Reject Transphobia, Respect Gender Identity: An Appeal to the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the States of the World

by Queer Without Borders Admin
An excellent statement that embraces all peoples of diverse gender identities and expressions and their rights to not be coerced by a Transphobic Society into a medical system and/or diagnoses that simply works to subjugate ourselves into State mandated concepts of gender and sex! As a result of these IDAHO 2009 actions, France on May 16, 2009 announced it will take Transgenderism and Transsexuality out of “mental disorder” category and on May 17, 2009 the Dutch minister of foreign affairs Maxime Verhagen acknowledged that the current Dutch law requiring irreversible sex reassignment surgery as a prerequisite for documentation changes, violates principle 18 of the Yogyakarta Principles (pdf) (the right to be protected from medical abuses).
Reject Transphobia, Respect Gender Identity:An Appeal to the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the States of the World
[from the International Appeal to reject Transphobia and to RESPECT Gender Identity]
Every day, people who live at variance to expected gender norms face violence, abuse, rape, torture and hate crime all over the world, in their home as well as in the public arena. Though most cases of violence never get documented, we know that in the first weeks of 2009 alone, Trans women have been murdered in Honduras, Serbia and in the USA. Trans men are equally victims of hate crimes, prejudice and discrimination despite their frequent social and cultural invisibility.
The basic human rights of Trans people are being ignored or denied in all nations – be it out of ignorance, prejudice, fear or hate and Trans people overwhelmingly face daily discrimination, which results in social exclusion, poverty, poor health care and little prospects of appropriate employment.
Far from protecting Trans citizens, States and International bodies reinforce social transphobia through short sighted negligence or reactionary politics.
Because of the failure of national law and social justice, in far too many States Trans people are being forced to live a gender which they experience as fundamentally wrong for them. In most countries, any attempt to change one’s gender can lead to legal sanctions, brutal mistreatment and social stigma. In other countries, legal recognition of gender change is subject to sterilization or other major surgical intervention. Trans people who cannot or do not wish to submit to this, cannot obtain legal recognition of their preferred gender, and are forced to ‘come out’ whenever they cross a border, run into a police patrol, apply for a new job, move into a new home or simply want to buy a mobile phone.
Contributing factors include that current International health classifications still consider all Trans people as mentally “disordered”. This outdated vision is insulting and incorrect and is used to justify daily discrimination and stigmatization in all aspects of Trans people’s lives.
Recently though in some countries with very different social and cultural contexts significant legal advances have been made. Following in the wake of bold judicial decisions, State action has led to increased acceptance of Trans people within their society. This demonstrates that understanding and progress is possible.
Currently Trans people everywhere in the world rise up to reclaim their human rights and freedom. They carry a unanimous message that they will no longer accept to be labeled sick or treated as non human beings on the basis of their gender identity and gender expression.
This is why we ask:
The W.H.O. to stop considering Trans people as mentally disordered and to promote access to adequate health care and psychological support, as desired by Trans people.
The United Nations Human Rights bodies to examine the human rights abuses that Trans people face around the world and to take action to combat these abuses.
The States of the World to adopt the international Yogyakarta Principles and ensure that all Trans people benefit from appropriate health care, including gender reassignment if they so wish; be allowed to adapt their civil status to their preferred gender; live their social, family or professional lives without being exposed to transphobic discrimination, prejudice or hate crime and that they are protected by the police and justice systems from physical and non-physical violence.
We call on the UN, the W.H.O. and the nations of the world, in adopting these measures, to refuse transphobia and welcome the right of their citizens to live fully and freely in their preferred gender, assumed as an expression of cultural freedom.

New HIV strain discovered

A new strain of the virus that causes AIDS has been discovered in a woman from the African country of Cameroon.

It differs from the three known strains of human immunodeficiency virus and appears to be closely related to a form of simian virus recently discovered in wild gorillas, researchers report in Monday’s edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

The finding “highlights the continuing need to watch closely for the emergence for new HIV variants, particularly in western central Africa,” said the researchers, led by Jean-Christophe Plantier of the University of Rouen, France.

