Sunday, August 3, 2014

Via Bilerico: Nepal Regressing Dangerously on LGBT Rights

Sunil Babu Pant, the first openly gay politician in the mountainous south Asian nation of Nepal and the head of the country's only LGBT rights group, is warning that the country is at risk of a dangerous backslide on LGBT rights inspired by similar reversals in India, Russia, and some African nations.

In an op-ed for the Nepali Times, Pant writes:
The Law Ministry, under the NC's Narhari Acharya, is trying to enact punitive laws that re-criminalise LGBT relationships, completely overturning previous Supreme Court decisions. After the first Constituent Assembly was dissolved in 2012, there is not a single person from the third gender community in the bureaucracy, ministry, parliament or any other decision-making level...
This new draft provision of civil and criminal codes prepared by the Law Ministry not only defines homosexuality, but also oral and anal sex among heterosexuals, as 'unnatural' acts. The definition of rape is narrowed only to women. The notion that only men can be rapists and only women can be victims comes from a deep-rooted patriarchal mindset. These notions seem to be inspired by conservative reversals in India, some western and African countries...
All Nepalis who believe in equality and tolerance must raise their voices. The right to justice of all marginalised peoples is under threat from a regressive state. They are going to be excluded, margninalised, discriminated against, criminalised and demonized.
Pant tells Gay Star News that the Law Ministry is preparing to push the measures through parliament after an attempt to do so in 2011 failed. The proposed laws would punish gay sex with three years' imprisonment, which is a tougher penalty than the one-year jail sentence attached to gay sex before it was decriminalized in 2007.

"We are really concerned about this attempt of taking Nepal back to draconian era after so much progress we made. Unbelievable that the government is going all against the Supreme Court decisions on LGBTI rights and other minority and marginalized people's rights in Nepal," he said.


Marriages In California Reach Near Record High w/ Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriages


Looks like same-sex marriage is actually saving the institution of marriage in California! Marriage had been on the decline in the state and now it's on the rise with the legalization of same-sex marriage. 

The Sacramento Bee reports:

It was looking like another tough year for the California wedding industry. Through June of 2013, the number of new marriages statewide had fallen by almost 4,000, or 3 percent, from 2012.

Then the Supreme Court overturned Proposition 8 and allowed gay marriages in California.

After that decision, from July to December, the number of weddings grew by 27,000, or almost 25 percent, compared to the same period in 2012.

In Sacramento County, the number of weddings increased by 1,150, or 27 percent, during the last six months of 2013 compared to 2012.

Total weddings statewide for 2013 eclipsed all recent years except 2008 - the last prior time that gays were allowed to marry.

NOM's crying in a corner somewhere.

Via FB:

Via Daily Dharma

Willing to Look | August 3, 2014

If we are willing to look long enough in the mirror of zazen [seated meditation], past seeing ourselves as objects, we have the potential to see that we are nature itself—we are born and will die, just as the trees, flowers, and animals in the wild do.
- Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, “The Hidden Lamp”

Flower of the Day: 08/03/14

“The greatest addiction of the human being may be to dream. This addiction is something truly mysterious, since it is an energy that steals away one’s awareness, but there is pleasure in this. One feels pleasure in dreaming, so one wants to continue to dream. But there comes a time when one finds oneself at a crossroads, because one is walking the path of enlightenment, and the only way to continue on this journey is to stop dreaming.”
Sri Prem Baba