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Author Topic: Gay Liberation - History  (Read 3005 times)

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Mogul

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Re: Gay Liberation - History
« Reply #5 on: Mon, Oct 10, 2005, 01:02 »

Professor Douglas Sanders
was the first openly gay man to keep a speech before the UNITED NATIONS (on August 6th, 1992)


The text of the speech:

Presentation: Thursday, August 6th, 1992
Professor Douglas Sanders

UNITED NATIONS
Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, 44th Annual Session August 3rd to 28th, 1992, Geneva, Switzerland.

Agenda Item 17: Promotion, protection, and restoration of human rights at national, regional, and international levels.

STATEMENT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF LESBIAN AND GAY PEOPLE

JOINT STATEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES AND
THE INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY ASSOCIATION


Human Rights Advocates are pleased to present the following statement in collaboration with the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

Lesbian and gay human rights issues have received increasing attention at the national and regional levels. To date they have received almost no attention at the international level.

In our view, this represents a very serious omission in the human rights work of this and other international human rights bodies.

Let me briefly give some examples of positive developments which have recently occurred at national and regional
levels:

First, examples of developments at the national level.

-- Laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation" have been enacted in many jurisdictions in the last decade. We note the renewed commitment of Canada, this June, to introduce such a provision in national legislation, adding to provisions already in place in six provinces or territories.

-- In 1989 Denmark enacted a Registered Partnership law. This was a major mover towards a norm of equality between homosexual and heterosexual couples. The Danish law is likely to be copied in a number of European countries.

-- In 1991 Australia established equality in its immigration laws with provisions recognizing all relationships of "emotional interdependency." In granting lesbians and gays equal rights to sponsor their partners as immigrants, Australia was following the lead of New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

-- Homosexuals have been achieving much higher visibility in their countries. Homosexual rights organizations have existed in Western countries or many years, but new organizations have been established in the last decade in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Today, openly homosexual individuals hold elected national office in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and in other states.

Secondly, I would like to give examples of developments at the regional level. At this point we are only aware of developments in the European region.

-- In 1981 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution 756 and Recommendation 924 condemning discrimination against homosexuals.

-- The 1984 resolution of the European Parliament on sexual discrimination at the workplace specifically condemned discrimination against homosexuals and called on members states to report any provisions in their laws which discriminated against homosexuals.

-- The European Commission funded a summer course in lesbian and gay studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 1989, and in Essex, the United Kingdom, in 1991. The courses were organized by five European universities, including the Department of Gay and Lesbian Studies at the University of Utrecht. Research on gay and lesbians issues at the University of Utrecht has received financial support from the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Human Rights Foundation.

-- Lesbian and Gay issues have been discussed in two parallel conferences in the CSCE process [the Conference in Security and Co-operation in Europe]. The conferences were held in Oslo in 1991 and Helsinki in April of this year. The Helsinki meeting was an official CSCE parallel conference. It was organized by the Finnish homosexual rights organization SETA and funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Unfortunately these positive advanced in national and regional practice are only part of the story. Discrimination against lesbian and gay people continues in most parts of the world. These human rights violations need to be properly monitored and brought to world attention. I will very briefly give examples:

-- In one country the death penalty is applied to anyone found to have committed a homosexual act. Extrajudicial killings of lesbians and gays continue in a number of countries, including the murder, three weeks ago, of at least five homosexual activists in Mexico. The most prominent figure killed was Dr. Francisco Estrade Valle, co-founder of an AIDS education and prevention organization.

-- In many states penal laws still prohibit consenting homosexual activity. Such laws continue in Ireland in conflict with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the cases brought by Senator Norris.

-- In most states we face discrimination in civil laws dealing with inheritance, social insurance, medicalinsurance, housing, and immigration. Canadian immigration authorities have now separated me from my foreign partner, knowing that they were separating a well-established couple. The right to sponsor one's spouse as an immigrant is a right always available to heterosexuals, but regularly denied to homosexuals.

ILGA, the International Lesbian and Gay Association, was formed in 1978 and currently has approximately 500 members in more than 50 states in all regions of the world. The goal of the Association is to ensure that lesbian and gay people can enjoy equal rights with other members of the societies within which we live. The Association has worked with the World Health Organization and contributed to the 1988 Fernand-Laurent study on sexual minorities, authorized by the ECOSOC.

In spite of its useful work and very representative character, the International Lesbian and Gay Association has not yet been successful in gaining consultative status.

Lesbian and gays are, at present, completely unrepresented, as such, in the organizations holding consultative status with the United Nations. To our knowledge, I am the first homosexual to speak openly in any United Nations human rights body. I make that observation to illustrate how completely we have been outside he human rights work of the United Nations. We have been outsiders, though we are large minorities in every member state of the United Nations.

On behalf of Human Rights Advocates and the International Lesbian and Gay Association, may I suggest certain steps that we feel should be taken by the Sub-Commission:

-- Firstly, The Sub-Commission should appoint a special
rapporteur to undertake a comprehensive study on discrimination against lesbian and gay people.

-- Secondly: We call on the United Nations to include the human rights of lesbian and gay people in the agenda of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights.

-- Thirdly: We call upon the United Nations t review its own employment and benefit policies to ensure that there is no discrimination against lesbian and gay people or their partners.

