|European Parliament resolution of 28 September 2011 on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations|
The European Parliament ,
– having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to the European Convention on Human Rights, and to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,
– having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/251 establishing the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC),
– having regard to the Declaration of 16 March 2006 by the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on behalf of the European Union on the establishment of the UNHRC,
– having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2011 on the 16th session of the UNHRC(1) ,
– having regard to its resolution of 16 December 2010 on Human Rights in the World in 2009 and EU policy on the matter(2) ,
– having regard to previous joint statements and declarations at the United Nations, including the Joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity of 22 March 2011 at the Human Rights Council, and the Declaration on Human Rights and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity of 18 December 2008 at the General Assembly,
– having regard to the UNHRC resolution A/HRC/17/19 of 17 June 2011 on Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity,
– having regard to the 17th session of the UNHRC, which adopted resolution A/HRC/17/19 on Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, and the 19th session of the UNHRC, which will hold the panel discussion mandated by resolution A/HRC/17/19,
– having regard to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly resolution 1728 of 29 April 2010 on Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and the Committee of Ministers recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 of 31 March 2010 on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity,
– having regard to the Organization of American States resolution AG/RES. 2653 of 7 June 2011 on Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity,
– having regard to the report 'Homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity' by the Fundamental Rights Agency (November 2010),
– having regard to Articles 2, 3(5), 18, 21 and 27 of the Treaty on European Union, and Article 10 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
– having regard to the Council of the European Union's Toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People,
– having regard to the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations,
– having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas respect for, and the promotion and safeguarding of, the universality of human rights is part of the European Union's ethical and legal acquis and one of the cornerstones of European unity and integrity;
B. whereas numerous human rights violations linked to sexual orientation and gender identity occur daily in the European Union as well as in third countries;
C. whereas the European Union and its Member States should guarantee respect for human rights in their own policies and practice, so as to strengthen and make credible the European Union's position in the UNHRC;
D. whereas the European Union attaches paramount importance to universal and indivisible human rights;
E. whereas the European Union already includes sexual orientation and gender identity in its work at the United Nations, within regional bodies and some of its bilateral human rights dialogues;
F. whereas the UNHRC resolution on Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity is the first resolution adopted at the United Nations dealing specifically with sexual orientation and gender identity;
G. whereas states from all regions, including all EU Member States at the UNHRC, voted in favour of the resolution on Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, and 21 EU Member States sponsored the resolution;
H. whereas several United Nations human rights treaty bodies, special rapporteurs and agencies, as well as the United Nations Secretary-General and High Commissioner for Human Rights, have expressed grave concerns about human rights violations experienced by LGBT people worldwide;
I. whereas other regional institutions, including the Council of Europe and the Organization of American States, recently adopted resolutions condemning human rights abuses on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity;
1. Reiterates its concern regarding the numerous human rights violations and widespread discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, both in the European Union and in third countries;
2. Acknowledges and supports the work already undertaken by the Human Rights Council, the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN human rights treaty bodies, special rapporteurs and other UN agencies to ensure that international human rights standards apply fully, regardless of a person's sexual orientation and gender identity;
3. Welcomes the adoption of resolution A/HRC/17/19 on Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity by the Human Rights Council;
4. Draws attention to the fact that the resolution was supported by states from all regions and authored by South Africa; reiterates that human rights are universal and indivisible, and apply equally to all regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity;
5. Supports the organisation of a panel discussion during the 19th session of the Human Rights Council in spring 2012 to have 'constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity'; takes the view that holding a respectful and open dialogue on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity among UN Member States from all regions is indispensable;
