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Petition Tag - equality

31. Legalize Gay/Lesbian Marriage

In the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, it is stated:

Section 3. Definition of marriage
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

Yet, the Obama administration announced in 2011 that it had determined that Section 3 was unconstitutional and, though it would continue to enforce the law, it would no longer defend it in court.

Why should gay marriage be bound to a law that our own presidential administration states is unconstitutional? We fight for our freedoms. Some men and women in the military, and on our homefronts in the law enforcement, fire department, and EMS departments, are bi-sexual, lesbian, or gay.

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32. Miners should pay a fair share

For years miners in Australia have been getting away with not paying a fair share of tax for Crown-owned minerals. It's about time they did.

We hold this sentiment:

‎"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You dug a mine out there - good for you.
But I want to be clear.
You moved your goods to market on the roads and ports the rest of us paid for.
You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.
You were safe in your factory or mine because of police forces, fire forces and military forces that the rest of us paid for.
You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your mine or have a country would invade.
Now look.
You dug a mine and it turned into something terrific.
You mined Crown-owned minerals; you need to pay a fair price for the national collective’s inheritance that you are profiteering off.
Now you keep a Big Hunk of it.
But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=432228250136549&set=a.223592677666775.73092.223583594334350&type=1&theater¬if_t=photo_comment

http://www.facebook.com/KeepCalmAbbottisnotPM

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33. Give our community a greater say in the licensing of lap dancing clubs

At present, lap dancing clubs are licensed in the same way as cafes and restaurants. But lap dancing clubs are part of the sex industry, not the ordinary leisure industry.

By adopting Schedule 3 Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council will be able to stop licensing lap dancing clubs like cafes and start applying necessary controls and regulations to the clubs. By adopting Schedule 3, local people will also be given a greater say in the licensing process.

The Gender Equality Duty 2007 legally requires local authorities to promote equality between women and men in all that they do. The Gender Equality Duty is particularly relevant in relation to the licensing of sex establishments because of the gendered nature of sex establishments like lap dancing clubs, and because of the negative impact that lap dancing clubs have on efforts to promote equality between women and men.

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34. Human Rights for Gay Marriage

After the case of a Lesbian couple in a Civil Partnership who tried to adopt a baby as a couple, the European Court of human rights has deemed that same sex marriage is not a human right and “if gay couples are allowed to marry, any church that offers weddings will be guilty of discrimination if it declines to marry same-sex couples.”

I do however ask the European Court, is Equality not a human right? and are they not being discriminatory by issuing this statement? I would also suggest that as this does not affect the government as a whole, it should be up to the people to decide in the form of a referendum.

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35. Tacko, Asuman, Andrew and Proscovia MUST STAY!

Tacko, Asuman, Andrew and Proscovia MUST STAY!

Justice delayed is justice denied.

End the degrading treatment of Refugees.

Grant asylum to Tacko, Asuman, Andrew and Proscovia NOW.

Tacko, Asuman, Andrew and Proscovia are lesbian/gay activists and civil rights leaders from Uganda and Senegal, nations where openly gay people are politically persecuted, imprisoned and murdered for being gay. Tacko, Asuman, Andrew, and Proscovia are seeking political asylum in Britain. Their outspoken and public opposition to the anti-gay political policies of the Ugandan and Senegalese governments means that a decision by the British government to return them to Uganda or Senegal is tantamount to a death sentence.

Tacko, Asuman, Andrew and Proscovia are members of the Movement for Justice and leaders of the struggles against racism and the scapegoating of refugees and asylum seekers here in Britain. They are also tireless leaders of the struggle for lesbian/gay equality in Britain, Africa and other parts of the world. Both the governments and anti-gay death squads of Uganda and Senegal know their sexual orientation.

Tacko, Asuman, Andrew and Proscovia have not been granted asylum, even though each of them filed a claim many months ago. Three survived torture; the fourth’s partner was tortured and killed. Living under the constant threat of deportation, never knowing what the next day holds, is an especially excruciating experience for these political asylum seekers.

