Brother Bimbo del Doppio Senso, OPI: December 2005 Archives

December 6, 2005

Treatment of LGBT people in Poland

Poland: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people have been suffering increasing official harassment and police violence, and religion is being used as an excuse. A May 2005 protest supporting equal treatment was banned by the Mayor of Warsaw, now Poland's president, on the grounds that it was sexually obscene and offensive to other people's religious feelings.

The improvised parade still took place on 10 June, gathering more than 2,500 participants. Less than a week after that, the mayor authorized the so-called normality parade, during which members of the All Polish Youth reportedly demonstrated on the streets of Warsaw and shouted slogans inciting intolerance and homophobia...

During the year other political figures were also reported to have made openly homophobic statements, including that that if a homosexual tries to infect others with their homosexuality, then the state must intervene in this violation of freedom, calling for no tolerance for homosexuals and deviants and: Let's not mistake the brutal propaganda of homosexual attitudes for calls for tolerance. For them our rule will indeed mean a dark night.

Prime Minister Kasimierz Marcinkiewicz, an extremist Roman Catholic, is responsible for some of these statements.

More recently, a march for Equality in Posnań was disrupted by police who assaulted and arrested over 60 peaceful demonstrators. A counter-demonstration was ignored.

They were reportedly harassed and intimidated by members of a right-wing grouping known as All Polish Youth (Młodzież Wszechpolska), who allegedly shouted Let's gas the fags and We'll do to you what Hitler did with Jews.

All of this is illegal under international law. Poland is a signatory to two treaties which guarantee that all individuals enjoy human rights without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The European Commission has already written a strongly-worded letter criticising the Polish government, and noting that under the Treaty of Nice, the country could lose its voting rights in the European Union. Nothing has been done since October though, and the violations have continued. So, Lisette, a voluntary LGBT activist, has set up a pledge at Pledgebank.

I will send a protest statement to the European Commission to protest against discrimination of LGBT people in Poland and demand that the Commission pays more attention to these issues. but only if 100 other people will do the same and sign their name here after sending the protest mail to: cab-archive-barrot@cec.eu.int.

I have done so, and the news links below provide a lot more information about sepcific examples upon which you might wish to comment. Citizens of the United States might like to note that the US State Department has had preceisely nothing to say about Poland's violations of international law, and has taken no action whatsoever.

I will send a protest statement to the European Commission...Pledgebank pledge, expires 31st December 2005; Polish Gays Fighting BackGay City News, 1st-7th December 2005; Poland: LGBT rights under attackAmnesty International, 25th November 2005; EU Warns Poland On Gays365Gay.com, 26th October 2005.

December 1, 2005

World AIDS Day: Religious lunatics abound

Although there are many excellent initiatives from religious groups, there are still some who see HIV/AIDS as an excuse to engage in hate speech and victim blaming. And it's not all 'Christians' pointedly ignoring the reported words and actions of Jesus - here's some extracts from a Kashmiri Muslim loon, who thinks that AIDS spreads because the West is all atheist:

We can call it a sexual Glasnost. A world where buggery, bestiality, adultery, incest and all such diabolic deeds of a human being have made even devil blush with himself. The story begins with a fanciful wish of making this world the be-all and end-all of fun and merriment. They had a desire to make it a paradise, it turned hellish even for hedonists hit not by a disease, but by a tragedy, by a punishment, by a fatal, mortal dread we call AIDS. God save them.

FREEDOM UNLIMITTED, DISASTER INDESCRIBABLE, Greater Kashmir, 1st December 2005.

World AIDS Day: Passing the blame

In many societies, AIDS preventions efforts are hampered by sheer supersition. In Zambia, fears of Satanism are effecting a testing and counselling project:

And Kanyama residents yesterday shunned the HIV/AIDS voluntary, counselling and testing (VCT) preliminary HIV/AIDS function, for fear that their blood samples would be used for Satanism purposes.

Kanyama Member of Parliament Henry Mtonga said HIV/AIDS counsellors had faced resistance from the people in the area following last Saturday's riots in which a church was accused of practising Satanism.

The Member of Parliament then went on to give credence to the rumour, contributing to the problem:

Mr Mtonga said it was important for people to distinguish between blood samples meant for VCT and those that were meant for alleged Satanism activities.

And in news media everywhere, there are stories of stigma and denial, placing the blame on witchcraft. Here's just one example, from a long article explaining how cultural traditions in one area have helped spread the virus:

There is a big number of number of people who do not want to go through VCT [voluntary counselling and testing centres], who do not utilise the antiretroviral programmes that are already in place in Nyanza. In fact, they do not want even to know what killed people, he said.

People continue interacting sexually with these women even after their husbands have died of HIV/AIDS, Olayo observed. Alternative explanations are given for every death. It is either a neighbour's witchcraft, or chira [a curse], or something else.

High HIV/AIDS death toll worries British envoy - Times of Zambia, 30th November 2005; KENYA: Cultural traditions fuel the spread of HIV/AIDS - IRIN Africa, 30th November 2005.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by Brother Bimbo del Doppio Senso, OPI in December 2005.

Brother Bimbo del Doppio Senso, OPI: December 2004 is the previous archive.

Brother Bimbo del Doppio Senso, OPI: December 2007 is the next archive.

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