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November 11, 2008

Engaging Assignment #4

There are many rights that each human being should be afforded simply because they wee born. In my opinion they are stem from one encompassing right, and that is that every person should be able to live their lives in the way they see fit as long as they do not interfere with someone else’s life. That includes the ability to make a living in a way they want, the ability to fall in love with anyone they want, the ability to express themselves physically and mentally in anyway they see fit, the ability to have access to every opportunity everyone else does, and the ability set your own rules with regards to your life. It is important to remember, that while all of these are important it is also important to not make decisions that effect someone else’s individual life. A person’s own autonomy is the most important right every person should be afforded.
Often times in any minority group these rights are not fully afforded to the people. For instance, in the GLBT community is, for the most part, very difficult for people to freely fall in love and get married. This is often the most focused on lack of rights in the GLBT community, because a major rights that affords many protections to people is limited to people in the GLBT community. While many of the other rights I have discussed have been afforded to GLBT community in a legal sense, it does not mean that they truly have the protections in every day life. Often times transgender people do not have the luxury of expressing themselves in the best way for them, because many people often have negative and even occasionally violent reactions. Also people in the GLBT community often times feel it is necessary to hide who they are because of a fear of retaliation in their work places, in their social life, and in their familial life. Many times people see rights as something that is afforded to them by way of law, but in reality rights are only worth anything if the people around you respect them. That is where the largest hurdle for the GLBT community is, it is not getting the proper legislation passed, it is getting they people in their lives to understand and respect the fact that every human deserves the same rights as every other human. That is how equality is gained, not by getting 535 members of Congress to pass a law, but by getting the 300 million people of the country we live in to uphold and respect the rights of everyone.

Right?

Basic Rights I believe everyone should have:
1. Freedom of Speech (VOTE)
2. Freedom of Religion
3. Freedom to Pursuit of Happiness...(a lot comes along with that)
4. Freedom to Love (Whom and whatever)
5. Right to clean water and food.
6. Right to be educated and learn.
7. Right to receive heath care.
I feel like my list could obviously keep going, basic simple rights that most people should have is something that almost seems ideal and ridiculous that I am writing about them like a child.
"Maybe one day I can get Married to the man I love".
They seem so simple, but still are neglected from most of the GLBT community. I can say that the biggest issue in my life right now is Prop 8 and its passing. I have loved ones in California who are obviously ready to commit to one another but are unable. Than again what if they were able to marry and find themselves in the predicament where one fall deathly ill? How can you deny and segregate rights? Maybe ''freedom'' isn't the best word to use to let us know our right. So within three sentences I have just eliminated about 4 of my rights that I believe all people should have, beautiful.
Rights only seem "right" to the majority of people that are able to live there happy lives within them (Heterosexual mostly), but as long as the GLBT community is seen as a minority or seemed to be one, are "Rights" we will never be treated as fairly or "Rightfully" as we are supposed to.

Rights that Should be Extended to Every Individual in this country

Here are the basic rights I believe in:
1. Freedom of speech.
2. Freedom of religion.
3. Freedom of sexuality/sexual orientation/sexual desires
4. Dignity.
5. Freedom to marry your lover whether male or female.
6. Regardless of your sexual orientation/ marriage status you should be granted the ability to adopt a child if you can prove you are financial, psychologically, and emotionally ready for the responsibility.
I am sure that after I write this I will think of a million other freedoms that every man, woman, old, young, black, white, brown, pink, blue, trans individual, gay, straight, bi, OR WHATEVER YOU ARE should be given if they live in this country. When it comes to individuals who identify as GLB or T, they are not afforded the same rights as someone who is straight.

For example, the obvious...gay marriage/civil unions. So basically, when someone falls in love with another person and decides to spend the rest of their life in a committed and loving relationship they can only do so if the person they fal in love with has the opposit genitals as them. Sick. Why does this even come in to play? We are not asking for marriage between a donkey and a human or a man and 5 wives or a woman and 4 husbands. But a marriage between one person who loves another. If people are so critical about the promiscuity problem and the "AIDS SCARE" maybe they should allow people in the GLBT the same right to get married and an incentive to be in a monogamous relationship, which straight people can do whenever they want to. And let's face it...us straight people are not always the most monogaous in our relationships so who are we to judge?