Tacko, Asuman, Andrew and Proscovia have not been granted asylum thus far because of their political activism in Britain. All four are members of the Movement for Justice and leaders of the struggles against racism and the scapegoating of refugees and asylum seekers here in Britain. Tacko, Asuman, Andrew and Proscovia are also tireless leaders of the struggle for lesbian/gay equality in Britain, Africa and other parts of the world. They are precisely the kind of leaders that Britain needs to progress as a society.

Last year Britain co-sponsored a Joint Statement on LGBT Rights by 85 countries at the United Nations, calling on governments like Uganda and Senegal to end the torture of LGBT people, protect their safety and human rights, and stop treating homosexuality as a criminal offence. Granting asylum to Tacko, Asuman, Andrew and Proscovia is an easy, direct and meaningful way for the British government to show that its pious words will be backed by action.

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36. Equal Marriage

This is a petition by the Equality Network in support of our campaign for equal marriage in Scotland.

Please sign this petition if you agree that same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership should be legalised in Scotland.

This petition calls on the Scottish Parliament to:

1) Change the law to allow same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership.

2) Protect and extend freedom of religion and belief by allowing, but not requiring, religious and Humanist bodies to conduct same-sex marriages and/or register civil partnerships.

3) End the requirement for married transgender people to divorce before a full Gender Recognition Certificate can be issued.

For more information about the Equality Network campaign please visit: http://www.equalmarriage.org.uk

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37. Save Lives, Stop Bullying in Australian Schools

Bullying is one of the greatest dangers children in Australia face.

AT LEAST ONE IN FOUR CHILDREN ARE BULLIED AT SCHOOL
~~~~~~~~~

In our culture, bullying is stigmatized so that Children often feel ashamed to seek help or even tell anyone they are being bullied, for fear of being a burden on families and communities.

As a result the issue goes unrecognized.

Children's voices are not loud enough to demand their own basic rights. Which include:

The right to be free from physical or mental harm, and to receive an education which enables them to reach their potential, and prepares them for life in a free society (from the UN Charter).

~~~~~~~~~~~

BULLYING RUINS LIVES. It has been the cause of countless suicides. Shown in the photo above, Sheniz Erkan is a girl who died as a result of cyber-bullying in January this year.

Bullying ruins mental health.

Children who are bullied are three times more likely to develop depressive symptoms and NINE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO HAVE THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE.

