LGBT rights

495 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Michael Dunkley, Premier David Burt

"Legalize Same Sex Marriage" and implement complete and full Human Rights for all Bermuda citizens & visitors.

UPDATEBERMUDA made history.Same-sex marriage became legal in Bermuda on May 5th 2017.Supreme court justice Charles-Etta Simmons ruled that the Registrar General was wrong to deny an application to a same-sex couple. BERMUDA made history again - sadly for the wrong reasons.On February 7th 2018 the Bermuda Government reversed the right of marriage for same-sex couples after the Governor gave royal assent to the Domestic Partnership Legislation. COURT CHALLENGEOm May 21/22 the same legal team that won the right of same-sex marriage in Bermuda will be challenging the law on constitutional grounds.Indeed, this constitutional challenge may go all the way to the Privy Council. CROWD JUSTICEA crowd funding campaign has been launched to support Rod Ferguson who is challenging the law. This legal challenge is not only important for Bermuda. Others in different countries are trying to do the same.The legal team believe they have a "winnable case".Please support Rod and the LGBTIQ community. PETITION APRIL 2015Same-sex couples want to marry for all the same reasons as their opposite-sex counterparts.These reasons include: for legal security, to publicly celebrate their commitment, to provide greater legal protection for their children, or simply because they are in love. FIRST, we will look at the benefits that flow to same-sex couples who marry. This is followed by the wider social benefits that come from removing discrimination from the Marriage Act and ensuring equality for same-sex couples.**************************************************************************SECOND, married partners have immediate access to all relationship entitlements, protections and responsibilities. This contrasts to de facto couples who must live together for a certain period before they are deemed to have legal rights.A marriage certificate also allows married partners to easily prove their legal rights if challenged, for example in emergency situations. The capacity to quickly and easily prove one’s relationship status is particularly important for same-sex partners because prejudice against same-sex relationships can mean legal rights are denied. ***************************************************************************THIRD, allowing same-sex couples to be included in such a universal and valued institution as marriage will provide them and their families with real social and cultural benefits. Landmark research led by Lee Badgett, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, describes and quantifies some of these benefits in two different places that have allowed same-sex marriages for several years, the Netherlands and Massachusetts.[ii] Badgett found that same-sex partners overwhelmingly, • felt marriage had increased their commitment and their sense of responsibility, and had generally strengthened their relationships • believed their children were better off after their marriage, chiefly through legal protection for those children and enhanced feelings of security, stability and acceptance in the children, and • felt participation and acceptance in their extended families and communities had increased because of their marriage Her conclusion was that, “Overall, the experiences of same-sex couples in two countries, the United States and the Netherlands, suggests that same-sex couples and their families are strengthened by a policy of marriage equality for same-sex couples.” There is also a growing body of research showing that married partners, including same-sex married partners, are, on average, healthier, happier and longer lived, than their cohabiting peers, or singles. According to the US Centre for Disease Control, even rates of heart disease, drug use and stress are lower among married partners. References:[ii] Badgett, M.V., N. Goldberg and C. Ramos, The Effects of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts: A survey of the experiences and impact of marriage on same-sex couples. UCLA School of Law, 2009. Also, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. New York University Press, 2009. ***************************************************************************FOUR, Bermuda's ban on same-sex marriage doesn’t only disadvantage those same-sex partners who seek to marry. It disadvantages all same-sex attracted Bermudians, including those who are not in a relationship, or who would not marry, even if they could. It does this by treating them as legally unequal to their heterosexual counterparts, and by not allowing them the same life choices. Governments restrictions on who gay and lesbian Bermudians can marry violates their fundamental human rights in the same way the rights of Aboriginal Australians of African Americans were once violated by laws which prevented from marrying who they wished. The association between the equality in marriage and freedom from second-class status is well understood in the context of the struggle for the civil rights of people of color. In 1958, in the midst of the struggle for black civil rights in America, Martin Luther King Jr declared, “When any society says that I cannot marry a certain person, that society has cut off a segment of my freedom.” [iii] Consider all the other groups in society, along with people of color and same-sex attracted people, who at one time or another have been denied the right to marry the partner of their choice: women, people from differing faiths, people with disabilities. What they all have in common is that they have been regarded as too immature or irresponsible to make what is arguably the most important decision any individual can ever make, the choice of a life-long partner. In the same vein, the gradual acceptance that members of these groups are fully adult, fully citizens and fully human, has been accompanied by an acceptance of their right to marry whomever they wished. References:[iii] King (Jr), M. L., Carson, C., Luker, R., and Russell, P. A., (2000) The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr: Symbol of the movement, January 1957, University of California Press, Berkeley. Page 436.**************************************************************************FIVE, exclusion of same-sex attracted people from marriage also sends out the message that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is acceptable.The negative message sent out by discrimination in marriage foster prejudice, discrimination and unequal treatment against same-sex relationships in the wider community.While marriage equality will not remove all prejudice, discrimination and unequal treatment against same-sex attracted people, it will be an important step towards this goal.**************************************************************************SIX, Worst of all, Bermuda’s ban on same-sex marriages disadvantages same-sex attracted people by sending out the message that they are less capable of love and commitment than heterosexual people.It says their relationships are less stable, less resilient and of less value to the partners involved and their family and friends.These negative messages, plus the devaluation and discrimination already cited, have a profound impact on the health and well-being of same-sex attracted people and their families.See this link based on Australia: attracted Bermudians are more likely to experience below-average health outcomes including higher levels of depression, due to this prejudice and discrimination. The statistics are particularly alarming for younger and newly-identifying LGBTI people who have consistently higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, early school leaving, conflict with peers and parents and suicide ideation, all directly related to the discrimination and prejudice they experience.[v] A number of researchers have shown there is a direct link between legal bans on same-sex marriage and higher levels of stress and anxiety, lower self esteem, and greater incidence of mental and physical health problems among same-sex attracted people.