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Equality Network News
See you at Pride!
If you're planning to come to Pride Scotia in Edinburgh on Saturday 26th June, and would like to be more involved on the day, would you like to volunteer to help carry the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance banners on the march, or staff our stall in Club Ego? We're planning our traditional bake-sale, which will include gluten-free and vegan cakes and cookies. Free cake for volunteers.
We're also as ever looking for contributions to our bakesale from supporters: please let us know if you plan to bring something along. (Vegetarian/vegan baked goods only.)
Refugee Week 14th-20th June 2010
"The fact that the World Cup kicks off at the same time as Refugee Week suits us fine ‘cos it makes a perfect excuse to encourage you and your friends to get out and play a game of football with refugees."
Stonewall's report "No going back: Lesbian and gay people and the asylum system"
Consensual acts between same-sex adults are criminalised in 80 member states of the United Nations and homosexuality results in the death penalty in six of these countries. In many countries lesbian, gay and bisexual people face execution, torture, rape and murder from people in their own community or from their government.
People who face the threat of this type of persecution can seek sanctuary in the UK but many are not granted protection because of fundamental errors of judgement and presumptions made by UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff and judges about sexual orientation. (LGBT Asylum News, Pink News)
Paul Canning in "Left Foot Forward": "Stonewall’s report uses research by the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group released two months ago. This examined 50 initial asylum refusal letters on sexual orientation grounds and that’s where 98% came in; 73% is the overall first refusal rate. But those cases are appealed or resubmitted and a lot of them win. Two just came before the Supreme Court in a test case of the ‘go home and be discreet’ policy. How many either win or are eventually removed we simply don’t know because the Home Office doesn’t collect numbers (they’ve been asked, it’s ‘prohibitively expensive’)."
LGBT asylum seekers
While homophobic politics and violence are rising across Africa and are entrenched elsewhere, the UK is at a critical juncture. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people seek asylum in the UK, but until now many have been sent back to countries where they are persecuted, and told to be discreet. Last month the supreme court heard two cases challenging the Home Office over its refusal of asylum based on the argument of discretion. The men involved – an Iranian and a Cameroonian – are still awaiting a judgment which could set a major precedent in asylum law.
In the last year over 200 LGBT asylum seekers have received direct support from the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group through the provision of legal advice, assistance to find expert legal representation, provision of country research to support their asylum claims and the provision of a safe environment for mutual support.
Justice at Risk: quality and value for money in asylum legal aid
This morning Refugee and Migrant Justice published a new report, part of a research project looking at the costs of providing quality legal representation. Justice at Risk outlines new findings that show the present legal aid system acts to disincentivise quality. This report draws together original research, including interviews with stakeholders and refugees, a preliminary analysis of a file review exercise, together with a review of existing evidence.
Refugee and Migrant Justice is facing possible closure due to bureaucratic rules that lead to late payment by the Government for asylum and immigration legal work. The Legal Services Commission, which funds legal aid work, has changed its payment scheme. RMJ used to get paid monthly to cover the work they do. But now, they get paid only after each case has closed, which depends on the timing of Home Office and tribunal decisions. Asylum cases can take months, or even years, but RMJ still faces the cost of doing the work. No charity can be expected to wait that long for payment. (Save RMJ - pdf)
Attack police for ...appropriate language?
In 2004 Lothian and Borders Police published their Appropriate Language Guide, used in training the police in speaking to and about people with respect and dignity and recognising the importance of not causing even unwitting offence to others. From the introduction to the guide: "Lothian and Borders Police will not tolerate the use - by any of its staff, towards anyone - of language which has racist, homophobic or sexist overtones, or which employs swearing and profanities." Bill Aitken MSP, the Conservative justice spokesman, has said it was "politically correct and esoteric" and the police should "cut this nonsense out". (BBC, Evening News) Last month Mr Aitken declared he intended to step down at the next Scottish Parliamentary election. (STV) "I don't understand why this is a story," said deputy chief constable Steve Allen. "The guide was published in 2004 - this is a conseqence of lazy, sloppy journalism." (Guardian)
Tatchell to present Pope documentary on C4
Channel Four have announced that human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will present an hour-long documentary on the Pope, "An exploration of the Pope's religious and political journey since the 1930s", to be broadcast shortly before the pontiff's State Visit to Britain in September this year.