Victims of bullying are more likely to develop psychotic symptoms in early adolescence and young people who bully others are four times more likely to have a criminal record by the age of 30.

~~~~~~~~~~

Bullying has devastating affects on the welfare of individuals. It inhibits their developing identity and contribution to society.

Please help raise awareness of this issue, and spread the word through facebook, email or any means you can.

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38. Marriage Equality for All Australians

More than 60% of Australians support Same Sex Marriage.

This petition is encouraging Prime Minister Julia Gillard to make Marriage Equality a policy issue at the Australian Labor Party National Conference, and not just allow a conscience vote.

It is important that we collect as many signatures as we can.. and make Marriage Equality something that is real for the many same sex attracted Australians, who remain second class citizens in our own country.

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39. David Starkey does not represent London

Petition calling on Boris Johnson to withdraw his invitation to The Mayor's Thames Festival.

We the undersigned call on the Mayor of London to withdraw the invitation to David Starkey to speak as part of the Mayor's Thames Festival.

In a discussion about the riots this summer on BBC Newsnight, David Starkey used race-based terminology to explain the riots, claiming '"What has happened is that the substantial section of the chavs that you wrote about have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion,"'. He also claimed Jamaican Patois has ''been intruded in England...so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country''. Comments encouraging the idea that black people and black culture lie at the root of the issues leading to the riots can only whip up racism and prejudice.

The Newsnight discussion then turned to the Mark Duggan protest. When Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, responded to Starkey saying that both white and black youth were involved in the riots, he contended that "it started as a black protest about the killing of a black man". When Owen Jones, another guest on the show, pointed out this was a peaceful protest about the shooting of Mark Duggan, and could not be held responsible for the riots, Starkey replied "it very quickly ceased to be peaceful". Quite apart from their race-bias, these comments are hurtful to the family of Mark Duggan, and also ignore the fact that the family strongly condemned violence of the riots.

The true spirit of London is not reflected in comments like these, but in the clean-up operations when people came together from all communities to repair the damage.

It is offensive and insensitive to give David Starkey a platform at the Mayor's Thames festival. Starkey's comments triggered thousands of complaints and have caused deep offence.

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40. Concerning the nonrenewal of Associate Professor Dr. Gudrun Ziegler’s contract

No one could accept that the University of Luxembourg would apply such a decision to a high-level academic, researcher, teacher and advisor like Dr. Ziegler after she has succeeded in designing, developing and directing an outstanding upper-level Master program.

The achievements of the program as well as its originality have contributed to the distinction and credit of the University of Luxembourg. Furthermore the projects within Dr. Ziegler’s research group have produced results, which are recognized by a large number of international experts and which have strong impacts on Luxembourg as a multilingual community.

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41. UK Disabled Community Against Welfare & Benefit Cuts

The UK Disabled Community needs to send a clear and unequivocal message in one unified voice to call on the Coalition Government to see us all as equal members of society and not treat us as a tool to steal our disability benefits and services to bail out the Country in this time of Financial Crisis.

Can we set a precedence to get 1 million signatures so that the Coalition Government will have no option but to take note of us and not just ignore or deflect our arguments & comments and to stop building this climate of hate against disabled people.

Please leave a question for your Local MP to pose to the Coalition Government, which we will add to the Petition when we deliver it to No.10.

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42. Support SB 172- Civil Unions in Co

If 86,000 signatures are collected SB 172 will be placed on the ballot for 2012.

SB172 will provide legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities to spouses who have applied for civil unions in Colorado.

Benefits for these couples will include:
-Responsibility for financial support of a party to a civil union
-Rights and abilities concerning transfer of real or personal property to a party in a civil union
-The ability to file a claim based on wrongful death, emotional distress, loss of consortium, or other laws whether common law or statutory, related to or dependent upon spousal status
-The ability to inherit real and personal property from a party in a civil union under the probate code
-Survivor benefits under and inclusion in workers' compensation laws
-The ability to adopt a child of a party to a civil union
-The ability to insure a party to a civil union under group benefit plans for state employees
-Survivor benefits under local government firefighter and police pensions
-Protections and coverage under domestic abuse and domestic violence laws
-Rights and protections under victims' compensation laws and victims and witness protection laws
-Protections and responsibilities relating to emergency and non-emergency medical care and treatment and hospital visitation