The three previously known HIV strains are related to the simian virus that occurs in chimpanzees.

The most likely explanation for the new find is gorilla-to-human transmission, Plantier’s team said. But they added they cannot rule out the possibility that the new strain started in chimpanzees and moved into gorillas and then humans, or moved directly from chimpanzees to both gorillas and humans.

The 62-year-old patient tested positive for HIV in 2004, shortly after moving to Paris from Cameroon, according to the researchers. She had lived near Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, but said she had no contact with apes or bush meat, a name often given to meat from wild animals in tropical countries.

The woman shows no signs of AIDS and remains untreated, though she still carries the virus, the researchers said.

How widespread this strain is remains to be determined.

Researchers said it could be circulating unnoticed in Cameroon or elsewhere. The virus’s rapid replication indicates that it is adapted to human cells, the researchers reported.

Their research was supported by the French Health Watch Institute, the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis and Rouen University Hospital.

Herpes increases risk of HIV exposure
A separate paper, also in Nature Medicine, reports that people with genital herpes remain at increased risk of HIV infection even after the herpes sores have healed and the skin appears normal.

Researchers led by Drs. Lawrence Corey and Jia Zhu of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that long after the areas where the herpes sores existed seem to be clear, they still have immune-cell activity that can encourage HIV infection.

Herpes is marked by recurring outbreaks and has been associated with higher rates of infection with HIV. It had been thought that the breaks in the skin were the reason for higher HIV rates, but a study last year found that treatment of herpes with drugs did not reduce the HIV risk.

The researchers tested the skin of herpes patients for several weeks after their sores had healed and found that, compared with other genital skin, from twice to 37 times more immune cells remained at the locations where the sores had been.

HIV targets immune cells and in laboratory tests the virus reproduced three to five times faster in tissue from the healed sites as in tissue from other areas.

“Understanding that even treated (herpes) infections provide a cellular environment conducive to HIV infection suggests new directions for HIV prevention research,” commented Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

That study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Tietze Foundation.

A condom specifically for anal intercourse?

IRMA chats up Dan Resnic of Strata Various Product Design about the ORIGAMI Condom – a new product in development designed specifically for anal intercourse.

IRMA – Tell us about this ORIGAMI condom you are working on. What is it? How is it different from other condoms?

DAN RESNIC – This is a radical new design concept, made of non-latex material and the first AI (anal intercourse) condom data ever presented to the FDA for review. The data will be used to help establish the first safety standards for a condom used exclusively for AI. ORIGAMI Condoms are designed foremost for the pleasure of both partners and simultaneously to improve safety. Its improved capacity for better sensation during AI is intended to increase consumer acceptability and to promote its consistent use among men and women currently at risk.

The non-latex material we developed is unique. It’s been lab tested as a male condom against a leading brand of a male latex condoms. The ORIGAMI material had zero viral permability compared with the latex condom, which had 5% viral permeability. Viral permeability is tested by introducing virus smaller than HIV into sterile water inside the condom, suspended in sterile water for 72 hrs. The water outside the condom is then tested to detect virus that may permeate through the condom. The test is repeated in reverse, starting with virus outside the condom then testing for viral premeability in the opposite direction. The tests are repeated again with pinholes punctured into the condoms. Again, the ORIGAMI tested at zero viral permeability even with puncture holes while the latex condom failed. In addition, the new material will not degrade in sunlight as does a latex condom and, after accelerated aging tests, it is expected to offer an extended shelf life of 10-12 yrs.

Future condom studies currently under funding review include a new, reusable ORIGAMI elastomer material we developed that can be washed and dried in a washer/dryer at high temperatures and can even be sterilized in a microwave or boiling in water and air dried in sunlight without compromising its structural integrity. The latter could be especially significant in regions like Africa and India where cost and distribution can be issues that prevent consistent condom use.

Photos and further details will be made available following FDA pre-market approval.

I – Where is the research at the moment?