Peter Tatchell said "I intend to ensure that we hear the voices of the Pope's defenders, as well as his critics. I would be like to interview the Pope himself. It would be ideal for Pope Benedict to be able to explain himself in his own words. But I doubt that I will be granted an audience."
“It’s really awful,” said Jack Valero, a prominent member of Opus Dei, an organisation known to have remained "ultra-conservative" on homosexuality and abortion.
KIN Arts Project
KIN is a Glasgow-based arts project exploring the changing relationship between a middle-aged child and their ageing parents. KIN hopes to explore the fear and sorrow, the anger, guilt and frustration and also the love, trust and laughter to be found in this universal experience. KIN is looking for pairs of mothers, sons, daughters or fathers to get involved from now till October 2010 to share their experiences with Glasgow artist Donna Rutherford. If you are interested in participating please forward your contact details through the website donnarutherford.org or call the Centre for Contemporary Arts on 0141 352 4900.
Pink Paper Poll
Is the gay community racist and/or transphobic? Current Poll
Three-hour HIV treatment trek forces council couple to move
Jason Warriner, clinical director at the Terrance Higgins Trust, said: "Common sense dictates that travelling by ferry and then trains is detrimental to the treatment required for HIV patients. Choice is a right in terms of NHS facilities. Unfortunately in rural and remote areas of Scotland this right can not always be exercised. Where hospital transport isn't available, individuals should look to claim expenses for private travel when there are simply no other alternatives because of where you live, or where you have been housed." (Pink Paper)
Talk Scotland Events
Glasgow: Women, Maternal Health, and Human Rights
Friday 11th June, 1-3:30pm, Reading Room, Glasgow University Union, University Avenue, Glasgow One woman dies every minute from complications in pregnancy or childbirth. The vast majority of mothers' deaths are entirely preventable. We need governments to prioritise women's health as a way of tackling poverty and human rights abuses.Lunch and refreshments will be provided. More information at Amnesty website.
Glasgow: Friday live news debate
Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland's Political Editor, chairs a live news debate from City Halls, Glasgow, this week potentially focussing on arts issues, and the week's biggest news stories. The programme coincides with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's weekend of free concerts and events. The programme broadcasts with a panel in front of an audience (like Question Time). Panel will include: Fiona Hislop (SNP MSP, Culture and External Affairs), Pauline McNeill (Labour MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture Europe and Constitutional Affairs), Jamie McGrigor (Conservative MSP, Shadow Minister for Communities & Sport). To book your place in the audience e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (Listen on iPlayer)
Scottish Rural Equality Network National Conference
9:30-4:30, Wednesday 16th June 2010. A ‘virtual’ conference using V3 technology linking local discussions on social inclusion in local communities. Chaired by Morag Redwood, Project Leader Highlands & Islands Equality Forum, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. Are you interested, or already involved, in ensuring that the whole diversity of people are fully included in your local community? Would you benefit from learning what similar groups and individuals are doing around rural Scotland? Want to hear of exciting new ways to involve your local community? This is an opportunity for you to link up with people from across rural Scotland and take part in a groundbreaking national event without having to leave your own area!
Stirling: Launch of SEVEN
5-8pm, Thurs 17th June, Lesser Hall in Stirling. SEVEN, the new LGBT Youth Group in Central Scotland are hosting an evening to launch their group and to raise the profile of LGBT people. For more information or to get involved in this event, please contact LGBT Youth Scotland on 0131 555 39 40 or email email@example.com
Glasgow: Refugee Week Football Tournament
11-4pm, 19th June 2010, Glasgow Green Football Centre, Kings Drive, G20 7HH Location Glasgow, G40 1HB. Greater Pollock integration Network, 0141 649 2000, Come and watch the 5-a-side football tournament and cheer on your community team. There is everything to play for with a trophy for the winning side. there will be a light buffet following the trophy presentation. If you have a team to enter please contact Greater Pollock integration Network. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cachín Cachán Cachunga!