6. Welcomes the longstanding support of EU Member States and the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for including sexual orientation and gender identity in the work of the Human Rights Council and of other UN bodies, including in the case of earlier joint statements and declarations;
7. Recalls that the Toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by LGBT People of the Working Party on Human Rights of the Council of the European Union mentions the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the world, equality and non-discrimination, and the protection of human rights defenders as key priorities; takes the view that the High Representative, all EU institutions and Member States should uphold these priorities systematically at home and in their foreign relations;
8. Calls on the High Representative and Member States to systematically promote, in partnership with third countries, the protection and respect of human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations and in other multilateral fora, and bilaterally in their human rights dialogues;
9. Encourages Member States to engage constructively, and in partnership with third countries, with the Universal Periodic Review and treaty body procedures to ensure that human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity are fully upheld in the European Union and in third countries; to this end, encourages Member States and the High Representative to ensure consistency between the EU's external and internal action in the field of human rights, as provided for by Article 21(3) of the Treaty on European Union;
10. Calls on the High Representative, the Commission and Member States to further promote, in partnership with third countries, human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity through bilateral human rights dialogues, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and other external financial instruments;
11. Regrets that the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not yet always fully upheld in the European Union, including the right to bodily integrity, the right to private and family life, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to freedom of assembly, the right to non-discrimination, the right to freedom of movement, including the right to free movement for same-sex couples and their families, the right of access to preventive health care, the right to medical treatment and the right to asylum;
12. Recalls Member States' obligation to protect or grant asylum to third country nationals escaping or risking persecution in their country of origin on the basis of their sexual orientation, as laid down in Directive 2004/83/EC(3) on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted;
13. Roundly condemns the fact that homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality are still regarded as mental illnesses by some countries, including within the EU, and calls on states to combat this; calls in particular for the depsychiatrisation of the transsexual, transgender, journey, for free choice of care providers, for changing identity to be simplified, and for costs to be met by social security schemes;
14. Draws attention to the findings of the European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency in its report 'Homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity'; calls on the Commission and Member States to act on the opinions contained therein to the greatest possible extent;
15. Calls on Member States, the Commission and the EEAS to fully address these inequalities; reiterates its request that the Commission produce a comprehensive roadmap against homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity;
16. Calls on the Commission and the World Health Organisation to withdraw gender identity disorders from the list of mental and behavioural disorders, and to ensure a non-pathologising reclassification in the negotiations on the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11);
17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, the Commission, the Council of the European Union, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Secretary-General.
Friday, 30 September 2011
EU Parliament: Parliament condemns daily violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
28.9.2011 minn SAĊERDOT, Victoria, Għawdex
Ippermettili nirreferi għal dak li kien irrapportat fil-ġurnal tiegħek tal-Ħamis, 1 ta' Settembru, 2011, fejn f'paġna 8 kien hemm artiklu li kien intitolat: "Monsinjur jikkundanna lil kull min appoġġja d-dħul tad-divorzju".
Dwar il-kontenut ta' dan l-artiklu, xtaqt inqajjem xi mistoqsijiet u nagħmel xi kjarifiki/interventi:
Intqal li "għadha ma saret ebda ċensura mill-awtoritajiet tal-Knisja". Nifhem jien li dak li stqarr l-Onorevoli Ċensu Galea qiegħed jiġi endorsjat minn dan il-ġurnal. Jien jidhirli li l-PL, li hu l-partit tal-liberali u tal-progressivi, hu kontra ċ-ċensura! U allura x'sens jagħmel li toħloq pressjoni fuq l-awtoritajiet ekkleżjastiċi biex japplikaw ċ-ċensura? Aħna rridu jew ma rridux li l-Knisja tirriforma ruħha?
Inkwantu t-tagħlim tal-Knisja dwar "l-indissolubbiltà taż-żwieġ", jiġifieri, li "l-indissolubbiltà taż-żwieġ hi Domma tal-Fidi definita fis-Sessjoni XXIV tal-Konċilju ta' Trentu u definita bħala ex iure divino" – persważ li dan it-tagħlim għadu jgħodd u allura s'hawn il-Monsinjur Gauci għandu raġun.
Ċertament li dawk l-Insara li jiċħdu dan it-tagħlim awtomatikament jwettqu żball u allura bħala konsegwenza jsiru ħatjin ta' Ereżija u allura s'hawn il-Monsinjur Gauci għandu wkoll raġun.
Fejn ma naqbilx ma' Monsinjur Gauci hu fil-każ tal-interpretazzjoni, bħallikieku li l-Parlamentari Maltin li vvotaw favur id-divorzju kienu qegħdin jiċħdu dan it-tagħlim dommatiku.