-Rights to visit a party in a civil union in a correctional facility, jail, or private contract prison or in a facility receiving mental health treatment
-The ability to file a complaint about the care or treatment of a party in a civil union in a nursing home
-Rights relating to declarations concerning the administration, withholding, or with-drawling of medical treatment, proxy decision-makes and surrogate decision makers, CPR directives, or directives concerning medical orders for scope of treatment forms with respect to a civil union
-Rights concerning the disposition of the last remains of a party to a civil union
-The right to make decision regarding anatomical gifts
-Eligibility for family leave benefits
-Eligibility for public assistance benefits
-A privilege from providing compelled testimony against a party in a civil union and evidentiary privileges for both parties in a civil union
-The right to apply for emergency or involuntary commitment of a party to a civil union
-The right to claim a homestead exemption
-The ability to protect exempt property from attachment, execution, or garnishment
-Dependent coverage under life insurance and health insurance policies

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43. Urge Canadian Government to End Victim Blaming and Violence Against Women

Society, media, and the judicial system in Canada are constantly reinforcing myths and stereotypes about rape. These myths and stereotypes result in victim blaming and sex shaming rather than placing responsibility on the perpetrators of these crimes.

The goal of this petition is call on the federal government to take this issue seriously, restore funding to feminist initiatives and create a national strategy to end violence against women in collaboration with women's groups.

We invite you to sign this petition calling for the the federal government of Canada to make meaningful change to promote women’s equality.

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44. Bringing Gender Neutral Housing to Temple University

This petition is a tool to open the discussions towards bringing gender neutral housing options to Temple University.

In the wake of last year's rash of GLBT bullying, many universities are bringing gender neutral housing to their dormitories in an effort to create an equal, welcoming, and comforting home to ALL of their incoming students.

It's amazing that Temple University, ranked one of the most diverse schools in the nation, is not among these institutions taking steps towards equality.

It is my hope that we are able to end historical ideology and pursue a common sense approach to providing an environment that is welcoming to all.

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45. Promote Social Cohesion in Schools

Social Cohesion helps bring people from different walks of like together.

Without it, there is anarchy and unrest and over the last 10 years there have been many violent rioting eg. Bradford Riots.

By showing there is Cohesion in school, we can tackle it in society.

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46. Legalize Gay Marriage in South Australia

Recently a bill has been introduced by South Australian Labor MLC Ian Hunter and Greens MLC Tammy Frank to legalise same-sex marriage. This petition aims to support this bill, giving gay couples the rights they deserve.

Many forward thinking countries recognise that the gay community should have the same opportunities to express their love and commitment.

However, Australia only recognises domestic partnerships. With your support, South Australia can lead the way to equality.

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47. A response to the public health white paper

We welcome the Coalition Government’s strategy for public health, Healthy Lives, Healthy People. We particularly welcome the attention paid to taking a life course approach to public health, the focus on social determinants of health inequalities, and the linkages made between health, wellbeing and mental health.

The idea that local communities have a key role to play in determining the agenda for and ways of promoting public health is in line with the argument we have consistently made that local knowledge needs to be at the heart of policy development and practice.

Our response to the public health strategy is based on this general agreement with the Government’s overall vision for public health. However, as organisations working with racialised groups, with an in-depth understanding of the problems and potentials of these groups, we feel that there needs to be far more clarity about several key concepts, assumptions and proposals within the White Paper.

Our response, firstly, engages with some of these key concepts: health inequalities, individual responsibility and behaviours, local leadership and the idea of localism. Secondly, we examine the contribution of the voluntary sector organisations working with minority ethnic communities and the factors affecting their engagement with ‘the big society’.

We then make some recommendations on the specific proposals within the White Paper.

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48. Parity of Pensions - Armed Forces Pension Group

THE COVENANT.

Britain has a 'duty of care' to its armed forces. This began as an unspoken pact between society and the military, possibly originating as far back as Henry VIII's reign. The pact was formally codified as a 'covenant' in 2000. It is not a law but is reinforced by custom and convention.

The covenant only officially applies to the Army, but its core principles are taken to extend to the Air Force and Navy too.

Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices - including the ultimate sacrifice - in the service of the Nation. In putting the needs of the Nation and the Army before their own, they forego some of the rights enjoyed by those outside the Armed Forces.
In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service.