The other main right I found was dignity. Here in the United States every person should have the right to dignity. But this is not always the case if you stand out from the "norm". For example, the sirports putting trans individuals on a "thigh threat watch list" if their gender on their ids did not match the gender they were practicing makes about as much sense as the 80 year old lady whos knitting needles were taken away from her on the plane ride because she could try to highjack the plane with them. she could hardly get on the plane. Is this treating either of those individuals with dignity? No. It is humilitating. So is the fact that we do not have more unisex restrooms, which causes trans individuals anxiety about simple tasks like using the restroom when this issue could be easily solved if there were unisex restrooms available.

Or how about the "don't ask don't tell" policy in the military...freedom of speech? I don't think so.
- Amanda

On rights

In arguing anarcha-feminist and radical queer politics, which I often manage to, one thing that I end up repeating over and over is that people have the right to live and breathe simply because they are living and breathing.
I guess "living and breathing" seems like a very simplified and narrow phrase, but when the context is considered, I think it says a lot. It is no secret that for as long as we can remember non-male, non-white, non-straight, non-wealthy, "non-educated" (the quotes come in because I have issues with what does/n't constitute education, but this is neither the time nor place), non-cisgendered, (the list goes on and on and on) people have been denied the right to live and breathe in both literal and some not-as-direct ways.
The Queer community in particular has been a target of this right-stripping practice, especially in recent years. When asked what America's "problem" is, far too many people would straight-facedly answer you that it is the "declining morals" and "glorification" and acceptance of deviant sexualities, genders, and bodies. Stop and think for a minute of how terrifying GLBTQIAA is just in principle to society as a whole. I appreciate this - I do not however sympathize with or accept this.
As anarchism plays a large role in my political leanings and how I choose to conduct my life, I think perhaps my views on people and rights would be well presented here. Yes, my being an "anarchist" means that I believe the State to be inherently harmful (this includes such state owned, run, and operated institutions such as marriage and militarism). As such, I believe that people are not only capable of handling their own shit, but that they flourish and improve the world around them entirely more when allowed to do their own life-living. I do believe that humans are, at base, essentially "good." I also believe that humans, especially those non-normative bodies and lives out there, have been beaten down, suppressed, and silenced so thoroughly and for so long that we no longer believe in ourselves or remember that we have just as much right as anyone else on this planet to live and breathe. I think we've begun to buy into the idea that human "deviancy" necessitates and allows a certain amount of rights-removal and therefore dehumanization. Too many people have drunk the Normalcy Koolaid, and the world is a very scary and sad place for it.
The upside of this is I also believe in the inherent and seemingly impossible potential of human beings to improve not only their own lives, but also those of the people around them, to learn and evolve and constantly reevaluate their circumstances and belief systems. My 80-year-old ex-Southern Pastor grandfather is facilitating a positive and educational conference on transmen in Male Spirit groups and on trans issues in general. The potential for change and progress is there, it's always there. It's a matter of overcoming fears and reeducating oneself and not living in fear of your basic rights being denied you, because you live and breathe on your own terms, goddamnit.

Ice Cream for All

*1. To be treated as an equal*

2. To be free to love another equal without fear of attack (Pursuit of happiness)
3. To live without fear
4. To seek knowledge
5. To live your life how you want as long as you try to do no harm to others
6. Eating ice cream

Whether it is an issue of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, etc. all people deserve to be treated as equals and not to be shunned or labeled in anyway less human. This right, though crucial to achieving even a small semblance of a fair society, is not given to all. Those on the aforementioned list are sometimes, and often, denied this basic right of all people. In America today there is still discrimination and prejudice against people of different race, gender, those with disabilities, and those of varying sexual orientations. For example, people often harbor negative stereotypes of those in the Queer community. All lesbians are butch. All gays are sissy boys. These negative images treat GLBT people as if they all follow a singular pattern, but they do not, in fact, fall into such a cookie-cutter clear mold of being. Like anyone and everyone they fall into multiple categories. Some like cars some don't. Some have long hair some have short. Some are over bearing pin heads with sassy mouths who you just want to smack sideways and some aren't. But overall, they are different.

To society they are different, but not different from each other, but different from society. These people (not just including GLBT) are those whom society stamps with the big fat F of NOT LIKE US. These are the people who have to work to be treated like any other person, to be treated as equals.

