Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Via LGBT Activists / FB:

American support by the Obama administration since 2009 for LGBT rights at the UN has given Ban Ki Moon the political space he needed to push the envelope, even when faced with opposition from culturally conservative countries. In 2012 he created the UN Free and Equal Campaign, which has helped mainstream LGBT rights throughout the entire UN system. It also gave him the space to be able to lead by example and change personnel policy to be more expansively welcoming to same sex partners.

This simply would not have been possible without the support of the USA. And today’s vote is a good example why that is. The USA used its influence and compel countries on the fence to abstain from today’s vote, thereby ensuring its failure.
LGBT rights secured a major bureaucratic victory at the United Nations today when member states overwhelmingly voted down a Russian-backed proposal to curtail benefits afforded to the same-sex spouses of UN staff. The vote failed by a...

Ricky Martin - Disparo al Corazón (Official Video)


Via TED: Michael Sandel: A Arte Esquecida do Debate Democrático

Publicado em 9 de abr de 2012

A democracia prospera com o debate cívico, é o que diz Michael Sandel -- mas, vergonhosamente, perdemos essa prática. Ele conduz um divertido exercício, como participantes do TED discutindo sobre um caso recente da Suprema Corte (PGA Tour, Inc. vs. Martin) cujo resultado revela o ingrediente crítico da justiça.

Via Profoundly Human: Baha’i Curious: Why Can’t My Religion Accept My Sexuality?


I’ve been a Baha’i since April 21, 2007. 

I came out of the closet November 4, 2010, at age 24.

I’ve been gay, however, since as far back as I can remember.

I first learned about the Baha’i Faith from a Persian classmate at my high school in Auburn, Maine. We’re best of friends 15 years later, still.

She invited me over to her family home for a devotional. There, I met friends from around the world from various faiths, races and backgrounds. This diversity was intoxicating in my humble, if not sheltered, hometown of 30,000 people. I was awe-struck by the oneness that I felt at the devotional. There were songs, prayers, food and fellowship. I went back every Thursday after and became a Baha’i seven years later. It has informed, guided and enriched my life in every way imaginable.
Baha’is, by the way, believe in:

  1. The Oneness of God
  1. The Oneness of Humanity and; 
  1. The Oneness of Religion. 

What got me was the idea of progressive revelation; in essence, that no one prophet is it, that Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Zoroaster, Buddha, the Bab and Baha’u’llah — who Baha’is believe is the most recent manifestation of God — have come based on the needs of humanity for the era in which they lived. 

I’ve visited the Baha’i World Center in Israel twice and I’ve opened my home in New York City for devotionals hundreds of times. I share the ideas of the Baha’i Faith with those who are curious and have been an active member within the community. Aside from my parents, the Baha’i Faith has cultivated and shaped who I've become in my life, and it is the most consistent community to which I’ve belonged.

That’s why it’s so heart-breaking that I’m considering leaving the Baha’i Faith. 
Friends suggested that I not write this article. Baha’is have told me to deal with this quietly because it may bring about disunity. It’s been suggested that I talk it out instead; for fear that my writing something would have negative repercussions for me. I believe that any time one can express their challenges — their vulnerabilities and that which they feel makes them unlovable (and lately, being gay and a Baha’i mostly certainly makes me feel unlovable) — that it allows more shining to take place. That’s my goal in writing this: That we may all celebrate our wholeness, despite our challenges.

I also hope this is helpful to those who read it. In particular, for those gay Baha’is who are in the closet right now and, even more so, the gay Baha’is in the closet who’ve chosen to repress their sexuality and marry women in order to serve the Cause of the Baha’i Faith. Let's not pretend you don't exist.

Many Baha’is have written me over the months since The Jake Sasseville Show went live asking how I’ve reconciled being openly gay and a Baha’i. The truth is, as I receive many kind emails and Facebook posts, I realize I'm quite embarrassed to call myself a Baha'i while being at odds with the core Teaching around marriage and sexuality. 
According to the Universal House of Justice, the supreme ruling, democratically elected body of the Baha’i Faith, made up of nine members headquartered at the Baha’i World Center in Haifa, Israel:

“Homosexuality… can well have medical aspects, and in such cases recourse should certainly be had with the best medical assistance. But it is clear from the teaching of Baha’u’llah that homosexuality is not a condition to which a person should be reconciled, but is a distortion of his or her nature which should be controlled or overcome.” (Letter to a member of the Baha’i Faith, 1973)

Read the full article here

Photo: Like The Ocean Photography

Via JMG: CALIFORNIA: Activist Charlotte Laws Files "Jackass Initiative" Ballot Measure

In response to the proposed Sodomite Suppression Act, activist Charlotte Laws has filed her own California ballot measure titled the "Jackass Initiative."
Any person, herein known as an "Intolerant Jackass," who brings forth a ballot measure that suggests the killing of gays and/or lesbians, whether this measure is called the Sodomite Suppression Act or is known by some other name, shall be required to attend sensitivity training for at least three (3) hours per month for twelve (12) consecutive months. In addition, the offender or "Intolerant Jackass" must donate $5000 to a pro-gay or pro-lesbian organization.
Laws has been interviewed by Slate:
I’m fighting fire with fire,” she told me. “The only way to counter [the Sodomite Suppression Act] is … to let people know that most people in California don’t agree with something as incendiary and hateful as what this one attorney proposed.” Laws recognizes the merit of having a content-neutral initiative system, but she believes “we have a very open-minded state and country. This is one guy, and there are millions of us who do not agree with this.” Laws, a former Los Angeles politician and community activist, has devoted the last few years to battling revenge porn, especially kingpin of the genre Hunter Moore. Her new campaign is much more lighthearted—and, of course, a bit quixotic.
According to her Wikipedia page, Laws is former two-term member of the Greater Valley Glen Council and is the first politician to run on the platform of representing all "beings" in her district, not merely humans. Yesterday she spoke about the Jackass Initiative on a California radio show.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 24/03/2015

“A autopunição é uma forma de sabotagem da própria felicidade. Ela nasce da culpa. Ao se perceber vendo o prazer ou a felicidade como um perigo, procure identificar a culpa dentro de você. Se existe culpa é porque você ainda não entrou em acordo com algum aspecto do seu passado. Nesse caso, você pode não lembrar do passado, mas ele está tão presente quanto aquilo que acontece aqui agora.”

“El autocastigo es una forma de sabotaje de la propia felicidad. Éste nace de la culpa. Al percibirte viendo el placer o la felicidad como un peligro, intenta identificar la culpa dentro tuyo. Si existe culpa es porque aún no entraste en acuerdo con algún aspecto de tu pasado. En ese caso, puedes no recordar el pasado, pero éste está tan presente como aquello que sucede aquí y ahora.”

“Self-punishment is a form of sabotaging one’s own happiness. It is born out of guilt. If we’re able to notice that we perceive pleasure or happiness as a threat, we should try to observe the guilt that exists within us. If there is guilt, it’s because we have yet to integrate some aspect of our past. We may not even remember our past, but it is as present as what is happening right here and now."

Via Daily Dharma

The Empowered Individual | March 24, 2015

When individuals are happy and empowered they’re more likely to take action for the sake of others, more likely to be aware of the dignity of life and to treat all life with respect in their everyday actions, more likely to encourage others to do the same.

- Pauline Sherrow, "Q&A with Pauline Sherrow"