In the same way the unique nature of military land operations means that the Army differs from all other institutions, and must be sustained and provided for accordingly by the Nation.

This mutual obligation forms the Military Covenant between the Nation, the Army and each individual soldier; an unbreakable common bond of identity, loyalty and responsibility which has sustained the Army throughout its history. It has perhaps its greatest manifestation in the annual commemoration of Armistice Day, when the Nation keeps covenant with those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in action.

The Covenant has been further enhanced through Cm Paper 7424 of July 2008 titled “The Nation’s Commitment: Cross-Government Support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans” the Foreword was provided by the then Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown. In the Foreword he emphasises that “the demands imposed in the course of their duty are unique”,

AFPG’s STATEMENT OF INTENT
The Armed Forces Pension Group’s aim is to secure equality of pensions for former regular members of the Armed Forces who served for fewer than 22 years at any time to April 1975 and who were discharged before 5th April 1975. This also applies to those regulars who were discharged prior to 1981 who do not meet the criteria of length of service and age. We ask Her Majesty's Government for pension rights based on years of service and related, pro rata, to pensions received by contemporaries who completed 22 years of service..

BACKGROUND PREAMBLE
There are only two groups of Crown employees: the Civil Service and the Armed Forces. Unlike the Civil Service – the only other body with a non-contributory pension scheme – we did not have a union to negotiate on our behalf neither did we wish for one such. Instead we Trusted that we would be treated fairly and on equal terms with and by the Executive (Civil Service). We also expected to be treated equally with those personal who retired after April 1975.
Instead the MoD decided to get rid of as many service personal as they could before April 1975 so they did not have to pay us pensions, how underhanded can you get.

Currently we as veterans remain “unique” insomuch that we are treated adversely compared with contemporary members of the civil service.

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49. Save the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is an independent body responsible for enforcing equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encouraging compliance with the Human Rights Act.

In its first two years the Commission:

• ensured protection for 6 million carers against discrimination in employment
• answered over 70, 000 contacts a year to the Helpline
• resolved 80% of enforcement cases without the need to go to court
• advised 136,000 businesses about upholding equality during the downturn
• distributed £10 million in grants to 285 different voluntary groups delivering frontline services across the country

…to name but a few achievements, all this at a cost of less than £1 a year per person living in Great Britain.

The work of the Commission is now under threat. The government plans to slash its budget by 68% (compared to when it was set up in 2007).

It is likely to;

• lose more than half its workforce
• reduce its legal enforcement ability
• close its Helpline to the public, business and the public sector
• lose its regional offices
• end its grants to charities or projects disability groups and community organisations that are often the first port of call for victims of discrimination and harassment.

At a time of unprecedented cuts that will hit the most vulnerable in society hardest, far right politics scapegoating minority communities and a roadblock needed to restrict the worst excesses of an unregulated market, we must save the EHRC.

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50. Support Canadian National Child Care

We are calling on you to work together to honor the promise of a national child care program to all Canadian families and children. Canada’s children and families deserve the right to a National Child Care System. November 2009 marked the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Canada still scores LAST amongst industrialized nations in our provision of early childhood education and care and family support policies.

The place to start is by protecting the early learning and child care agreements between the Government of Canada and the provinces. While income support for families is a valid policy goal, a taxable family allowance and a tax credit for employers will not create early learning and child care services that are high quality, available and affordable.

Families need income supports and publicly funded child care services. By supporting families with affordable, high-quality options for early childhood learning and care will benefit child development and the social and economic well-being of communities. The variations of policy across Canadian provinces has only allowed Canadians to create a disjointed system and framework, which results in inequalities for our children and families across the nation. We call on all governments to protect and enhance progress on creating a framework to support a National Child Care System.

Children in Canada and their families need high-quality, accessible, inclusive and PUBLICLY FUNDED early education and care for their children. Canada has made many attempts at implementing a national publicly funded system, but have failed each time. We hope that this will be our last attempt because we WILL succeed in convincing our government to take responsibility for Canadian children, and to give our families a real choice in the care and education of their children.