DR – Phase 1 research will begin next month, in July 2009, with the Behavioral Epidemiology Research Group at the UCLA Dept of Epidemiology, with co-Investigator Dr. Pamina Gorbach. R&D will be supported with the assistance of male and female consultants from design, medical and commercial sectors. The optimal design will undergo pre-clinical testing, with modified structural testing crietria appropriate for the higher stress in AI use. Clinical research will follow with study groups and data will be analized for final reports.

I – How are you collaborating with the NIH and UCLA? What is the timeline?

DR – As the PI for the project, I’ve awarded a sub-contract to UCLA, which will conduct the clinical research with volunteer couples who will test the condom in a unique study design developed by Dr. Gorbach, who heads the Behavioral Epidemiology Research Group at UCLA. The project has been funded by a substantial grant from the NIH. The study will run for 18-24 mos. starting July 1st. Subsequent Phase II research will take the project through to the end
of 2014, when the data can be reviewed by the FDA. Since there is no existing precedent the data cannot be reviewed under FDA’s 510K application. Consequently, the process is much longer and much more expensive. The same is true of the ORIGAMI Female Condom we’ve developed. The FDA requires 3-4 similar products approved on the market before a similar device can be reviewed under a 510K application, which is typically a 90 day review process.

I – Why is it so important to have a condom specifically designed for anal intercourse?

DR- This is an excellent question. It would appear to many to be a frivolous and unnecessary product, however, the typical rolled condom design we are all familiar with, has not been tested for anal intercourse (AI), yet its the only means of protection available to men and women who engage in AI. The FDA states that condoms are the “. . . best available protection for anal sex…” although, to date, no data has been submitted to the FDA for review to support its use for AI.

I – Since unprotected anal intercourse is the most efficient means of sexual transmission of HIV, and since many people don’t use traditional condoms during anal intercourse each and every time, it seems odd that a condom like ORIGAMI hasn’t been thought of before. Why do you think that is?

DR- Inventive ideas for new condoms that address specific needs such as AI have been consistently inhibited by the high cost of R&D as well as the socio/political barriers that existed until 2008. It wasn’t until the concept of a female condom emerged that it was even possible to consider an inseted anal condom. For many years people had tried using the female condom for AI but it’s not strong enough and it’s lacking the unique design features compatible with AI.

Essentially, condoms are tested and FDA approved for vaginal use only. The FDA is typically provided with testing documentation from condom manufacturers based exclusively on vaginal use, and consequently there are no established guidance documents available from the FDA for condoms used for AI. For many years, in the US and elsewhere, it was considered taboo to discuss AI. In recent years, the subject was discussed at a special summit conference conducted by the FDA, specifically intended to encourage manufacturers to produce condoms for AI, however, none of the manufacturers who attended the meeting followed through. No existing condom manufacturer would risk producing such testing data as the failure rate for breakage, leakage and viral permeability would be significantly higher than testing results for vaginal use.

The FDA relies on manufacturers to present data for their review. Unless a manufacturer submits data (of any medical device) for review, the FDA does not conduct independent testing. As a regulatory agency, they are authorized only to review data from manufacturers but the agency cannot conduct its own independent research to set guidelines. It would be cost prohibitive to cover all medical devices. FDA Guidance Documents are established over time based on existing products and related testing data provided by manufacturers. Regarding latex condoms, the most current guidance document for manufacturers was last updated with minor changes on November 14, 2005.

I – Next steps?

DR – We anticipate successful Phase I study data by June 2011, which we intend to follow with a larger, Phase II study. We will work closely with the FDA to help determine further testing criteria appropriate for condoms used for AI. For example, the breakage standards, not yet established for AI, will be significantly different from existing condoms designed and sold for vaginal intercourse. AI condoms must meet a higher safety standards than typical existing condoms that were originally designed in 1918 for vaginal sex.

Thank you Dan! We look forward to learning more about this important work.