7:30pm, Tuesday, 22nd June, A Queer & Trans Night of Dance, Film, Poetry & Music. The Street, 2 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, Only £3/£2! http://www.blissfultimes.ca/zorras.htm
Right To Work Action on Budget Day
22nd June. Dundee: 1pm rally at City Square followed by a demo at 5pm at City Square.
Edinburgh: Rally and march. Assemble at the bottom of the mound. March will go to Charlotte Square to First Minister’s residence. Contact Raymond Watt.
Glasgow: Assemble George Square from 3pm onwards. Carnival atmosphere—food, music, stalls and speakers Right To Work campaign
Glasgow: Working with Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Migrants & EU Nationals
9.30–4.30 pm, 23rd June 2010. 1-day course examines the rights of migrants under UK and European Law. You will be briefed on all the fundamental issues such as barriers faced by different groups and their respective entitlement to services. As a participant, you will be given up-to-date knowledge on the housing, employment and welfare entitlements of refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and EU nationals. www.paih.org
Inverness: Swans of Scotland monthly meeting
7-9pm, Thursday 24th June, The Swans of Scotland regular group meeting is on the last Thursday of the month - 24th June at the Beaufort Hotel in Inverness. Check their web site for event details.
Glasgow: Who Said Women Shouldn't Play football
10-4pm, 29th June 2010, Firhill Complex, Hopehill Road, G20 7HH. Afroscots United FC women's 5-a-side football tournament encourages women to take part in a football tournament and dispell the myth that football is just a "man's game". If you are interested in taking part please contact Afroscots United. If not then join us and cheer on the women as they battle it out for glory.
University of Edinburgh: Participatory Appraisal Workshops
6th - 10th September 2010 Participatory Appraisal is highly regarded as a valuable tool for providing structures and processes to enable local people to identify their own priorities and make their own decisions about the future. There are many applications of PA, including natural resource management, programmes for the poor, health and food security in both rural and urban situations. The workshop consists of 5 intensive days of training concentrating on the practical applications of PA and includes a placement towards the end of the week to put the skills learned into practice. Cost £575 (volunteer rate £375 by special application) includes all tuition costs, in-course transportation, documentation, refreshments and a sandwich lunch on four days.
Aberdeen: THT Testing Clinic
The THT testing clinic is available on Thursday Evenings 5pm to 8pm - make an appointment during office hours on 0845 241 2151 or email email@example.com. Testing for HIV (20 minute result), Hep B & C, Syphillis, Chlamydia & Gonnorhoea (results in 7 days)
Use THT's clinic finder to find the nearest testing facility
Inverness: THT Open Door Afternoons
THT (Waterloo Place, Inverness) are on Tuesdays from 2pm - 4pm for anyone who is LGBT and wishes to chat to staff about any issues.
For more information on the work of Terrence Higgins Trust in Grampian: http://www.tht.org.uk/howwecanhelpyou/ourservices/browseallservices/grampian/
Salford: Call to reject Tory plans to dilute human rights protection
Peter Tatchell was a keynote speaker at Salford University's human rights conference on 4/5th June 2010, held to mark the first decade of the Human Rights Act. Peter Tatchell, who is the human rights spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales, is urging opposition to Conservative proposals to water-down the Human Rights Act: "Despite its flaws and limitations, the Human Rights Act is probably the single most important piece of legislation passed by parliament in the last 30 years. It protects the individual against state intrusion and authoritarianism; asserting fundamental freedoms and liberties that a government cannot lawfully suppress."
Gary Younge in the Guardian: "It would be fantastic if gay equality were a western value. But we are not there yet. It remains an important aspiration and should be considered a universal human right."
(National LGBT Forum News, Pink Paper)
Travel to make a difference
Would experience overseas enhance your effectiveness in your career or field of interest? Could this bring real benefits and positive change to your community, the UK and yourself? If the answer is 'yes', check your eligibility, see examples of previous projects and apply for a Travelling Fellowship. Deadline for application: 5th October 2010.
British Council: Active Citizens
Are you running a voluntary or community sector organisation, or a network working to promote active participation and social justice (such as tackling poverty and inequality) in your community? Are you interested in sharing and learning from others worldwide? If so, you may want to apply for a grant of up to £7,500 to be a UK local delivery partner on the British Council Active Citizens programme.