[vi] This has prompted the American Psychological Association to support marriage equality. It has also been confirmed by the University of Queensland study mentioned above. This study found that the more same-sex attracted people felt their relationships were valued in the same ways as opposite-sex relationships, the greater their sense of overall well-being. Because not allowing same-sex couples to marry disadvantages all same-sex attracted people by infringing their fundamental rights, fostering discrimination against them and impairing their physical and psychological health surveys have consistently shown that support for marriage equality among same-sex attracted people, including those who do not wish to marry, is as high as 80%. References:[v] For more on health risk in young people see “Writing Themselves in Again, the 2nd national report on the sexual health and wellbeing of same-sex attracted young people”, Australian Centre for Sex, Health and Society,[vi] Herdt, G., and R Kertner, “I Do, but I Can’t: The Impact of Marriage Denial on the Mental Health and Sexual Citizenship of Lesbians and Gay Men in the United States”, Journal of Research and Social Policy, March 2006, also, D., Hasin, et al, “The Impact of Institutional Discrimination on Psychiatric Disorders in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: A Prospective Study”, American Journal of Public Health, Jan 2010*************************************************************************SEVEN, the debate on same-sex marriage often focuses on the benefits of equality for same-sex partners, but there are also benefits for marriage as a legal and cultural institution. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will admit many more couples who seek to uphold the core values of marriage and are enthusiastic for the institution. It will send out the message that marriage is defined by love and respect not prejudice and discrimination. It will also prompt opposite-sex couples to re-value wedlock as an institution in which the over-arching values are love, devotion, and not least, social inclusion. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will show that marriage is relevant and resilient enough to embrace changing social attitudes in the same way it did last century when married women were given legal equality and interracial marriages were allowed. Evidence that marriage equality uplifts marriage can be found in those places where the recognition of same-sex relationships has a relatively long history. In Scandinavia the formal recognition of same-sex relationships has been in place for a generation and same-sex marriage is now widely allowed. At the same time, marriage rates among heterosexual couples have increased by as much as 30% and divorce rates have gone down. Similarly, those US states that allow same-sex couples full marriage rights have the lowest rates of divorce among heterosexual partners (the state which has had marriage equality the longest, Massachusetts, has the lowest of all). A review of these examples published in The Wall Street Journal in 2006 agrees none of this is not a coincidence. “There is no evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry weakens the institution. If anything, the numbers indicate the opposite”.[vii] References:[vii] Spedale, D. R., and William N. Eskridge Jr, W. N., “The Hitch”, Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2006. Reprinted at**************************************************************************EIGHT, the legal and social benefits of marriage flow to the children of marrying couples as well as to the couples themselves.**************************************************************************NINE, enhancing religious freedom. Australian-based evangelical Baptist Pastor and marriage equality supporter, Rev Nathan Nettleton, puts it this way:“The doctrine of separation of church and state, for which some of my Baptist forebears endured violent persecution, teaches us firstly that it is a Christian duty to defend the right of others to follow their own conscience before God, free from coercive attempts to impose conformity of belief or practice; and secondly that the state should not privilege the convictions of any particular religious tradition, even a majority tradition, over the convictions of those who dissent from it.” Allowing same-sex couples to marry will enhance religious freedom in Bermuda. References:[ix] “Quakers call for legal recognition of same sex marriages”, Newsmaker, 11 Jan 2010,*************************************************************************TEN, allowing same-sex couples to marry would be a financial boon for both the private sector and the Government of Bermuda.Marriage Equality & The Economy:**************************************************************************ELEVEN, as the following list shows, the number of places overseas where same-sex couples are allowed to marry is not only increasing but accelerating:The Netherlands (2001)• Belgium (2003)• Canada (provincially beginning in 2003, nationally in 2005)• Massachusetts (2004)• Spain (2005)• South Africa (2006)• Connecticut (2008)• Iowa (2009)• Vermont (2009)• New Hampshire (2009)• Norway (2009)• Sweden (2009)• Mexico City (2009)• Argentina (2010)• US District of Columbia (2010)• Portugal (2010)• Iceland (2010)• New York state (US) (2011)WIKIPEDIA**************************************************************************TWELVE, To address the practical legal problems faced by unmarried same-sex partners, some people advocate civil unions. (“Civil union” is a generic term that includes a registered partnership, a civil partnership, and all other recognized personal union). However, civil unions do not offer the same legal benefits as marriage, even when the law says they should. This is because they are not as widely understood or respected. Several recent reports into the operation of civil schemes in Europe and North America confirm that civil unions are not always recognized by hospitals, schools, insurers and even government officials. Lack of recognition is also a problem when civil union partners travel inter-state or internationally. But even if a  solution can be found to these practical problems, legal unions other than marriage do not give same-sex couples the same social and cultural recognition that comes with marriage. In the words of American marriage equality advocate, Beth Robinson, “nobody writes songs about civil unions”. Worse, according to the reports mentioned above civil unions may actually encourage discrimination against same-sex partners and downgrade the status of their relationships by entrenching a second-class status . Civil rights historians like Barbara Cox have drawn the parallel between civil unions and former “Jim Crow laws” in the American south. “…restricting same-sex couples to civil unions is reminiscent of the racism that relegated African-Americans to separate railroad cars and separate schools. Our society’s experiences with ‘separate and equal’ have shown that separation can never result in equality because the separation is based on a belief that a distance needs to be maintained between those in the privileged position and those placed in the inferior position.” Civil unions have not only not fulfilled their promise of equal rights and respect for same-sex couples, they appear to have made matters worse. Instead of eliminating discrimination they have entrenched it. Instead of removing stigma they have inflamed it. Instead of being a step towards full equality they are a step away. This is probably why same-sex couples consistently show they prefer marriage to other forms of legal recognition. In US states where both marriage and civil unions are available to same-sex couples the result is always a higher take-up rate for marriage.[xi]References:[xi] “Marriage, registration and dissolution by same-sex couples in the U.S.”, The Williams Institute, July 2008, **************************************************************************In preparing this petition I used this Australian source:

