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Behind the Aegis

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If you have HBO or HBOGo, you need to watch this week's "VICE".

The first segment is about the anti-gay agenda in Uganda. It is frightening. It specifically includes the ties to American's exporting their religious bigotry.

Here is a sneak peek:

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat May 16, 2015, 02:37 AM (4 replies)

Heterosexism: the Heterosexual Privilege issue

Heterosexism is defined as:

a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that other people are heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior. source: Wikipedia

Seems pretty cut and dried, but many don't understand the profound effects this systematic discrimination has on GLBT people. Sure, most people are aware of homophobia, even what it is, and that it is "bad", but when it comes to 'heterosexism' one experiences raised eyebrows and looks of puzzlement. A primary example is marriage equality. It has been battled in various states for the past 10 some odd years, and now it is going before the SCOTUS. While many are optimistic equality will win out in the end, there are other battles needing to be fought, which are seemingly going unnoticed; this would be an example of the heterosexism which permeates through society.

Heterosexism is not realizing, even with a SCOTUS win for marriage equality, the struggle is not over. It doesn't mean same-sex couples can pack it in and kick up our heels. Heterosexism is not realizing homophobic laws are still on the books and, worse still, enforced in various states and locales. Heterosexism is not understanding how the recent decision to modify the FDA ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood is still homophobic (see: FDA Releases Plan to Ease Restrictions on Gay Blood Donation). Heterosexism is not realizing or noticing states are already springing into action to pre-emptively work against a possible SCOTUS win on marriage equality (see: Tex. bill would bar local officials from issuing same-sex-marriage licenses). Heterosexism is not being aware in the past year, upwards of 80 anti-LGBT bills have been introduced in 28 states (see: Anti-LGBT Bills Introduced in 28 States). Heterosexism is being unaware GLBT people can be evicted from their homes, lose their jobs, lose their children, and face a host of other offenses on a daily basis. Heterosexism is being blasé when a gay/lesbian person has to search high and low for an anniversary card tailored to GL needs. Heterosexism is being flippant with understanding a GLBT relationship and trying to mold it into a "heterosexual model". Heterosexism is not understanding a loss from the SCOTUS will create the potential for states, which currently have same-sex marriage allowances, to step backwards in time.

An article from The Wall Street Journal titled: Firms Tell Gay Couples: Wed or Lose Your Benefits, highlights the depths of heterosexism. The thought process for those business to drop same-sex benefits (dependent on a positive ruling from SCOTUS) in favor for spousal benefits ignores the reality of the political, social and legal landscapes of the US. In states where GLBT folks are protected in housing and employment, such a policy might be acceptable because all couples, gay or straight, would be on equal footing. However, there are many states where GLBT people are not protected in issues of employment or housing, sometimes both; therefore, making a G/L couple potentially choose between benefits from one spouse's job and the potential for the loss of a home, the other partner's job, or both. Unlike most same-sex benefits, which are solely between the worker and employer, marriage is a matter of public record. It is that public record which can create a host of problems.

Heterosexism and homophobia often intersect, but many people have worked on their homophobia and recognize it when it happens. The same can't be said of heterosexism. It is time for people to understand this phenomena and address it and work to confront it, just as they have with homophobia.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu May 14, 2015, 01:46 AM (17 replies)

Tex. bill would bar local officials from issuing same-sex-marriage licenses

Texas Republicans are pushing legislation to bar local officials from granting same-sex couples licenses to marry, launching a preemptive strike against a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling next month that could declare gay marriage legal.

Supporters of the measure, which is scheduled for a vote as soon as Tuesday in the Texas House, said it would send a powerful message to the court. Taking a cue from the anti-abortion movement, they said they also hoped to keep any judicially sanctioned right to same-sex marriage tied up in legal battles for years to come.

The measure, by Rep. Cecil Bell, a Republican from the outskirts of Houston, would prohibit state and local officials from using taxpayer dollars “to issue, enforce, or recognize a marriage license . . . for a union other than a union between one man and one woman.”

Bell said the bill “simply preserves state sovereignty over marriage.”


This is simply an example of what is to come!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed May 13, 2015, 04:52 AM (1 replies)

FDA Releases Plan to Ease Restrictions on Gay Blood Donation

Source: Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration is outlining its plan to end the nation's lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, a 32-year-old policy that many medical groups and gay activists say is no longer justified.

The FDA on Tuesday released proposed guidelines for screening blood donors at increased risk of carrying HIV. Under the proposal, the current blanket ban on donations from gay men would be replaced with a policy barring donations from men who have had sex with another man in the last year. The Obama administration previously announced the policy shift in December.

