Sunday, April 14, 2013

Via JMG: State Department Announces LGBT Rights Program For Western Hemisphere

Yesterday the State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs announced a new program:
Secretary of State John Kerry has committed to advancing the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals as a central part of our human rights engagement. Taking into account the Secretary’s commitment as well as the Presidential Memorandum issued December 6, 2011, that directs all federal agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs has developed a regional strategy that strives to eliminate violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Respect for the human rights of LGBT persons in the Western Hemisphere varies dramatically by country. Some countries offer legal protections for LGBT persons, whereas others have laws that criminalize same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults. Recognizing that violence and discrimination based on a person’s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity hinder the prosperity of countries.
The four-part strategy of the new program: 1) Expand public outreach and awareness of LGBT issues; 2) Create and leverage existing partnerships and programs; 3) Collaborate with multilateral partners; and 4) Engage directly with host country governments.

Reposted from Joe

JMG HomoQuotable - Dan Savage

"My father was a Catholic deacon, my mother was a lay minister and I thought about becoming a priest. I was in church every Sunday for the first 15 years of my life. Now I spend my Sundays on my bike, on my snowboard or on my husband. I haven’t spent my post-Catholic decades in a sulk, wishing the church would come around on the issue of homosexuality so that I could start attending Mass again. I didn’t abandon my faith. I saw through it. The conflict between my faith and my sexuality set that process in motion, but the conclusions I reached at the end of that process — there are no gods, religion is man-made, faith can be a force for good or evil — improved my life. I’m grateful that my sexuality prompted me to think critically about faith. Pushed out? No. I walked out." - Dan Savage, from his New York Times book review of Jeff Chu's Does Jesus Really Love Me?

Reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma April 14, 2013

The Light of Reality 

The sense of self creates a feeling of solidity, like the apparent solidity of the clouds veiling the face of the sun, but at certain moments a gap is opened up, through which we may receive a glimpse of the light of reality.  
- Francesca Freemantle, “The Luminous Gap in Bardo”
Read the entire article in the Wisdom Collection through April 15th, 2013
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