refused by the Vienna Municipal Office on the grounds that marriage could only be contracted between two persons of opposite sex. The applicants appealed before the Vienna Regional Governor and the Constitutional Court arguing that the notion of marriage had evolved over time thus having to be understood nowadays as a permanent union encompassing all aspects of life, and that the procreation and education of children were no longer a determinative factor in it. Their appeals were not successful. Both the Governor and the Constitutional Court, referring to Article 12 (right to marry) of the European Convention on Human Rights and also to Articles 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination), held that to limit the notion of marriage to the traditional concept of marriage reserved to persons of a different sex was objectively justified.
Relying on Article 12, they complain of the authorities’ refusal to allow them to contract marriage.
Relying further on Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 they complain that they were discriminated against on account of their sexual orientation since they were denied the right to marry and have no other possibility to have their relationship recognised by law. Finally, under Article 1 of Protocol 1 (protection of property), they allege that they suffer financial disadvantages compared to married couples.
The application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on 5 August 2004.
Read more about how the Council of Europe have addressed the rights of LGBT people and in particular how the European Convention of Human Rights was used to advance the rights of LGBT people in Europe here.
Despite a rebuff from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Bay Area's federal judges are again proposing to allow cameras in their courtrooms, a plan that could lead to telecasting of closing arguments in a suit challenging California's ban on same-sex marriage. The U.S. District Court in San Francisco has posted a rule change on its Web site that would allow its judges to take part in a pilot program of airing selected nonjury civil trials. The public comment period began Feb. 4 and ends Thursday.Protect Marriage says they won't speculate on opposing the broadcast until they know if it is really going to happen.
The proposal is the same one Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker adopted in January after a week of overwhelmingly favorable public comment. But the Supreme Court intervened when Walker approved camera coverage of the trial over Proposition 8, the November 2008 initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage.
You know how the Moonies like to do those mass weddings of thousands of couples? A group in Washington DC is going to attempt the same thing with gay couples as they shoot for an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The largest gay wedding in history is scheduled for Saturday, March 20th in Washington, DC. Up to 400 couples will exchange vows breaking the current Guinness World Record. The celebration is part of an all-day series of events called Our Time Has Come, a title chosen to signify the long road that many couples have traveled to marriage. Events slated for March 20 include a large group ceremony, individual private ceremonies and a gala-style reception. All portions are scheduled at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, an ornately gilded historic venue on Constitution Avenue, the event is being hosted by GLBT Wedding Services.JMG
Mike Wilkinson, Director of Wedding Services for Event Emissary, is one of the planners producing the mega-event. "The GLBT community has always found strength in numbers when it comes to advocating for equality," Wilkinson said. "Now we can finally stand together to affirm our love and have it recognized legally by the District of Columbia." Even though the event is big, the concept is being carefully designed so that the experience is special for every couple involved. The reception is open to friends and family to celebrate alongside the newlyweds. "Every aspect is being planned with sensitivity to the GLBT audience that will be attending," Wilkinson said. Drew Parker and his partner Dalin Holyoak are one of the many couples getting married at the event. "Our relationship and our lives could not wait for our marriage to be 'legal' in DC, but we are both excited and relieved that our marriage will finally be recognized in the city we call home. We signed up to be part of the mass ceremony as soon as we could."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2010
APA Council Votes to Move Its August Meeting Out of the Manchester Hyatt Hotel
(Washington, DC) — The Council of Representatives, the major legislative body of the American Psychological Association, will not meet at the Manchester Hyatt Hotel during the Association’s August 2010 Convention. In response to a donation to the Proposition 8 campaign by the owner of the Manchester Hyatt, Doug Manchester, a number of APA Divisions and members voiced concerns about APA’s use of the hotel during its annual meeting.
“Today’s decision allows Council to make an important statement that it stands in solidarity with the LGBT community and its allies in protest of Mr. Manchester’s political views. Members of our Council will now not be faced with having to choose between their responsibilities as members of Council and their wish to express their opposition to Mr. Manchester’s action by not entering his hotel,” said APA President Dr. Carol Goodheart.
APA is not calling for a general boycott of the Hyatt hotel but will make every effort to provide choices to members or groups who do not want to use the Hyatt hotel. Other lodging and meeting space will be available.
“It is important that we be respectful of the decisions of individuals; those who choose to stay at the Hyatt and those who do not,” said Goodheart.
In addition, APA plans to use the meeting to highlight the Association’s policy statement in support of same-sex marriage and the science that supports that position.
Brown told guests at 10 Downing Street, including a number of gay servicemembers, that there was a “debt of gratitude we can never fully repay”. He said that the pride they felt was “nothing compared to the pride we feel in them”. Mr Brown cited the current struggle in the US to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, saying he knew debate on the issue continued. In 2009, for the first LGBT reception at Downing Street, Mr Brown said that the ban on gay marriage in California was “unacceptable”. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the British military allowing out gay soldiers. Mr Brown said: “I promise you that no one need walk the road to equality alone again.” He also listed the achievements made for gay equality in the last ten years, such as gay adoption and fertility rights for lesbians, saying people had warned these things could not be done.