Those items on my last after #1 all need equality. To be able to love freely you must be deemed worthy to love. To live without free you must end hate crimes and hate crimes are caused by discrimination which is a result of society's labeling of an outgroup.

GLBT, Intersexuals, Africans, people in wheelchairs, etc. We are all people. It is society that causes us to perceive differently. Who creates society but us? We change society and society changes us. We change, society changes, we change. That's the way to fix it, by making small adjustments to how we live and treat others. And all these small changes add up into big change.

Engaging Assignment #4: Human Rights

In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UDHR is also part of the International Bill of Human Rights. The UDHR consists of 30 articles of rights to be afforded. It was adapted by 48 countries, including the United States.

The 30 articles are definitely expansive, and I don't want to put all of them here. The first, and most important one in my opinion, states this:

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

This is a broad generalization of all of the rights that should be afforded to humans, which is pretty self-explanatory. I find it interesting that this optimism that all human beings are endowed with reason and conscience is inserted. It is such a hopeful notion, especially considering that this declaration was adopted soon after WWII. We want to believe that all human beings have reason and conscience, but we know that this is not true.

Here are some other articles that I particularly believe to be important to this discussion:

Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.
Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 8: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 16: Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
Article 23: 1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. 2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
Article 28: Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

I think it all boils down to what I consider what everyone should have: The right to BE. The right to be who you are, where you are, what you are, and decide how you live your life without persecution or inequality. Yes, we do need to make sure that rights aren't taken so far as to deny the safety of others. But ALL humans, regardless of age, nationality, race, sexuality, gender identity, should be awarded the same rights. If one group of people have a certain right (such as marriage), then ALL groups of people should have this right.

The GLBT/Q community is continually denied these rights, set down by 48 separate countries. The community is discriminated against because of their sexuality or gender identity, and these supposed "rights" are taken away from them. Transgender people consistently have problems getting jobs because there is constant discrimination from employers. Gays and lesbians cannot marry legally in most states as well as other countries, and are not afforded the benefits from marriage. Although this specifically says that all people are equal before the law and are afforded protection if discrimination against these laws happen, the GLBT/Q community consistently fights against laws discriminating them from basic human rights, to no avail. The lives of people in the GLBT/Q community are under scrutiny, and while many just ask for the right to be who they are privately, their sexuality or gender identity is a basis for discrimination and persecution in the public eye.

If 48 countries can adopt these 30 articles as rights for all humans, and then repeatedly turn their backs on said humans when the rights are being denied, then the UDHR was in vain, and has no merit.

Engaging Assignment #4 - Kim Hanlon

I looked at the assignment and was a little surprised, unfortunately. I guess that I have become so used to not having the same human rights as most of the rest of society; I never really thought to sit down and jot them all down. That is heartbreaking to think about; how a certain minority of group(s) are disrespected and de-humanized in a country that is looked to as one of freedom and human rights.
Human rights are defined as basic standards that people need to live in dignity. I believe that violating anyone’s basic human rights is undeniably stating that you believe they are less than a human being. The GLBT/Q people/communities are denied freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and the right to life.
These are some rights that I got from the Human Rights Constitution. Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest (Article 9), Right to Asylum (Article 14), Right to Life, Liberty and the Security of Person (Article 3), Right to Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment (Article 5), and Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association (Article 20).
GLBT people are continually punished by other citizens because of their sexual orientation. They are beaten, mutilated, tortured and killed day in and day out. When the crime is punished, it is not seen as a hate crime because GLBT people are not seen as having basic human rights. What I find extremely interesting is that we are human beings, therefore we have, and are covered, by the human rights constitution, but because we have a different sexual orientation or gender identity, that trumps all of our human rights.
I truly believe that if our country would honor the 'separation of church and state' then the GLBT community would receive the basic human rights that everyone else receives.

Engaging Assignment #4

I labored mentally over the task of creating such a list; I was afraid that, even though in the scope of things this is just an assignment, I wouldn't create as comprehensive of a list as I could and I would miss important things. But then I thought of a clean-slate society, if you will, one free from any arbitrary laws created by man or social dichotomies of the like, etc. This is what I came up with:
Every human should be afforded:
-The right to their own physical, psychological and emotional (etc.) identity and state (no matter how it fluctuates or changes with time and age), and the right to each and every manifestation of themselves on those levels (outward or inward), with the provision that other humans are not hurt in any way on any aforementioned level of awareness or being.