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Gay Liberation Network – An Open Letter to Live Nation, Inc. Regarding Anti-gay "Murder Music"

by Gay Liberation Network ( LGBTliberation [at] aol.com ) Sunday Aug 23rd, 2009 12:44 AM

Live Nation is sponsoring a nationwide tour — including San Francisco and San Jose — of Buju Banton, who calls for killing Lesbians and Gays in the lyrics of his songs. Several years ago he was accused and acquitted of murdering a gay man in Jamaica.
Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer
Live Nation, Inc.
9348 Civic Center Drive
Beverly Hills, California, 90210

Dear Mr. Rapino:

Hopefully you are aware that Live Nation/House of Blues has booked Buju Banton for a nationwide tour, including a Chicago stop on October 1, 2009. Buju Banton is one of a handful of performers whose output has been labeled “murder music” for openly advocating the murder of Lesbians and Gays in the lyrics of their music.

House of Blues has faced protests before against its sponsorship of anti-gay “murder music”; yet it apparently persists in thinking that LGBT people should “tolerate” those who call for murdering us.

House of Blues/Live Nation would never book Buju Banton or any performer who advocated killing African Americans or Jews, and rightfully so. Why, then, is it okay for House of Blues to hire a musician who calls for murdering Lesbians and Gays? Why the double standard?

When Live Nation purchased House of Blues several years ago we wrote to your corporate office asking that Reggae Dancehall “murder musicians” like Buju Banton not be booked unless and until these performers renounce their past behavior and promise no more murderous lyrics going forward. Banton first signed then repudiated just such an agreement. This is particularly an issue in his native Jamaica where gays face a living hell due, in part, to performers like Buju Banton who stoke the flames of an already dangerous situation by singing their murderous music.

Perhaps his most notorious “kill gays” song is “Boom, Bye Bye” in which Banton describes shooting “battyman” (slang for a gay man) in the head, sometimes with an Uzi, an automatic weapon.

We call upon Live Nation management to do the right thing and cancel the Buju Banton tour. We will credit your company with the appropriate corporate response to irrational and murderous hostility toward lesbian and gay people. Should Live Nation not cancel Banton’s tour, you will offer us no alternative but to go forward with plans to protest in as many cities as possible, including Chicago.

Sincerely yours,

Gay Liberation Network
http://www.GayLiberation.net

Note to readers:
We encourage those who are outraged by Live Nation’s promotion of this viciously anti-LGBT tour that you contact Live Nation yourself and let them know how you feel about Live Nation’s sponsorship of messages encouraging violence against LGBTs. You can call the Live Nation customer service line to complain at 800.431.3462 7 AM to 2 PM (PST) Monday thru Friday or email them at CustomerService@LiveNation.com

We encourage activists around the country to mount their own protests against murder music performances in their cities. Here is a list of Buju Banton’s 2009 concert tour dates:

Philadelphia (Sept 12); Providence (Sept 15); Portland, ME (Sept 17); Revere, MA (Sept 18); Charlotte (Sept 23); Raleigh (Sept 24); Norfolk (Sept 25); Richmond, VA (Sept 26); Detroit (Sept 30); Chicago (Oct 1); Denver (Oct 6); Aspen, CO (Oct 7); Salt Lake City (Oct 8); San Francisco (Oct 10); Tallahassee (Oct 11); Jacksonville, FL (Oct 12); San Jose, CA (Oct 13); Charleston (Oct 14); Los Angeles (Oct 14); Raleigh (Oct 15)

The Gay Liberation Network (www.GayLiberation.net) will be producing posters and other publicity materials, and will be happy to share these with activists in other cities who wish to organize their own protests. Simply email us at LGBTliberation@aol.com
http://www.GayLiberation.net

Trans Cricket Team Win First Game

By Chris Jai Centeno

A cricket team made up of hijras — the common term for South Asia’s “third sex” population, most of whom identify as female — played its first official match in Pakistan, scoring 65 runs to beat a local men’s team, reports the BBC.
Sanam XI (“sanam” means “beloved” in Urdu) beat the Olympians men’s cricket club in an exhibition game in Sukkur, in southern Pakistan.

“I want to dedicate our victory to Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry,” Sanam Khan, captain of Sanam XI, told the BBC. “It is only due to him that things are changing for eunuchs in Pakistan.”
Last month Chaudhry ordered the government to stop discriminating against hijras and paved the way for medical and public facilities to help them.