Nifhem jien li l-Parlamentari Maltin kienu qegħdin jilleġiżlaw għall-membri ta' Stat Sekulari/Lajk. Kellhom f'moħħhom li jilleġiżlaw ix-xewqa ta' Poplu Sovran kif espressa fir-Referendum. Kellhom f'moħħhom is-soċjetà ċivili fl-interezza tagħha. Iċ-ċittadin li mhux Nisrani (anke jekk f'minoranza) għandu l-benefiċċju li jagħmel użu minn din il-liġi. S'intendi anke ċ-ċittadin li hu Nisrani jistà jagħmel użu minn din il-liġi però jkun qiegħed jirriskja li ma jkunx f'rabta regolari mal-Knisja – dan hu tagħlim tal-Knisja Kattolika. S'intendi sta għan-Nisrani jekk jonorax il-liġi tal-Knisja jew le! Bħalma sta għan-Nisrani jekk jonorax il-liġi t'Alla jew le!
Naħseb li f'dan ir-rigward ikun utli jekk wieħed jirrifetti fuq il-kelmiet tal-Arċisqof ta' Berlin (li miet fit-30 ta' Ġunju) il-Kardinal Georg Sterzinsky, meta stqarr fuq Domradio.de, li "secularism would continue to spread and the number of Christians continue to shrink. For Christians this would increasingly resemble the situation in biblical times and would be a 'Christianity of choice'." (The Tablet, 9 ta' Lulju, 2011, p.27).
Ikun utli wkoll jekk nirriflettu fuq il-kelmiet tal-Arċisqof ta' New York, Timothy Dolan. Fil-kuntest tal-abbozz ta' ligi li jikkontempla l-leġiżlazzjoni dwar "same sex marriage" (li hu differenti mill-każ tagħna), filwaqt li jikkonsidra din il-leġiżlazzjoni bħala: "ominous threat" u għaldaqstant jwissi li l-Gvern "should not be able to change fundamental social institutions", għall-mistoqsija li saritlu "whether the Church would excommunicate Catholics who supported the measure, jwieġeb billi jikkonkludi: "We try to model ourselves after Jesus, and he's always conciliatory… Sometimes, if we come off too hard, we lose more people. Our job is to try to patiently change hearts, and not be throwing people out." (The Tablet, 2 ta' Lulju, 2011, p.30).
Fil-fehma tiegħi, jekk nieħdu f'konsiderazzjoni t-twissijiet ta' dawn l-Isqfijiet, ikun hemm aktar lok biex il-Knisja tiddjaloga mas-Soċjetà Ċivili, minflok nehdew nitkellmu fuq ċensuri u skomuniki. Fuq kollox, u hawnhekk nixtieq inqajjem u nikkonkludi b'mistoqsija fundamentali, jistgħu jew ma jistgħux, it-twissijiet ta' dawn l-Isqfijiet, jservu bħala linja gwida għall-Knisja Maltija?
Council of Europe (COE)
In schools across Europe young persons are being harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Homophobic and transphobic bullying is an every day reality in the lives of many. It is time to react – especially in view of several national studies and reports warning that there have been a number of suicides among young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons feeling rejected by their peers and families.
The scope of this problem appears to be large. A study in the United Kingdom showed that nine in ten secondary school teachers had witnessed children being subjected to homophobic bullying in their schools. Among primary school teachers two in five had made similar observations regarding children at this very early stage.
Such studies have also demonstrated that children in primary schools use homophobic remarks alarmingly often. They pick up and repeat negative jargon, most often without even understanding what the words refer to.
My recent report "Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe" contains numerous examples of how factually wrong information about LGBT persons is disseminated – sometimes also by schools themselves. This is a serious problem and may contribute to bullying and to cementing homophobic and transphobic attitudes.
School books used to spread prejudices
The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990. Despite this, prejudices and misunderstandings have too often lived on in teaching programmes.
Only this past summer was a decision taken in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" to revise a school textbook describing homosexuals as "neurotic and psychotic persons" with an "abnormal, unnatural and degenerated sexual life". From Lithuania I have received information that children have been taught that homosexuality is a sickness and that same-sex relationships destroy families.
In 2009 the European Committee of Social Rights set an important standard in its review of a complaint against Croatia regarding the content of a school biology textbook which was held to contain prejudiced information. The Committee found that "Certain educational materials which are used in the regular teaching programme are biased, discriminatory and degrading." Croatia withdrew the textbook as a result of the Committee's findings, though NGOs in the country still report similar problems with other textbooks.