At first I thought "that's way too ambiguous," but is it, really? With how diverse societies of people grow and the fact that no one person in this world is identical to another, is it really possible to quantify and explicate specific human rights? I doubt it. I think in most, if not all, cases, the process of determining "who gets to do what" should be along the lines of "Is it making said person happy? If so, is it hurting any other person, or the person themselves? If not, ok." Maybe I'm making too big of a generalization, but I've tried hard to find fault in that and I really can't. Unless you have met and can completely empathize with and understand every single person in a society, you cannot possibly list and quantify human rights. Everyone has the right to be happy, and as long as it's not hurting anyone else, it should be fine. At times I also thought that maybe that was too idealistic--in some instances, it seems like someone is bound to get hurt. But again, going back to my idea of a clean-slate society and erasing all of the arbitrary systems we have set up for ourselves, it doesn't seem that unrealistic. Many times our hurt is not a product of another's action(s), it's a product of our conditioning to these arbitrary systems and rules.

How are GLBTQ people denied these rights? The list could go on for eternities. We are either blatantly denied happiness, or hurt by others via discrimination/social shunning for things such as: having sex with who we want, loving who we want, expressing ourselves in the way that makes us most happy, being denied the ability to have our legal documents accurately represent who we are (and if they don't, the ability to easily remedy that), being denied access to proper, unbiased healthcare, being deemed a diagnostic code as a community, being denied equal representation in the media and society in general, being denied various forms of general interpersonal respect, being denied rights that other humans inherently have, being denied the right to safe/gainful/protected/equal employment, and many, many others. My brain would explode if I was handed the task to list each and every way in which we are denied our rights.

I watched a video by a friend of mine tonight; he was reflecting on various things, and he said something along the lines of "When I was growing up, I just assumed that I would never be equal and would never have certain rights," and it really struck a chord with me. I think a part of me still expects this from society, as sad as that is. I find it hard to be outraged and motivated sometimes because I'm just NOT surprised at the ignorant things people do anymore. But having gone through this assignment, I'm forced to realize that while apathy may be comfortable, it's not going to make me, or anyone else, happy. So while I generally take the approach of playing the devil's advocate (even when the devil is trying to get me) because I really think the key to making peace with someone is truly understanding them, no matter how different they are, I'm finding that maybe, if I care for my own happiness enough, I need to keep that notion but also push for my own rights as a human a little bit more, and escape that same assumption that I, like my friend, had as a child.

Engaging Assignment #4--Essential Human Rights

-All people have the right to be equal before the law
-All people have the right to freedom of movement from state to state or to leave the country and return
-All people have the right to not be subjected to cruel, unusual, or inhumane punishment
-All people have the right to not become subject to arbitrary arrest
-All people have the right to be recognized as a person before the law
-All people have the right to work at a job free from discrimination

The list of essential human rights that should be afforded to every single being on this planet goes on and on, and here are just a few. The sad part is that all of these rights are at times not given to GLBT people and communities. My first example—the right to the freedom of movement is a big issue that is always overlooked. When a transgendered person wants to travel, a lot of the times that is not possible. For instance, a transman is probably going to have a hard time getting on a plane when his ID says “Felicity? and he is obviously a man. Another right I have listed states that all people have the right to not be subject to arbitrary arrest. Discrimination in law enforcement is tremendous just not for GLBT people, but for other minorities as well. When I think of cases of arbitrary arrest, I think about the riots at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco where it was a common occurrence to see drag queens arrested for no reason. All people should also be able to hold a job without worrying about discrimination, but sadly that is far from true for GLBT peoples because most states in the country do not have significant laws to protect against such things. All human beings have the right to be recognized as people before the law, but again, this is afforded to GLBT individuals in most places, because the laws are leaving out GLBT people in their definition of a “person.? I say this because our United States Constitution says that all people are equal under the law. GLBT people are not always protected. Therefore, there are aspects of us that are not considered human. It really is an outrage.