Hijras are largely shunned by society and many earn a living through sex work, performing at ceremonies, or begging — though they are also considered sacred, as it is believed that they have the power to bring fertility and good luck to a birth or a marriage.

The Buggery Act in the early years (England under Henry VIII)

 

 

 

There was no royal or parliamentary law against homosexual activity in England until 1533, but a number of medieval legal sources do discuss “sodomy:.


Fleta, xxxviii.3: Those who have dealings with Jews or Jewesses, those who commit bestiality, and sodomists, are to be buried alive after legal proof that they were atken in the act, and public conviction”

[Fleta, seu Commentarius Juris Anglicani, (London: 1735), as trans in Derrick Sherwin Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, (London: Longmans, Green, 1955), 145]
Bailey notes that it is improbable that the penalty or burial alive was ever inflicted in medieval times [although Tacitus refers to it among ancient Germans in Germania 12].


Britton, i.10: “Let enquiry also be made of those who feloniously in time of peace have burnt other’s corn or houses, and those who are attainted thereof shall be burnt, so that they might be punished in like manner as they have offended. The same sentence shall be passed upon sorcerers, sorceresses, renegades, sodomists, and heretics publicly convicted”
[Britton, ed. F.M. Nichols, (Oxford: 1865), Vol 1:41-42 and Bailey, 146]

Bailey notes that this implies a process in which ecclesiastical courts made the charges and convictions and the state put them into effect. There do not seem, however, to have been serious efforts made to put theory into practice. The preamble to the 1533 Law seems to make this clear.


25 Henry VIII. C6
Le Roy le veult”Forasmuch as there is not yet sufficient and condign punishment appointed and limited by the due course of the Laws of this Realm for the detestable and abominable Vice of Buggery committed with mankind of beast: It may therefore please the King’s Highness with the assent of the Lords Spiritual and the Commons of this present parliament assembled, that it may be enacted by the authority of the same, that the same offence be from henceforth ajudged Felony and that such an order and form of process therein to be used against the offenders as in cases of felony at the Common law. And that the offenders being herof convict by verdict confession or outlawry shall suffer such pains of death and losses and penalties of their good chattels debts lands tenements and hereditaments as felons do according to the Common Laws of this Realme. And that no person offending in any such offence shall be admitted to his Clergy, And that Justices of the Peace shall have power and authority within the limits of their commissions and Jurisdictions to hear and determine the said offence, as they do in the cases of other felonies. This Act to endure till the last day. of the next Parliament”
[Bailey, 147-148, and H. Montgomery Hyde, The Love That Dared Not Speak Its Name: A Candid History of Homosexuality in Britain, (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970) [British title: The Other Love]

Note that the law only ran until the end of the next Parliament. The law was reenacted three times, and then in 1541 it was enacted to continue in force for ever. In 1547, Edward VI’s first Parliament repealed all felonies created in the last reign [I Edw. VI. C.12]. In 1548 the provisions of the 1533 Act were given new force, with minor amendments – the penalty remained death, but goods and lands were not forfeit, and the rights of wives and heirs were safeguarded. Mary’s accession brought about the repeal of all Edward’s acts in 1548 [1 Mar c.1]. It was not until 1563, that Elizabeth I’s second Parliament reenacted the law [5 Eliz I. C.17] and the law of 1533 (not 1548) were given permanent force.

In 1828, the statute of 1563 was revoked by a consolidating act, but the death penalty was retained. In 1861 life imprisonment, or a jail time of at least ten years, was substituted for the death penalty. All these laws were against buggery, and indeed the law of 1828 had discussed matters of proof in terms of penetration. Note that other sexual activities were not specifically criminalised.

In 1885 Mr. Labouchere introduced an amendment to the Criminal Amendment Act of 1885. It read:-
48&49 Vict. c.69, 11: “Any male person who, in public or private, commits or is party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the Court to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour”

So for the first time private acts were brought under the scope of the law, as were acts other than anal penetration. This became the famous blackmailer’s charter, and was the law used to convict Oscar Wilde.