"Don't stand for homophobic bullying"
Some member states have taken encouraging initiatives. A national action plan in Norway targets schools at both primary and secondary level and has added an LGBT dimension to subjects in the mainstream curriculum. In Estonia the national study curriculum provides a basis for discussions on LGB issues. UNESCO is initiating an international consultation on homophobic bullying in educational institutions. NGOs conduct indispensable anti-homophobic bullying campaigns such as the Irish 'Don't stand for homophobic bullying' initiative.
There is a strong need to review curricula and teaching materials in all member states of the Council of Europe. This was also emphasised in a Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Recommendation which called on member states to provide "pupils and students with the necessary information, protection and support to enable them to live in accordance with their sexual orientation and gender identity."
Schools obliged to protect students
It is an obligation for all schools to protect their students from bullying and to teach respect and openness. School personnel need thorough training concerning non-discrimination issues. One important tool in this regard could be the Council of Europe training pack on violence reduction in schools.
Policy makers and school management need to give strong support to teachers in order for them to have the means and resources to create a healthy and inclusive environment in schools and classrooms.
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011, by AFP
Pope Benedict XVI expressed understanding yesterday for those who had turned their backs on the Catholic Church after the recent sex abuse scandals, on his first state visit to his German homeland.
At the start of a four-day trip, the Pontiff also took a conciliatory tone with thousands of protesters rallying in free-wheeling, increasingly secular Berlin and reached out in the former Nazi capital to the Jewish community.
"I can understand that in the face of such reports, people, especially those close to victims, would say 'this isn't my Church anymore'," the Pope, 84, told reporters on his plane from Rome in reference to widespread abuse by priests.
But he asked for patience as the Church grapples with enduring outrage over the scandals that has threatened to cloud his visit to Germany, where his election six years ago had met with an outpouring of joy.
The Church "is a net of the Lord which catches both good fish and bad," he said ahead of his arrival, which was met with a 21-gun salute and children bearing flowers under glorious autumn sunshine.
He said in his first speech to a national assembly, Germany's Bundestag lower house of Parliament, that public officials must embrace their moral responsibilities.
"To serve right and fight against the dominion of wrong is and remains the fundamental task of the politician," he said in an address that met with a standing ovation as well as a boycott by dozens of leftist lawmakers.
The Pope said growing positivism, the rule of logic and the rejection of metaphysics, was diminishing humanity and encouraging "extremist and radical movements" to fill a vacuum left in Western culture. Germany's Christians are split down the middle between Catholics and Lutherans, each with about one-third of the population in the country that was the cradle of the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago.
A few blocks away behind police barriers, peaceful demonstrators, some dressed as contraceptives and nuns, rallied against Pope Benedict's views on issues ranging from gay rights to the paedophile priest scandals.
Police and protesters put their number at around 10,000, half the number organisers had expected.
Pope Benedict told reporters demonstrations were "normal in a free society marked by strong secularism."
"One can't object" to such protests as long as they were "civil", he added. "I respect those who speak out."
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by di-ve.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
Politics -- 25 September 2011 -- 14:10CEST
Next March's local elections, which will see new councils elected in half of Malta's localities, was a particular focus for the Labour leader. Dr Muscat insisted that councils were in need of change, and should not simply become an extension of the national government.
Dr Muscat said that in politics, the young had typically served as window dressing, and insisted that his party sought to change this. He said that political parties could not forget that the earth did not revolve around them, and that they could end up irrelevant if they do not notice changes in society.
The Labour leader touched on a number of issues which were of concern to the young, stating his opposition to limiting student intake at university, lamenting delays in drawing up IVF legislation and stressing the need for improved gay rights legislation.
The Labour leader also referred to the divorce law, lamenting that the structures which need to be set up to deal with divorce applications have not yet been put in place, even though the law comes into force next week.
Monday, 26 September 2011
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2011
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Sunday, 25 September 2011
25.9.2011 minn Aleander Balzan
“Il-liġi tal-koabitazzjoni għandha tkun ibbojkottjata mill-gays għax din il-liġi ma tagħrafx l-imħabba, imma tgħaraf biss li tnejn jgħixu flimkien. Din il-liġi tpoġġi lill-persuni gay on par man-nannu li jgħix man-neputija jew maz-ziju li jgħix mal-bużnanna. Mela gays li għandhom relazzjoni sesswali bħal tnejn miżżewwġin huma l-istess bħal kull relazzjoni oħra? Żewġ persuni gay li jgħixu taħt saqaf wieħed u qegħdin jgħixu bħala koppja għandu jkollhom l-istess drittijiet bħal kull koppja oħra - xejn iktar u xejn inqas!