It is time for Canadians to demand a system that values children and families, and makes early childhood education and care a fundamental part of our country. We need to ask our government to commit to building the child care system that Canadians want.

Please add your name to this petition and forward to everyone who you know. The children are our future.

We will be holding a rally in Toronto on March 8th, 2011, and encourage our neighboring cities, provinces and territories to follow our lead.

For more information, or to get involved, please email us at nationalchildcarenow@gmail.com

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51. Stop Racial Discrimination in Australia

To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

The petition of the undersigned shows:

that Senator Gary Humphries engaged in acts contrary to the Commonwealth of Australia laws relating to the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) and its 1995 amendment the Racial Hatred Act by tabling a petition in the Senate calling for a moratorium on Muslims migrating to Australia and seeking a review of immigration policy to be undertaken to ensure priority is given to Christians.

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52. Prepare primary school teachers to teach in all types of schools

Recent reports from the Teaching Council highlight the significant amount of their time that students in the five Colleges in Education spend preparing to teach denominational religious education. This is unfair because:

- people who do not hold specific Roman Catholic or Protestant religious beliefs are expected to engage in faith formation if they wish to become primary school teachers;

- newly qualified teachers leave college without preparation to teach in Educate Together schools; the fastest-growing sector in Irish education.

Join with us to call on the Minister for Education and Skills to redress this imbalance and to ensure that people of all backgrounds are equally respected in the Colleges, and that students are properly prepared to teach in any school type.

*If you are a teacher or student, please make sure to leave a comment about your experience.

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53. End Inequality

Any God worth worshipping can not continue to be a god of inequality. We cannot continue to let the all male run religions set the example to the rest of the world that it is alright to discriminate because of race or sex... and is not the Will of God for it allows the justification of over 1/2 the world to live on less than $2.00 a day, while 25,000 children starve to death each day, and millions more go to bed hungry each night.

We need a better example from The Religions of our world from where God's morality flows.

Any Religion to be relevant to non-believers, as well as believers must end inequality by starting within an all male run religion that is suppose to represents the female half of God as well as the male half.

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54. I Support Marriage Equality

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

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55. PA Equality

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

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56. Coalition of Justice For Gay Rights

The CBS has enforced an “indefinite deferral” for male donors who have had sex with men.

However, deferrals range from 6 to 12 months for people who have paid money or drugs for sex (sex workers), had sex with someone who was paid money or drugs for sex (sex workers), used drugs or steroids via needles, and have had sex with someone whose sexual history/background is unknown to them.

The above-mentioned activities leave a person at risk for HIV and STIs and yet they are allowed to donate blood after the deferral period has passed, from which they began engaging in these risky behaviours/activities.

The MSM indefinite deferral also applies to MSM who are in a monogamous or long-term relationship.

The Coalition of Justice for Gay Rights finds the actions taken by the Canadian Blood Services to be unfair because it deems all sexual activity by MSM risky, but give considerations and shorter deferral times to heterosexual people engaged in sexual activities that carry risks.

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57. Save Our Marriage - Stop the Deportation of Henry Velandia

On August 29, Henry Velandia and Josh Vandiver were married in Montville, Connecticut. But unlike most newlyweds, Henry and Josh aren't spending the fall sending out thank you cards or taking the honeymoon of their dreams. Instead, Henry and Josh are fighting to save their marriage.

Because of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), passed by Congress in 1996, the federal government does not recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples. As a result, Henry, who was born in Venezuela and moved to the U.S. in 2002, is facing deportation instead of settling down to build a future with his husband. If DOMA did not exist, Josh, a U.S. citizen born in Colorado, would be able to sponsor Henry for a "green card." As an American citizen, Josh is being denied the right to sponsor his spouse only because he is gay.

With Henry in deportation proceedings before an Immigration Court in New Jersey, the couple is now faced with the terrifying reality of being torn apart. Every day they fight to keep their family together, and they are not alone. Tens of thousands of gay and lesbian bi-national couples are in urgent need of assistance as they face the threat of separation, deportation or exile because of DOMA. The U.S. government discriminates against legally married same-sex couples, excluding them from more than one thousand laws, important public policies that provide protection to families including Social Security survivor benefits, provisions in the tax code, and the ability of a U.S. citizen to sponsor his/her spouse for residency. Gay and lesbian couples deserve the same protections provided for all families under federal law.