[for all the above see Bailey 145-152]
It was the Act of 1533, then, which first made buggery an offense under English criminal law. This law survived in various forms England until 1967, although it was amended in 1861 to substitute life imprisonment for the penalties of death and forfeiture of property.
But the direct effects of this law were not restricted to England. Because of England’s success as a colonial power, and its tendency to impose its entire legal structure on the ruled areas, legal prohibitions against homosexual activity derived from this law extended well outside England. In Scotland, for instance, (which has a separate legal system) the law was not changed until 1979. In many American states “sodomy” laws are still on the books, as also in former British colonies in the Caribbean.

The original document of 1533 survives – select the link for a a jpg image
.[ref. H. Montgomery Hyde, The Love That Dared Not Speak Its Name: A Candid History of Homosexuality in Britain, (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970)]
source: fordham.edu

Under Henry VIII, what was once the domain of ecclesiastical punishment became a parliamentary matter. Sodomy, or buggery as it was referred to then, became a capital offence. In fact, Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury, became the first person to be executed under the law in 1540, although it is interesting to note that Sir Walter was in fact implicated in an insurrection against the king.
Thus began in England, more than five centuries ago the buggery law.

Predator Paedophiles (Guyanese Editorial)


(In relation to their sexual offences bill debate)

There are reports that a 35-year-old man from West Berbice has been charged with raping and sodomising a nine-year old girl. It is alleged that the man was on bail for raping another 10-year-old girl and had also committed the act on many other girls of the same age group, with several of those incidents being settled out of court. The pattern of behaviour of the alleged perpetrator fits the classic profile of a “paedophile”.While the meaning of the term is “one who loves children” the behaviour is hardly as benign as it sounds, since the typical paedophile is totally obsessed with having sex with the juveniles – boys as well as girls. Even though we have been inundated over the last few years with reports of this bestial behaviour, we are only glimpsing the tip of the iceberg. Studies in the US show that for every instance where the paedophile is apprehended for raping a child, there are at least a hundred acts that did not surface or were hushed up.

From anecdotal evidence of adults recollecting their past, the reality for the Guyanese is no different.Paedophiles can be found in every demographic category: old, young, educated, uneducated, professional, non-professionals – and of all races, colours and creeds. Typically, however, the paedophile is male, single, seemingly fascinated with children – especially around puberty and targets shy, handicapped, and withdrawn children, or those who come from troubled homes. They work to master their manipulative skills and often unleash them on troubled children by first becoming their friend, building the child’s self-esteem.While the new sexual offences bill before Parliament addresses some of the issues emanating from paedophilic behaviour they do so in a generalised fashion. We believe that the matter is serious enough to warrant specific legislation.

Take the issue of bail: the above cited instance of an alleged paedophile committing sexual offences while out on bail is not the exception – it is rather the norm. This circumstance raises the larger issue of exactly how society is to deal with a crime that incarceration appears to have no effect in diminishing.
Because of the deep-seated nature of the paedophilic imperative, some in the medical community have begun to view paedophilia as a disease rather than a crime. They have amassed evidence that at least some violent and antisocial behaviour have genetic links and signposts, but have been unable to isolate a biological cause for paedophilia. In our view, it is a mistake to label a behaviour—even a behaviour with some biological and genetic determinants—a “disease” because it ultimately means abandoning the concept of volition altogether. To do so would place us on a very slippery slope – for if there is no volition where is the crime?

The repercussion from the activities of paedophiles reverberate so widely (as was explained above) that we need to even revisit the putative benefits of incarcerating the offender after conviction. In the developed countries, lifetime recidivism rates show that “rehabilitation” alone in jails have not been very effective for sex offenders, and we know that deterrence is unlikely when most offenders are able to “get away with” multiple acts before apprehension. Now it would not be practical from an economic standpoint to keep all convicted paedophiles locked up for life: the only treatment that works and is feasible is castration of male offenders.
While it may sound harsh, in an effort to stop male paedophiles, male child molesters have the option of being chemically castrated in several states in the US. “Chemical castration” is a term used to describe treatment with a drug called Depo-Provera – a common birth control pill for women – that, when given to men, acts on the brain to inhibit hormones that stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone. The only drawback is that the drug had to be administered monthly and may be counteracted. In Guyana, with so many of our beautiful children being exposed to these deviants, we propose that the procedure must be made mandatory on convicted paedophiles.