Tony Brannon
4,039 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to West Ohio Conference

Allies who support Reverend David Meredith and in protest of hate acts against him

In late April, a thief—or thieves—broke into the office of Reverend David Meredith, pastor of Clifton United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Tellingly, they did not steal a laptop sitting in the open nor did they steal valuable pieces of antique silver belonging to the church.  Instead, they stole two pieces of paper. The stolen documents included the pastor’s diploma from Saint Paul School of Theology, and his ordination certificate.  The thieves wanted to tell the pastor, his congregation, the United Methodist Church, and the rest of the world that a gay pastor, married to his beloved partner of 30 years, is not welcome.  By extension, neither are LGBTQ persons welcome.   This was not just vandalism or theft. This was a message of hate.  If we say nothing, do nothing, then we are complicit in the pain of the vulnerable. We know that we must do everything in our power, regardless of the price, to call out hate and lift up love. Therefore, we write these words in unity, though our backgrounds, faiths, and communities are diverse: ·      We emphatically decry the targeted hate act against Reverend Meredith and the Clifton United Methodist Church.·      We cry out for justice, hoping that the thieves and those who have publicly denounced Reverend Meredith, will experience a change in heart and come forward in love. ·      We honor with loving affirmation that all humans are created equal.·      We applaud the righteous strength of Reverend Meredith to pioneer the transformation of grace that our world so desperately needs.·      We rejoice in the loving and legal marriage of David and Jim.  As allies of Reverend David Meredith, members and friends of Clifton United Methodist, and believers in the beauty of truly inclusive community, we sign our names below as a testimony that love is always stronger than hate.