“Fil-każ ta’ Joanne, per eżempju, li biddlet is-sess tagħha. Minkejja li llum hija mara ma tistax tiżżewweġ!
Għal Felix Busuttil l-emfasi fuq iż-żwieġ ġejja mill-fatt li dan l-istat jagħti iktar rikonoxximent, anke legali.
“X’differenza tgħaddi bejn adozzjoni jew żewġ nisa lesbjani li jiddeċiedu li jkollhom it-tfal tagħhom jew żewġ irġiel li jagħżlu surrogate mother bl-isperma tagħhom? Jew dak li kien miżżewweġ qabel, kellu it-tfal, ma ridx iktar jaħbi li hu gay u li issa separat u t-tfal jgħaddu tmiem il-ġimgħa miegħu anke jekk qiegħed f’relazzjoni gay? Dawn huma double standards. Kif se nipproteġu it-tfal tal-gays? Għax ħafna koppji gay illum jixtiequ ukoll it-tfal hija stupida u ta’ disprezz li ngħidu fl-istess sentenza gay u pedofilu - dawn ma għandhom x’jaqsmu. Jeżistu ħafna straights li mmolestaw lit-tfal tagħhom. Allura nneħħu d-dritt lill-ettrosesswali li jkollhom it-tfal?! Min hu gay trabba ġo familja totalment straight - allura kif ma kienx influwenzat ( u gay mhiex influwenza!! ) li jkun straight?” temm jistaqsi Busuttil.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2011 By BIANCA CARUANA
Gay community should 'boycott' cohabitation laws that do not celebrate the love of gay people in relationships. 'We're still treated as third class citizens' - Felix Busuttil.
Choreographer Felix Busuttil said the gay community should ‘boycott’ a law on cohabitation unless equal partnerships for gay couples are recognised by the state.
Busuttil, 47, told GWU organ It-Torca that a law on cohabitation was not a recognition of the love of two people living together. “This law will just put gay persons at par with some grandfather who lives with their niece or the uncle who lives with the great grandmother,” Busuttil said.
“Gay couples living under one roof should be given exactly the same rights as any other straight couple. Nothing more, nothing less,” Busuttil said.
A cohabitation bill to grant unmarried couples rights akin to those who are married is still in the works. The 1998 electoral pledge by the Nationalist Party was never taken up, until Lawrence Gonzi was faced with a private member’s bill on divorce by Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, which went on to become law after a national referendum approved it.
Felix Busuttil has however rejected the notion that the law could be a substitute for gay marriage. “Gay people in Malta are being treated as third-class citizens without any rights, paying the same amount of tax as any other citizen… the gay community must be included actively in equal state laws.”
“This is not a choice or influence. Gays are the children of heterosexual people, not homosexual. If there was a choice, it would be much easier to choose to be straight and not gay,” said Busuttil.
Busuttil argued that civil partnerships would introduce equal recognition of rights irrespective of sexual orientation or gender. Gay marriage would also be treated the same as any other in regards to “taxes, pensions, inheritance, hospital and prison visits, bereavement leave, next-of-kin and other laws taken for granted by straight politicians.”
He also said civil partnerships would give more stability and responsibility than cohabitation rights. “It would also prove a social commitment by Maltese and Europeans toward equal rights just as before when different races were accepted as ‘children of God’ and women were given more rights when they were recognised as equal to men.”
Busuttil also hit out at double standards preventing gay men and women from adopting children. “Because many gay couples today want children too, it is stupid and disrespectful to use ‘gay’ and ‘paedophile’ in the same sentence. They have nothing to do with each other,” Busuttil said of the unfair opposition to gay adoptions.
“There are many straight parents who molest their own children, so should the right for heterosexual people to have children also be removed?”
Busuttil also said children had to be better educated in understanding that being gay was not a life choice, but a genetic trait affecting 10% of the world population. “It would increase appreciation and respect toward the gay community reducing bullying and serious suicide cases.”
The choreographer also said there was greater need for more separation between Chuch and state, the latter being obliged to protect minorities and their human rights. “And that includes love, which is an essential human right.”
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25.9.2011 by Louis Cilia
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