Imposition, Bribery or foolhardy – UK Minister takes ‘pink diplomacy’ to anti-gay nations

A gay Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant is championing a controversial drive to fund equal-rights activists in homophobic regimes.British missions in countries such as Jamaica, where homosexual acts are punishable by long jail terms, and Nigeria, where they can lead to the death penalty, are being encouraged to “support progress” by financing gay pride marches and legal challenges from local campaigners.

As well as targeting Commonwealth countries, “pink diplomacy” will extend to eastern Europe, where gays have suffered brutal attacks from far-right groups. Opportunities to tackle discrimination in ultra-conservative nations, such as Iran, are also being considered – cautiously.The move risks a backlash from countries where support for homosexuality runs contrary to state teaching and religious beliefs.The fact that the initiative is being promoted by Bryant, a former Anglican curate, could exacerbate things. He was ridiculed for sending a picture of himself in his underpants to a friend via a gay dating website six years ago.

Bryant, 47, said: “It is completely up to staff in our embassies and consulates around the world to decide the most appropriate and effective way of making our case but we do encourage this important work because British values are based on fair play and the protection of the individual’s freedom. We are not naive about this work. In some places oppressive regimes make it some of the toughest work we do.”Bryant thanked Robin Barnett, the ambassador to Bucharest, for attending a gay pride march in the Romanian capital that had previously been targeted by thugs hurling fireworks and stones. A 2008 study by the European Commission ranked Romania as the most homophobic in the European Union.Officials confirmed this weekend that the new policy included financial backing.

A Foreign Office briefing document sent to British missions, said Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Nigeria and Uzbekistan were “countries of particular concern”.

SOURCE

Barebacking in Jamaica a worrying reality for me

I have been holding on to this post for a while since I wanted to be sure that what I was gathering was factual, as the post title says bare backing is a rising trend here in Jamaica despite high visibility of safer sex messages and interventions by NGOs and the Ministry of Health young gay and bisexual men especially are practising bareback sex.

The discussion came up for me over the weekend again when a young man came to me worried about the decision he had made to have unprotected sex with an older male lover who happens to be married. Following that luckily I happened to be at a get together put on by a concerned former gay rights activist who called an impromptu meeting of 13 males to discuss various issues affecting gay men here and of course the matter of HIV/AIDS came up for mention. The participants mostly in their mid twenties spoke frankly about their practices and how they did practice safer sex, but in a break out condom demonstration myself and another AIDS 101 trained individual ran with we found out, that while persons were aware of the need for a condom and the main reasons that of to stop HIV/AIDS transmission many were not knowledgeable of the other STIs. It was also surprising to hear that beliefs we thought were dead several years ago that of HIV+ people visibly showing signs before one would take condom action were still around in the minds of a younger generation who never saw the onslaught of the disease in it’s hay day.

Many of the young men continued that they preferred bareback sex due to the natural feeling and the supposed complaints by their partners of becoming flaccid after putting on a condom. Very few in the group practised or knew about enemas at all and none had ever seen an enema kit before disposable or otherwise. Few used the home remedy method that of a bottle with plain water for flushing. It begs the examination of what is required to rescue the young MSM population despite all the well intentioned efforts to capture and enthrall this group to safer sex practices.

Segway:
It’s not only homosexuals that are bareaking but str8s and bisexuals too, myths about sex with virgins to cure common Sexually translitted diseases are still alive and the whole hepephelic scene where teen girls are the object of sexual attraction by older men is still quite commonplace. Bisexual men in particular while practising safe sex with their male partners tend to not use condoms with their at home or common law female partners thus anything can happen to the obedient wife or spouse. It just boggles my mind that all we know about AIDS and safer sex individauls do not or are not able to make the concious decision to practice safer sex of abstinance for that matter for their own preservation.