To learn more: www.stopthedeportations.com

Loving, committed, and legally married couples like Henry and Josh shouldn't have to fight against the U.S. government for the right to be together.

Tell Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to end the deportations of spouses of gay and lesbian Americans and protect married couples like Henry and Josh.

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58. Asylum for all LGBTI refugees - Enforce the Equality Act

Enforce the Equality Act and the Supreme Court ruling:

On 8 April 2010, United Kingdom Parliament passed the Equality Act 2010. This was a recognition that Britain’s Black, Asian, Muslim, ethnic minority, immigrant and Lesbian/Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) communities are a permanent, growing and dynamic force in the life of this nation. The right to equality and respect that lies at the heart of this Act must be the right of everyone who lives, works or studies here: it is divisive, discriminatory and inhumane to deny equal treatment to anyone based on their country of origin.

Around the world LGBTI communities are waging a mounting struggle for liberation and for fundamental democratic and civil rights. In many of the world’s poorest and most oppressed countries, LGBT communities, encouraged and inspired by the victories and rights won by sisters and brothers in western Europe and north America, are bravely and proudly refusing to be invisible any more, often in the face of fierce persecution. This is a global movement that crosses national boundaries.

Many LGBT people have had to come to Britain to seek asylum or as immigrants, in order to continue being open as the people they are and to continue the struggle. It is completely unacceptable that for years they have been denied the benefit of the rights secured by the LGBT communities in Britain, because of racist persecution by Britain’s immigration and asylum system.

It is unacceptable that the immigration authorities routinely isolate asylum seekers from society by holding them in detention, and accuse asylum seekers of falsely claiming to be LGBT. It is unacceptable that a country that has just adopted an Equality Act, guaranteeing LGBT people equal rights to be open as who they are without facing discrimination, has been deporting LGBT refugees to the countries they have fled from and telling them to pretend to be someone they are not, by hiding their lesbian, gay male, bisexual or transgender identity.

Now the fight for LGBT asylum rights has scored a major victory. On 7 July the UK Supreme Court overturned this policy. The court ruled that it is a contravention of the 1951 Refugee Convention to return LGBT asylum seekers to their home countries on the basis that they could live ‘discreetly’ – i.e. conceal their identities.

This strengthens the earlier victory that was won on 19 May when Britain’s Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition pledged that “We will stop the deportation of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution.”

At the same time, however, the Government is cynically cutting the availability of legal aid to immigrants and asylum seekers. Unless we fight to reverse this decision immigrants and asylum seekers will be unable to avail themselves of the Supreme Court decision and the Government’s promise: they will be at the mercy of the immigration authorities because they can’t afford a lawyer. Only a united, collective struggle against racism and homophobia can defeat this policy and ensure the enforcement of the words and spirit of the Equality Act and the Supreme Court decision.

To that end we pledge to look for cases and conduct campaigns that set examples of using the Equality Act and the Supreme Court decision to the full and mobilising to implement them – e.g. by speaking the plain truth about racism and homophobia, demonstrating at tribunal and court hearings, opposing immigration raids on campuses or in workplaces, stopping deportations, and organising speak-outs to expose discrimination and empower our communities.

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59. Middle Temple Nursery

The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple (one of the four Inns of Court) is considering a proposal to use part of its premises, formerly home to a wine bar, as a site for a nursery. This would be available for use by all barristers and staff of the four Inns, and would be paid for by the parents using it. It is unlikely that another suitable site will come up in the foreseeable future.

Middle Temple's Executive Committee have agreed to oppose this idea, on the grounds that they may be able to earn more rental income if the space is used in other ways. The Benchers of the Inn will meet to decide on the proposal on June 22nd 2010.

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60. Requesting Theresa May's Resignation from the Post of Equalities Minister

In the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat cabinet Theresa May has been appointed as Minister for Women and Equality.

Prior to this appointment her voting record on gay rights has included:

- Voting against further discussion on the repeal of section 28, preferring to let it stand;

- Voting against lowering the age of consent in homosexual relationships to 16;

- Voting against gay adoption rights; as well as numerous other votes that have offended both homosexual and heterosexual communities. For these reasons we do not feel she is appropriate for the post of Minister for Equality.

We would like to make it clear that this campaign is not politically motivated, and is in no way a campaign against any political party.

Furthermore it is campaigning only for Theresa May's removal from this specific post, and not from any other position that she holds.

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