News and Opinions

Post-SlutWalk SG event in collaboration with Sayoni: Courage Unfolds

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Events



Last year, SlutWalk Singapore planned to screen the documentary Courage Unfolds together with Sayoni as part of our fringe programme. However, due to the noise SWSG started to make, MDA approached us and told us that the film had to be rated by the Board of Film Censors, despite it being a private event. We have finally paid for, and received the license to screen this film.


Courage Unfolds is a video highlighting the struggles and triumphs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Asia and promoting the use of international human rights law as a tool for social change. This video was co-produced by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and Lesbian Advocates Philippines (LeAP!).

Quick Roundup: News on Gay Marriage in the US

Written by sayoni on . Posted in LGBT News & Politics

In the past week, the state of gay marriage in the US wavered again. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California's Proposition 8 (upheld in 2008) was unconstitutional. Then one day later, Washington voted to approve gay marriage, and the bill will be signed into law very soon. That will hardly be the end of the matter, and the US will certainly witness more back and forth in the days to come, but it could be a step in the right direction.

On Proposition 8, the burning question is whether the case will be brought all the way up to the Supreme Court. The Huffington Post, in its The Top Ten Questions on the Next Steps article, claims that "many legal experts" say "the Court is less likely to take the case". For a more provocative read, The Slate attempts to unmask some of the politics between the DOMA lobby (that's "Defense of  Marriage Act") and the anti-Proposition 8 group in A Losing Proposition: Why gay-rights leaders don’t want their big Prop 8 victory to go to the Supreme Court.The more technically inclined might want to read up on a legal analysis of the case that points out how groundbreaking the ruling is.

Malaysian Activists' Response to the Seksualiti Merdeka Ban

Written by sayoni on . Posted in LGBT News & Politics

Following the press statement released by the organisers of Seksualiti Merdeka we posted about, Malaysian activists have brought the case to court. We will have to wait till the Feb 21 hearing to find out how it goes, though.


A short snippet:

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Activists launched a rare legal case Tuesday aimed at fostering gay rights in Malaysia by challenging a police ban on an anti-homophobia arts festival.

The case highlights complaints about discrimination against gays at a time when international rights groups are urging authorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia to abolish laws criminalizing same-sex relations.

The acquittal this week of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on charges of sodomizing a male former aide prompted Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to criticize the Malaysian government for insisting on laws that make sodomy punishable by 20-year prison sentences.


Find the full article at Yahoo! News.

The Road to Gay Equality

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Commentary

This article is by guest writer Bernie Leong.




In Lillian Faderman's groundbreaking book, Gay L.A., she writes that in 1942, "A circle of lesbian friends pooled their money and purchased a row of rental houses in Los Angeles. They created an early lesbian enclave, constructing communal areas such as a swimming pool, where they would meet each other regularly; and the homes in which they did not live, they leased only to other lesbians. They provided not only fellowship for one another but also social services. For example, when the sixty-year-old resident of the community suffered a ruptured aneurysm, and doctors wanted to institutionalize her permanently, her lesbian neighbours organized rotating shifts to dress and undress her, feed her, and keep her stimulated by conversation. Against the doctors' dire predictions ('She will survive as a vegetable'), she recovered normal speech and became fully functioning after three years."


Landmark Report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Discrimination and Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Written by sayoni on . Posted in LGBT News & Politics




On December 15, a quietly momentous report was issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, titled "Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity".

The report not only documents laws, practices and violence against people for reasons of sexual orientation and gender identity, it also correlates international human rights law to these happenings, pointing out rights violations, and provides recommendations that member states can take to redress these violations.

You can read the report in various languages such as English, French and Chinese (opens PDF).

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