November 10, 2008

E.A. #4 Human Rights

In the discussion of one’s basic human rights, I believe something’s are a given. These rights include life, liberty, the ability to own property, education, medical care and many more. Some of our assumed human right may not be so obvious such as freedom from unwarranted harassment, or one’s freedom to private sexual practices. Regardless of the visibility and daily use of said freedoms, members of the GLBT community are often times denied many of these basic rights. Since same-sex marriage is widely (and unjustly) opposed in America from a governmental standpoint, therefore hospital visitation and marriage couple benefits are also denied to same-sex couples. GLBT youth are often unbearably harassed in middle and high schools across the country without intervention from authority, thus interfering with their basic right to an education. This is not only an issue in the youth community; GLBT individuals are constantly subject to unwarranted scrutiny from the community, even in legislation. Sodomy laws were once implemented in America making gay sex illegal on the grounds of indecency. The concept of policing something as personal as sexual is baffling to me and although the U.S. has made strides in GLBT rights and recognition in recent decades, we still have a long way to go.

Human Rights

I think some of the most important human rights all humans should be afforded are:
• The right to safe, adequate housing
• The right to marry whom they please
• The right to have food and clean water
• The right to have health care
• The right to have children or adopt children
• The right to practice a religion and attend church
• The right to express themselves


The GLBTQ community is not offered these rights for many reasons. They are discriminated upon sometimes when trying to purchase a home. This is also like minorities because GLBTQ individuals are looked at to be inferior and nobody wants to live down the block from a GLBTQ person or for example a Mexican person. GLBTQ community does not have the right to marry whom they please because it is still looked upon as crushing the family ideal which is the idea of the man, wife and children. GLBTQ individuals do not get the same benefits of health care insurance if married or together with their partners and are not allowed to sometimes even VISIT them in the hospital. GLBTQ individuals can run into some problems with trying to adopt children. GLBTQ individuals are sometimes not allowed to go to a church which means they cannot express themselves due to people’s ignorance.

Human rights and rectitude

Well, of course, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... sure we do. After all, all men are created equal, aren't they? OK, if we grant a bit of poetic license and interpret men to be humanity or mankind (?), maybe we have a good start. The difficult bit with human-rights-should-be is that my ideal of what I want has a societal context. Now Karl Marx (oh oh, dangerous thinking) popularized the phrase "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs". Again, the issue of societal context will arise both in defining abilities and elucidating needs. [Sigh] This is just too darn hard :-)

Looking at Prop 8 in California, let's consider a couple of issues. A rather significant part of the support for Prop 8 came from organized religion. Oh, good! Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. But in practicing their religion, a large number of people just voted to deny rights to another group of people. So the freedom to practice religion gives the right to deny other people rights that get in the way of those religious views? Well... but wait, these religious might do this if they felt their safety and security threatened. And I was just going to say that safety is one of those basic human right. Darn, this gets complicated!

OK, OK, let's try this one: I'll treat you as I would like to be treated? It will get us close, but the boat still has some holes. It actually requires us to step outside of ourselves a bit. That is, in order to grant you respect, I may have to yield in my beliefs about my own freedom to do as I wish.

Where-the-heck does this get us? Well, you have the right to believe whatever you want... but, in my [perfect] world, you have the responsibility to treat all equally, respectfully and with full recognition of their humanity. In return, you should expect to be treated as an equal, with respect and dignity.

Now the cautionary note... any doctrine based on belief and faith is difficult to dislodge with data and logic. GLBT rights sit at the current frontier of understanding in this county. The speed with which change has been possible stems ultimately from the civil right struggle which is now working on its third century. Basic protections under the law for the GLBT community are not yet uniform nor are civil rights fully protected. The fact of a vote in one of the most liberal states in the country to systematically deny a right to a segment of the populace is very troubling. The struggle to dislodge entrenched beliefs and faith systems is not something that will happen overnight. Hopefully it will not require another century or so.

November 9, 2008

Human Rights

Basic Human Rights that I think that every man, woman, and child in the world should have are listed below. I also realize that I write these from the US perspective of individual rights and I know from my studies on culture and health that not all cultures would look at these in the same way. I think that it would be interesting to spend more time on cross cultural views of these topics.