-- Fourthly: We ask the Sub-Commission to encourage the
Economic and Social Council to regard favorably the applications of lesbian and gay organizations for consultative status. We wish to be here in our own names, representing our own organizations.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Source: http://www.ilga.org/news_results.asp?LanguageID=1&FileID=405&ZoneID=7&FileCategory=1
Brazilian petition (in cooperation with ILGA): http://www.brazilianresolution.com/6018/11754.html
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Jaix

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Re: Gay Liberation - History
« Reply #4 on: Wed, Sep 28, 2005, 07:45 »

Viktor,

Thanks!  That was very enlightening!  I believe there is a Radical Fairy group in Portland, Oregon USA that is quite large.
I remember going to the nude beaches along the Columbia river and seeing banners and such about it.  But I prefered the other guys without the mud crust on them, and that sand gets EVERYWHERE!


Jaix

Mogul

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Re: Gay Liberation - History
« Reply #3 on: Mon, Sep 26, 2005, 22:19 »

Harry Hay


Harry Hay was one of the founders of the US-american gay movement and the founder of the "Mattachine Society".

"After a burst of activity lasting three years, the growing Mattachine rejected Hay as a liability due to his Communist beliefs. In 1955, when he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, he had trouble finding a progressive attorney to represent him. He felt this was due to homophobia on the Left. (He was ultimately dismissed after his curt, brief testimony was deemed unimportant.) Hay felt exiled from the Left for nearly fifty years, until he received the Life Achievement Award of a Los Angeles library preserving the history and artifacts of progressive movements.

A second wind of activism came in 1979 when Hay founded, with Don Kilhefner, a spiritual movement known as the Radical Faeries. This pagan-inspired group continues internationally based on the principle that the consciousness of gays differs from that of heterosexuals. Hay believed that this different way of seeing constituted the greatest contribution gays made to society, and was indeed the reason for their continued presence throughout history."


Hay introduced some ideas about creation of a "gay homeland":

"Hay had decided that the time was ripe for reviving one of the pet projects he had first envisioned decades earlier. The project, Gourley wrote in the pamphlet announcing the gathering, involved establishing a "permanent Sanctuary, through Community Land Trust, for all of us." Hay's vision was a gay homeland, a rural commune as self-sufficient as possible, almost Amish in austerity, though no one suggested that queens be told they would have to wear black. He wasn't advocating total separation from straight society -- that wasn't practical. Besides, it was his dream that someday straight society would recognize gays and lesbians for their contributions. For decades Hay had argued that gays and lesbians were distinct peoples -- different genders entirely from their counterparts in the hetero world, a cultural minority that went back as far as time itself. In late-night conversations in Gourley's kitchen, they'd talked about the sanctuary as a place where gay men could withdraw for a time and wrestle with philosophical questions and ideas about presenting what they learned about themselves to the world outside."

(Source: http://www.westword.com/issues/2000-03-02/news/feature_3.html )

A short overview about Harry Hay: http://www.instepnews.com/harryhaydead.html
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Mogul

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Re: Gay Liberation - History
« Reply #2 on: Mon, Sep 26, 2005, 21:24 »

Patrick Gourley

Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive
By Steve Jackson
Published: Thursday, March 2, 2000 on http://www.westword.com/issues/2000-03-02/news/feature_1.html

"In 1979, the name of the center was changed to the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, reflecting the growing role of women in the movement. Soon a woman named Carol Lease was appointed its director.

In June of that year, Gourley brought Hay to Denver to be the grand marshal in that year's march commemorating Stonewall. Instead of hundreds, there were now a few thousand men and women participating. The lesbians wanted to call it a march, the gays a parade -- but the important thing to Gourley was that they were becoming an increasingly political and cohesive community. He thought it was an important step forward that as grand marshal, Hay represented a way of thinking that went beyond sex.

In part because of his conversations with Gourley and other young gay activists, Hay had decided to put in motion something he had been thinking about for some time. He called it A Spiritual Gathering for Radical Fairies, to take place in the desert near Tucson later that summer. It was the chance to examine the spiritual and political side of being gay, Hay said. He had been careful to choose each word for the event carefully: Spiritual, to emphasize that this was to be more than a party in the wilds; Gathering, which seemed to denote a coming together of equals; Radical, which Hay was always reminding Gourley meant "to the root," in that they would be exploring the root of their gayness apart from their sexuality; and Fairies, partly to "reclaim" a word that was derogatory when applied to gays, but also because it evoked images of the elusive, magical creatures of folklore.

The gathering of a couple hundred went off beautifully. Big on ceremony, queens were all over the "mud ritual" of worshiping Mother Earth by smearing their naked bodies with the stuff and dancing around in the warm Arizona air. Hay was so pleased with the outcome that he immediately put Gourley in charge of planning a second gathering for the following summer in the mountains of Colorado."


Whole article: http://www.westword.com/issues/2000-03-02/news/feature_1.html
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Mogul

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Gay Liberation - History
« Reply #1 on: Mon, Sep 26, 2005, 21:07 »

I think we should gather some articles and informations about the gay political movement - just to remember those who contributed some ideas to the gay and lesbian liberation in the past.

Sure, we probably would fail in the attempt to create a complete anthology of the gay political movement, but if we gather some facts and anecdotes from the old times, it would be fine. There is much material available on the internet and as hard-copy, so we can both collect some internet links and maybe write short recensions on important contributions. As some sources on the internet tend to disappear, we might perhapts also make a kind of library through not entirely legal, but usefull copy-paste procedure. Should some of the autors protest (not likely) we of course would obey. ::) But the memory of the gay people should be preserved in some way. Links to related projects of other organizations are fine as well, we can collect them and put into outr link section on the website. The great vision is of course creation of a Gay National Library, but a humble beginning would be fine as well!  :T

Would you like to post names and stories about people who have contributed some interesting thoughts to the emancipation movement? There are many things which "older"  >:) gays regard as obvious, but are absolutely unknown to the younger ones.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin
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