468 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Brian Breslin, John Engler, Bill Schuette

End Michigan State University's Entrenched Culture of Abuse NOW!

We are asking MSU’s FUNDERS—including foundations, corporations, and major donors like Eli Broad, to WITHHOLD donations—until the university makes the people whom it has damaged in the past, whole—and verifiably transforms MSU's toxic victim-blaming culture. READ ON TO LEARN HOW MUCH MORE THAN LARRY NASSAR MSU HAS COVERED UP IN THE PAST... Larry Nassar's abuse was POSSIBLE because MSU's Crisis Playbook is to: 1) HIDE PROBLEMS, and then 2) ATTACK VICTIMS IF THEY SPEAK OUT. During past potential PR Crises, MSU has: 1. WASTED taxpayer dollars by building a privacy wall and patio door for a Residence Life Director who was serially pursuing sexual relations with students in the building he managed—rather than fire him. That was years before Larry Nassar... 2. DISSOLVED a student government and stolen its funds—because members were requesting an overhaul of services in the Graduate Hall. (That involved a banking crime and a felony—and it was enabled by an MSU Vice President). 3. FAILED to protect students when a survey found that yet another Residence Life Hall Director was seeking out sexual liaisons with multiple students in her building—while also keeping NO regular office hours. 4. FAILED to intervene in a student SUICIDE ATTEMPT of which ADMINISTRATORS HAD BEEN WARNED--then COVERED-UP their negligence. (Same building / staff where the students wanted improved services!). 5. CRIMINALLY MISUSED the MSU judicial system as a KANGAROO COURT against student government activists when they sought changes in that facility's staffing, because they didn't want to see another person jump off a 5th floor balcony. (We sought an on-site mental health counselor, an additional night security person, and improved cross-cultural programming--logical things in a building with stressed-out graduate students, and the plan we presented would have saved $100,000 per year). 6. THREATENED to OUT the author of this petition as gay if he didn’t STOP talking about problems like these publicly. (I persisted). Lawyers would call this behavior "simple extortion," BTW. 7. THREATENED to also out my friend as LGBT when using my LGBT status against me didn't work! (This worked far TOO well, as I became clinically depressed and accumulated $100,000 in student loan debt).  8. USED MSU's "Judicial System" to silence my friend using a trumped-up charge of racism. (That ALSO worked FAR too well. He became clinically depressed and dropped out of school after accumulating $40,000 in student loan debt).9. FAILED to provide ANY degree oversight  when my friend and I became deeply depressed by MSU's actions. Neither of us were able to rapidly seek help in the counseling center--because it was overseen by the SAME university Vice President who stole student government funds and used the MSU Judicial System to cover his own gross negligence. 10. Despite the fact that neither of us was making degree progress, MSU processed student loan paperwork that certified we were making degree progress. Both our departments and the financial aid office had to do so. (That enriched MSU by $140,000 in the process). This is negligent oversight of federal funds.  I have written about these issues to EVERY MSU President since John DiBiaggio--and ALL have failed to undo the damage. Some, like Gordon Guyer and Lou Anna Simon were complicit in its happening. John Engler has not responded since February, 2018.                   IN A CULTURE LIKE THIS, LARRY NASSAR THRIVES... It’s time to make a clean break with the past.  We ask that Michigan State University please: 1. OWN the fact that you have a longstanding, entrenched problem at MSU.  2. DON'T claim Sovereign Immunity and Statute of Limitations exceptions regarding the students, gymnasts, and others who have been injured due to MSU’s actions (and inaction). SETTLE all valid claims of damage—and STOP blaming the victims. 3. Require periodic sexual harassment and ethical conduct training for all MSU faculty and staff. 4. Ask each candidate in your current Presidential search how they will transform MSU into the university it should be. This isn’t a philosophical question—ask them for their plan. When MSU has taken these steps, we will retract our demand that all of MSU’s funders an donors withhold their contributions from State But for long as there is inaction, we will be circulating this petition to all of Michigan State University’s funders, alumni, and major donors. Yours Respectfully and Hopefully, M.J. Furey, III & The Many Concerned Signers Below...

Martin Furey
330 supporters