If finalized, the new policy would put the U.S. in line with other countries that enforce a one-year deferral period on donations from sexually active gay men, including Australia, Japan and the U.K.

Gay activists, however, continued to question whether requiring a year of celibacy from gay men amounts to a significant policy shift.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/fda-releases-plan-ease-restrictions-gay-blood-donation-30993881

A year of celibacy?! A step in the right direction which still serves as a reminder, gay/bi men are still suspect.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed May 13, 2015, 04:16 AM (4 replies)

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia approaches (Sunday, May 17th)

This Sunday, May 17, is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. This date is set aside to bring attention to the many ills that need fixing to acquire equality around the world. The on-going discrimination is more wide-spread then is generally thought. Homophobia and transphobia remain a serious situation, not only in Canada, but in the rest of the world.

This Sunday, May 17, is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. This date is set aside to bring attention to the many ills that need fixing to acquire equality around the world. The on-going discrimination is more wide-spread then is generally thought. Homophobia and transphobia remain a serious situation, not only in Canada, but in the rest of the world.

On this day we attempt to place emphasis to raise awareness in a very public way.

The reason for this date is that on May 17th, 1990, homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization. In other words, being gay and lesbian was removed from the list of mental disorders. A Paris-based committee decided to mark May 17th as a day to educate, celebrate bring attention to how diverse we are world-wide.

Our sexual orientation and gender identity must be counted as a human right and therefore we have an inherent right to be part of society to live in peace, harmony and be treated with respect. We continue to educate, raise awareness and instill pride in our young people so that they live in a world less occupied with hatred and intolerance. Time is of the essence as each day more news reaches us that abuse of all sorts is rampant. Take a stand for equal rights for citizens who are members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.


That will be a nice birthday gift for me!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed May 13, 2015, 03:56 AM (2 replies)

Jewish, Israeli Leaders to Attend Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism

Leaders from across the Jewish world will join Israeli leaders participating in the 5th Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism, which begins on Tuesday, May 12 through May 14, at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.

Israeli officials attending the forum include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, recently nominated for Education Ministry in Netanyahu’s next government, Speaker of the Knesset and the President of Supreme Court will also attend.

Some 1,000 experts from around the world will take part in the conference – the largest of its kind in the world – including the Justice Ministers of Germany and Romania, the Education Minister of Bulgaria, the Mayor of Paris, and the Minister of State for Multiculturalism from Canada.

Leaders from across multiple Jewish groups will be also be in attendance, including from the Anti-Defamation League; Simon Wiesenthal Center; American Jewish Committee; Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France; the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; B’nai B’rith; World Jewish Congress; and the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed May 13, 2015, 02:22 AM (0 replies)

Austria marks 70th anniversary of liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp

Source: Shanghai Daily

VIENNA, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann Tuesday paid tribute to the victims of the Nazi regime and resistance fighters to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp by U.S. troops.

"We remember all those who suffered, all those who died, at that place," Faymann said, referring to the concentration camp in Upper Austria where the number of people killed is estimated to run into the hundreds of thousands.

He said one must not simply let this day of the year pass as any other would, but rather engage in fundamental discussions in Austria and Europe, and learn the right lessons from history, something he said the European Union has been doing since its founding.

Read more: http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=280429


Nazi Germany incorporated Austria in the Anschluss of March 11-13, 1938. Shortly thereafter, Reichsführer-SS (SS chief) Heinrich Himmler, SS General Oswald Pohl, the chief of the SS Administration and Business Offices, and SS General Theodor Eicke, the Inspector of Concentration Camps, inspected a site they thought suitable for the establishment of a concentration camp to incarcerate, as Upper Austrian Nazi Party district leader August Eigruber put it, “traitors to the people from all over Austria.” The site was on the bank of the Danube River, near the “Wiener Graben” stone quarry, which was owned by the city of Vienna. It was located about three miles from the town of Mauthausen in Upper Austria, 12.5 miles southeast of Linz.

At the end of April 1938, the SS founded a company, German Earth and Stone Works Inc. (Deutsche Erd- und Steinwerke, GmbH-DESt), to exploit the granite which they intended to extract with concentration camp labor. In August 1938, the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps transferred approximately 300 prisoners, mostly Austrians and virtually all convicted repeat offenders or persons whom the Nazi regime classified as “asocials” from Dachau concentration camp to the Mauthausen site in order to begin construction of the new camp. By the end of 1938, Mauthausen held nearly 1,000 prisoners, still virtually all convicted criminals and asocials. Three months into World War II in December 1939, the number had increased to over 2,600 prisoners, primarily convicted criminals, "asocials," political opponents, and religious conscientious objectors, such as Jehovah's Witnesses.