Iraqi LGBT "extremely concerned" by new deportations
The Iraqi LGBT group has expressed its 'deep concern' about reports that the British Home Office is planning to return 100 Iraqi refugees to Baghdad Wednesday 9 June - despite a recent UK report saying this was not safe.
Iraqi LGBT is a human rights organisation with members inside Iraq and in exile. It provides safe houses for gays, lesbians and transgender people and has helped people escape into exile. (Guardian, National LGBT Forum News)
European Parliament on Petitions approve Polish investigation
The European Parliament's Committee on Petitions has approved an investigation into the alleged refusal of the Polish government to issue certificates of marital status to Poles who wish to enter into same-sex unions in countries where they are legal. (Pink Paper)
Poland’s National Museum champions gay rights
The National Museum in Warsaw aims to chip away at prejudices against sexual minorities in Poland with an exhibition “Ars Homo Erotica” (11 June-5 September) about homoeroticism in art. The show is due to open during this summer’s election of a president to succeed Kaczynski, who was a former mayor of Warsaw and a strong opponent of LGBT equality. (The Art Newspaper)
Uganda: Threat of Anti-Homosexuality Bill to return?
The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, last week commended the Church for its strong stand against homosexuality. He asked the clergy and African leaders to guard against Western culture, warning that the continent will end up eaten by homosexuality if they relax. Christopher Ssenyonjo, a 78-year-old Anglican bishop who once had to leave Uganda for six months after receiving death threats, this week blamed US Christian evangelical groups for fomenting anti-gay hatred in his native country. He has been condemned for his openly-expressed view that "God wants me to help oppressed peoples. Homosexuals should enjoy all the rights and benefits that heterosexuals enjoy." (SFGate, New Vision, Gay Uganda)
Video interview with Bishop Ssenyonjo: (Vimeo)
Canada: ILGA resignation from Toronto Pride
Gloria Careaga and Renato Sabbadini, co-secretaries general of ILGA, who had been appointed International Grand Marshals of Toronto Pride 2010, announced their resignation after the Board of Directors of the Toronto pride banned the phrase "Israeli Apartheid" from their Pride march, excluding the group “Queer Against Israeli Apartheid". The two say that they think the ban is "a terrible mistake, in complete contradiction with the spirit of freedom and inclusiveness a pride should embody.”
Working for All
Glasgow: Survey assistants
Sessional, £10 p.h. (Team leaders, £12/hour). MRC and Glasgow Caledonian University are conducting a survey in gay bars in Glasgow between 19th July and 1st August each evening this year. A team of survey assistants is needed to visit the bars to distribute questionnaires and collect survey data. Training Saturday 10th July 9-12.30 in Glasgow. Candidates should have a strong interest in research or work in outreach in the gay community. Contact Jennifer Clark at Bruce Murray Recruitment, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0141 221 2201.
Community - Get Involved > Your Input Wanted > Survey assistants wanted in Glasgow
Clydebank Women's Aid
Two Family Resource Workers (35 hours p/w, flexitime), £26,330 p.a. to work within a collective, delivering, managing & evaluating services to women, children and young people who have experienced Domestic Abuse. You must be able to demonstrate your commitment to feminism. Fixed term to 31 March 2011. Deadline noon 18th June 2010. Posts are exempt from the Sex Discrimination Act under Section S.7(2)(B)
For an application pack go to the website http://www.clydebankwomensaid.co.uk/
Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) - Board Members
Scottish Ministers are seeking to appoint three new Members to the Board of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA). SCRA is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) which is sponsored by the Scottish Government. Based in Stirling, the organisation manages over 40 offices and employs around 500 staff.
Deadline: 1st July 2010. For an application pack and full details on this and other public appointments click on Current Positions at the dedicated public appointments website: http://www.appointed-for-scotland.org/
Accounts Commission for Scotland
Scottish Ministers would like to appoint two Members to the Accounts Commission for Scotland. It is a particularly interesting time to become involved with the work of the Commission. Currently, its main function is to secure the audit of local government and associated bodies in Scotland and to help those bodies to achieve Best Value in their activities.