1. Adequate housing appropriate for the culture and climate
2. Adequate access to healthy food and clean safe water
3. Right to culturally appropriate health care at reasonable price
4. Appropriate privacy based on the culture in which one lives
5. Right to defend onself against intrusion of another
6. Right to make decisions about one's body and gender identity; right to be who you are
7. Right to dignity of work
8. Right to marry whom you please
9. Right to freedom of religion, but not to push religious views into civil rights

Human Rights

In making a list of rights that all human beings are entitled to simply because they are human, I would include:
- personal safety and security
- freedom from unwarranted detainment
- education
- adequate nutrition and housing
- self-expression (in an all-ecnompassing sense; including speech, assemply, choice of partner, etc.)
- protection from the law
- health care
- control over one's own body

People of all different backgrounds are denied these rights all over the world for innumerble reasons. GLBT/Q people are one example of this. Many are dened personal safety and security, as they can be and often are subjected to harrassment and violence because of who they love. GLBT/Q people are also obviously denied the right to self-expression. Many in the GLBT/Q community feel they cannot really express themsleves, and therefore do not come out of the closet, or live openly with their partner(s). Protection from the law is also not guaranteed to GLBT/Q communities, as there are many incidents of people being treated unjustly and unequally by law enforcement officials and courts. Finally, GLBT/Q people can sometimes be denied quality health care due to fear and ignorance on the part of health care providers.

Engaging Assignment #4

I think that the set of “important rights? varies from person to person (or perhaps culture to culture), based on the way people live and what they are already allowed and denied. Something that comes to my mind when asked the above is the right to marry who I love, something that is denied to me by the government. This, however, would not apply to someone else who is seeking to marry someone of a different gender.

I think that the constitution lays out what should be the foundation for “most important rights?: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is up to each individual (or at least it should be) to determine what this means in their own life. I think that most people would agree on the rights that constitute “life?–what is key to survival on a physical level? Things like food and shelter are mostly agreed upon. Problems arise with the more subjective “liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?. There exist many interpretations for what constitutes happiness and freedom, and so the mandated legal rights (or “functional rights?, ex there is a law in place that does not outright stop you from doing something, but makes it very difficult to do so), may or may not encompass what any given individual sees to be an important right in their life.

There are many, many examples of how members of the GLBT community are denied these rights. Things like unfair employment opportunities and lack of anti-discrimination policies hinder the “life rights? of many GLBT individuals–survival becomes increasingly difficult. There are many limitations on “liberty?–one of the most well known is the now¬-overturned “Homosexual Conduct Law? in Texas, that made oral and anal sex between two men or two women illegal.

The list of the rights denied to the GLBT community under “the pursuit of happiness? is ridiculously large. Some that come to my mind are the denial of same-sex marriage (or civil unions), the denial (in some states) of gay couples adoption, the refusal of some insurance plans to fully cover hormones treatment and surgery, and the failure of schools to create safe spaces for GLBT students. One that sticks out particularly in my mind is the subject of the film Cruel and Unusual–the placement of transgender women in men’s prisons, as well as the denial of hormones and surgery.

The reason that these rights are still denied is because they are not universally seen as rights. Most people don’t care at all about whether or not a woman in prison has hormones, or whether a gay couple in Arkansas can adopt a child and start a family. I think that once these are recognized as rights that individuals should be afforded, things will change.

Basic Human Rights

I think that the most important rights are the freedom to marry, access to healthcare, right to have children, the right to choose a religion and worship openly, equal access to employment, and equal access to government services.

I think that people in the GLBT community of denied these rights on some level. They are prohibited from getting married and in some state(s) adopting children. Proposition 8 recently passed in California which “Eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry.? It is quite scary that the United States is now taking away rights that they began to give. It’s also interesting that prisoners, who have committed crimes and lost many of their basic rights, are still allowed to marry, while same-sex couples who have contributed to society are prohibited.

Some churches are closed off to GLBT people. Although employers are legally bound to hire people irrespective to race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, it is still done. In situations of employment is can be hard to pin point this kind of discrimination, but there is no doubt that it happens. Many employers also prohibit the sharing of insurance benefits for same sex couples

November 6, 2008

Rights

I think at a very basic human level, everyone should have the right to safety, employment, shelter, food and clothing. I also believe that people should be able to make decisions regarding their personal belief system for themselves. Everyone should be able to choose or not choose to: get married, have or adopt children, practice a religion and perform their sex-assigned gender. The GLBT Community has been denied many of these rights and continues to be. State bans against gay marriage and gay adoption are recent examples of this discrimination and heterosexual privilege. As we discussed in class and witnessed in Cruel and Unusual Punishment, transgender individuals face huge barriers to employment and as a result, have to hide their true identity or face rejection. Without a way to earn a living, one cannot be expected to survive long in our society, especially when those with jobs can barely afford to do so.