An estimated 197,464 prisoners passed through the Mauthausen camp system between August 1938 and May 1945. At least 95,000 died there. More than 14,000 were Jewish.



Location: 20 km from the city of Linz, Austria.
•Established: August 8 1938.
•Liberated: May 5 1945 by the US 11th. armour division.
•Estimated number of victims: aproximately 150.000.
•Sub-camps: 49 permanent sub-camps and aproxametly 10 camps that lasted for some weeks.

Mauthausen was classified as a so-called "category three camp". This was the fiercest category, and for the prisoners it meant "Rûckkehr unerwünscht" (return not desired) and "Vernichtung durch arbeit" (extermination by work).

In summer, wake up was at 4.45 a.m (5.15 in winter), and the working day ended at 7 p.m. This included two roll calls and the distribution of food rations. All the activity revolved around the Wiener Graben and the underground tunneling at the sub-camps of Gusen (I, II and III), Melk and Ebensee. In the Wiener Graben the prisoners were divided into two groups; one that hacked into the granite and the other that carried the slabs up the 186 steep steps to the top of the quarry.

Another killing method, favored by the SS during the winter season, was to gather a group of prisoners in the garage yard and order them to undress. A guard then sprayed water over the group which was left to freeze to death. This was quite effective in a region where the winter temperature usually was around minus 10 degrees Celsius.

On May 5 1945, units of the American 11th Armor Division liberated the main Mauthausen camp. 15,000 bodies were buried in mass graves. Due to diseases and starvation, 3.000 prisoners died in the weeks that followed after the liberation.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed May 6, 2015, 03:03 AM (1 replies)

Anti-Semitism at UCSB: A closer look at bashing the Jews on campus

A nationwide survey of self-identified Jewish students found that a majority of them, 54 percent, had suffered or witnessed incidents of anti-Semitism on their campuses in the last school year.

At the University of California Santa Barbara, that problem has manifested itself in a variety of ways this year, offering a case study, a microcosm of sorts, of the larger issue at hand.

Last October, flyers blaming Jews for 9/11 were discovered on the UCSB campus. They alleged “9/11 was an outside job” and that “9/11 was Mossad,” referring to Israel’s intelligence agency.

The incident prompted a student government resolution denouncing anti-Semitism, but the effort had little effect.

Rabbi Evan Goodman, Santa Barbara Hillel’s leader, recalls a student earlier this year who came to him, upset because after walking home from an event with a small Israeli flag in her hand she was harassed multiple times, with students hurling insults at her for being pro-Israel and Jewish.

In the weeks leading up to a recent student government vote on whether to divest from Israel, Students for Justice in Palestine erected a protest wall condemning Israel’s “Apartheid.” It was placed in the Arbor—the free speech zone— and students and professors were forced to walk around it to continue on the pathway.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed May 6, 2015, 02:48 AM (0 replies)

Nazi-confiscated painting returned to heir of Jewish art historian

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - A 17th century painting taken by Nazis from a prominent German Jewish art historian has been returned to the owner's daughter, New York state officials said on Tuesday.

The painting, called "Portrait of a Man," was recovered in part by the New York Department of Financial Services’ Holocaust Claims Processing Office, which has helped to return $171 million in assets to relatives of holocaust victims.

"While the terrible damage caused by Nazi persecution can never be repaired, we hope that the recovery of this painting will deliver at least some small measure of justice," department Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan.

Separately, five paintings missing since World War Two were turned over to a German diplomat at a U.S. State Department ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for their return to their original owners in Germany.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/05/us-usa-holocaust-art-idUSKBN0NQ1YH20150505
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed May 6, 2015, 02:47 AM (1 replies)

Survivors’ children gather at Bergen-Belsen

HANOVER, Germany — Seventy years after the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp by British troops, some 100 people personally touched by the history returned to the site to share their memories and warn against forgetting.

Among them were children born at a displaced persons camp for survivors less than two miles from the camp.

Survivors who recovered started new families. In fact, an estimated 2,000 children were born at the DP camp — the largest in postwar Germany — before it closed in September, 1950.

Aviva Tal was one of them. Her parents, who had married before the war but were torn apart and survived several concentration camps, were reunited at the Bergen-Belsen DP camp, where they shared a room with 12 other survivors.

The women “became pregnant right away, including my mother,” Tal, who was born in February, 1947, told JTA. “They put me in a basket in the middle of the room, and I was the most pampered child, always being held. My feet never touched the floor.”

Tal was one of several children of survivors to speak over the weekend at a panel on Holocaust memory led by Menachem Rosensaft, who was born in the DP camp on May 1, 1948. He recently edited a volume of essays, G-d, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed May 6, 2015, 02:46 AM (1 replies)
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