Deadline: 2nd July 2010. Full details and an application pack via: http://www.appointed-for-scotland.org/
London: Broken Rainbow
Office Co-ordinator, £22,693 - 26,739 (inc ILW). An experienced, organised individual to manage daily office operations. Experience of charity sector office management required, an understanding of domestic violence, and the LGBT sector is preferred. Based in London SE16. Open to flexitime, part/time, or jobshare applications. Deadline Sun 20th June, interviews Thurs 24th June 2010. More information and application forms:
Glasgow: Positive Action in Housing
Project Leader (New Migrants Action Project) (35 hours p/w, flexitime), £24,525 p.a. A dynamic, experienced individual who can hit the ground running and deliver Positive Action in Housing's New Migrants Action Project. Your central goal will be to ensure the delivery of the New Migrants action Project's advice, information and training services for people from new migrant communities and service providers.
Project Officer (Casework & Outreach) (Two days/14 hours p/w, flexitime), £20,099 per p.a. P.R. Part time caseworker to assist in providing a free, independent, multilingual and culturally sensitive outreach housing information and advice service for refugees, asylum seekers and minority ethnic communities in Glasgow. For this post, you must be available to work 2 full days a week between Tuesday and Thursday. As well as English, you will be fluent in at least one other relevant language in addition to English.
Training Officer (35 hours p/w, flexitime), £18,497 p.a. A dynamic, experienced individual who can hit the ground running and deliver Positive Action in Housing's training service across Scotland.
Administrative Officer (Two days/14 hours p/w, flexitime), £15,407 p.a. P.R. Supporting the administrative, finance and reception functions of Positive Action in Housing. For this post, you must be available to work 2 full days a week between Tuesday and Thursday. Fluency in at least one other language is desirable.
Administrative Assistant (35 hours p/w, flexitime), £11,568 p.a. Support the administrative, finance and reception functions of Positive Action in Housing.
Positive Action in Housing is working with communities and others to enable everyone to have an equal chance to live in good quality, affordable and safe housing, free from discrimination and the fear of racial harassment and violence. All posts currently fixed-term to 31 March 2011. PAIH actively promotes equal opportunities throughout our jobs, services and activities and actively encourages applications from all sections of the community.
For an application form and information pack email email@example.com or call Jamie O'Neill, Admin Manager on 0141 353 2220 stating the title of the post(s) you wish to apply for. (CVs will not be accepted). Deadline 12 noon Friday 18th June 2010. Interviews Week beginning Monday 21st June 2010.
Different families can be better families
Stonewall UK published a research report today: "Different Families: The experiences of children with lesbian and gay parents" The study was based on interviews conducted by the University of Cambridge with over 80 children and young people from the age of four, all of whom have lesbian and gay parents, and provides a portrait of their experience in the UK today.
The US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study has published a report this week on the longest-running study ever conducted on American lesbian families: it found that the 17-year-old adolescent daughters and sons of lesbian mothers, all conceived through donor insemination, were rated higher than their peers in "social, academic, and overall competence, and lower in aggressive behavior, rule-breaking, and social problems, on standardised assessments of psychological adjustment."
Portugal: First same-sex couple married
A lesbian couple have become the first to legally marry in Portugal, at a Lisbon registry office, just weeks after legislation was reformed there. Teresa Pires and Helena Paixao had tried to marry since 2006, when a registry office rejected them. They appealed to the constitutional court, which rejected their bid. Parliament passed a marriage equality law in January.
Four Weddings Wants You
ITV's reality show "Four Weddings" is looking for people getting married or having a civil partnership between now and November. The basic premise of the show is 4 'brides' battle it out to win a dream 10k honeymoon. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gay marriage: "What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?"
The Philadelphia-based composer Melissa Dunphy's new composition "What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?" was selected as the winning work for the 2010 Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Composition This choral work sets excerpts of public testimony given by a WWII veteran before the Maine Senate in a hearing to discuss the Marriage Equality Bill.
"Do you believe in equality for gay and lesbian people?" I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, "What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?"
The Equality Network's website for information on all aspects of LGBT family law - including civil partnership, cohabitation, having children, breaking up - is http://www.lgbtfamilies.org/