As for figures the most recent MSM survey that I am aware of :

Privately I am doing my little part for spreading the word on safer sex at least persons can make informed choices, for me it must be ongoing the business of HIV/AIDS intervention especially for our up and coming excited youngsters and adolescents.

ONE MIND AT A TIME YAH.

Lata

H

Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation

1. Introduction
Laying the Foundation of the Report
Psychology, Religion, and Homosexuality

2. A Brief History of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts
Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis
Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.
Affirmative Approaches: Kinsey; Ford and Beach; and Hooker
Decline of SOCE.
Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Provided to Religious Individuals

3. A Systematic Review of Research on the Efficacy of SOCE
Overview of the Systematic Review
Methodological Problems in the Research Literature on SOCE
Summary

4. A Systematic Review of Research on the Efficacy of SOCE: Outcomes
Reports of Benefit
Reports of Harm
Conclusion
FULL PDF DOC HERE

also of interest: The Psychological Profession and Homosexuality: Lunatics Running the Asylum?
source:

Excerpt from article:
The American Psychological Association Perpetuates the Madness
In its most recent statement on the topic, the American Psychological Association (APA) has softened its tone somewhat against psychologists who do reorientation therapy for homosexuals. However it maintains that, “Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation”.
The refusal of the organization to accept the increasingly strong evidence against its position is another reminder of how entrenched the sophistry of sexual hedonism has become among the leaders of the organization.
In recent years, a number of studies have been published in peer-reviewed psychology journals, indicating that significant numbers of patients who voluntarily participate in therapy to change their sexual orientation are successful and happy with the results. Combined with numerous individual testimonies by former homosexuals, evidence in favor of the practice is overwhelming.
However, in its new report, “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation,” the APA’s leadership declares that all of those studies can be dismissed because, in its words, “None of the recent research (1999-2007) meets methodological standards that permit conclusions regarding efficacy or safety.”
The report therefore conveniently disposes of the most recent studies on the topic — the ones that undermine the APA’s position. The only studies that remain are ones done before the resurgence of the reparative therapy movement, in the 1970s, when the APA declared that homosexual orientation and sodomy really weren’t unhealthy after all. New research is rejected in favor of research that is now over 30 years old, applied to therapeutic practices that may no longer be in use.
However, the authors of Essential Psychotherapy and its Treatment, a standard text in medical schools, disagree with the APA’s leadership, and say that the newer studies vindicate sexual reorientation therapy.
The newest edition (2009) notes on page 488 that, “While many mental health care providers and professional associations have expressed considerable skepticism that sexual orientation could be changed with psychotherapy and also assumed that therapeutic attempts at reorientation would produce harm, recent empirical evidence demonstrates that homosexual orientation can indeed be therapeutically changed in motivated clients, and that reorientation therapies do not produce emotional harm when attempted (e.g., Byrd & Nicolosi, 2002; Byrd et al., 2008; Shaeffer et al., 1999; Spitzer, 2003).”
The APA’s latest report, done by a task force composed of psychologists with long records of homosexualist activism, also claims as “scientific facts” that “same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality-in other words, they are not indicators of mental or developmental disorders” and “no empirical studies or peer-reviewed research supports theories attributing same-sex sexual orientation to family dysfunction or trauma.”
These unbelievable statements fly in the face of more than a century of scientific, peer-reviewed studies and clinical observation that indicate that much homosexual behavior originates in deficient family relationships and is associated with a wide range of diseases and pathological behaviors.
Studies have shown that homosexuals disproportionately come from families in which sons or daughters lack a healthy relationship with one or both of their parents, or in situations in which the homosexual was the victim of child sex abuse by a same-sex adult.
Homosexual behavior is also statistically associated with a host of diseases, disorders, and pathological behaviors, including venereal and other diseases, promiscuity and unstable relationships , anxiety disorders , depression and suicide , alcoholism and drug abuse , domestic violence , pederasty, and early death .
Even the homosexual Gay and Lesbian Medical Association admits that homosexuals suffer disproportionate rates of disease and self destructive beahviour.