Tag Archives: sex based rights

Lesbians subject to dual brutal oppression as women and homosexuals as the Taliban take over Afghanistan

As women, lesbians will be subjected to the brutal sex based oppression imposed on them by the Taliban, as well as being subjected to the brutal penalties for homosexuality, worsening the already dire position of lesbians in Afghanistan.

Those who concern me most, as a journalist who reported on the last takeover by the Taliban, are the women, girls and LGBT+ people of Afghanistan. It would be impossible to overstate the terrors they each face, now, simply by the mere fact of their existence in a male-dominated, cis-het society in which they have no real place and in which they are at best second-class citizens with no autonomy.
Reporters in Afghanistan are already detailing the threat. And if they weren’t, the Taliban leadership has itself been succinct: Sharia law — Islamic law, religious law — will define everything in Afghanistan going forward. Within that construct there is no room for female, queer or trans autonomy.
Imposition of the death penalty for homosexuality has been classified as judicial murder of gay and lesbian people; a form of genocide. Yet it is, according to Afghans and human rights advocates, imminent. 
On August 16, Nemat Sadat, the first gay Afghan to come out publicly, tweeted: “It’s not hyperbole to say that the Taliban will do what Nazis did to homosexuals: weed them out and exterminate them from Afghan society. Please help.”
Last month, Gul Rahim, a Taliban judge, told the German newspaper Bild that, “There are only two penalties for gays: either stoning or they have to stand behind a wall that falls on them. The wall must be 2.5 to 3 meters [about 10 feet] high.” I have reported on “corrective rape” and honor killings of lesbians for various publications.
I reported on lesbian asylum seekers fleeing Sharia law to the U.K. and stringent new asylum laws here in the U.S. NGOs have reported for years that gay men and lesbians have been raped as punishment–which the U.S. government knows. “[Gays and lesbians] continued to face arrest by security forces and discrimination, assault, and rape,” said the U.S. State Department’s country report on Afghanistan in 2020.

Victoria A. Brownworth, Taliban takeover could mean more deaths of women and LGBTQ people in Afghanistan

Continue reading at: https://epgn.com/2021/08/18/taliban-takeover-could-mean-more-deaths-of-women-and-lgbtq-people-in-afghanistan/ (Source)

Further reading at:

Australia: Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Denies Single Sex Lesbian Event

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

by Claire Heuchan

AfterEllen.com

A new ruling in Tasmania decrees that lesbians will be breaking the law if they host single-sex spaces. Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt banned LGB Alliance Australia from hosting lesbian events that exclude transwomen, on the grounds that such gatherings carry a “significant risk” of breaching existing equalities legislation.

This ruling has far-reaching implications that extend beyond Tasmania, as it sets a legal precedent with the power to shape the outcomes of future cases. As Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Bolt advises the Minister of Justice on matters relating to discrimination and prohibited conduct. She also promotes the recognition and approval of acceptable attitudes, acts and practices. As her ruling indicates, Bolt does not believe that lesbians creating spaces by and for ourselves is an acceptable act or practice.

What Bolt fails to recognize is that lesbians are oppressed at least twice over, on the basis of our sex and sexuality. We are females who love desire and build our lives around other females – which has been treated as suspicious for the duration of patriarchy. Around the world, lesbians continue to be at risk of discrimination and violence – from losing custody of our children to suffering ‘corrective’ rape.

Continue Reading: https://afterellen.com/tasmania-rules-against-women-only-spaces/ (source)

Editor’s note: Jessica Hoyle is not a member or representative of LGB Alliance Australia, and the application was not made on behalf of LGB Alliance.

UK: crowdfunding removed for lesbian lawyer suing Stonewall and law firm

Allison Bailey

My name is Allison Bailey. I am a criminal defence barrister, a feminist, a lesbian, a lifelong campaigner for racial equality, lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights, and a survivor of child sexual abuse.  …

In 2019, I helped to set up the LGB Alliance with other campaigners and activists who felt, like me, that organisations such as Stonewall had seriously lost their way in recent years: they had conflated sex with gender, meaning that same sex attraction – the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay attraction, and therefore the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay rights – was no longer recognised.  The impacts of this have been several and severe, and in order to campaign properly for gay and lesbian rights, we felt that a new organisation was required. …

A person may identify as they identify, and they should be protected and respected for their identity. However, a person’s identity is not a license to cause distress or intimidation to others, and can never legitimately be used to put others to harm. There are necessary exceptions to the acceptance of males in female spaces, and those exceptions are necessary to protect women.

These injustices arise as a result of the misguided insistence that gender has somehow replaced sex as a fundamental aspect of human identity.  It is for that reason that I am gender critical.  This is not to say that gender is not a genuine aspect of identity for some people.  But it is separate and does not (and cannot) replace sex.

The result of Stonewall’s “acceptance without exception” mantra is to put women at risk of harm. …

Perhaps most specifically from my point of view, that Stonewall unilaterally and without any mandate whatsoever, and to further its lobbying ambitions, redefined homosexuality as same-gender and not same-sex attraction was an especially egregious betrayal of LGB people, especially lesbians. The inclusion of male-bodied people into the class of lesbian women means that lesbians are excoriated for bigotry and transphobia simply for being same-sex attracted.  This is base homophobia.

It was because of these injustices – and the role as I and others saw of it of Stonewall in promoting these injustices – that the LGB Alliance was set up, in order to fill the void in LGB campaigning that Stonewall had left when they decided to campaign for “acceptance without exception”.

Continue reading at: https://filia.org.uk/news/2020/6/27/allison-bailey-i-am-suing-stonewall-to-stop-them-policing-free-speech (Source)

Lesbian Rights in the Declaration of Women’s Sex-Based Rights

Guest post by Tina Minkowitz

Tina Minkowitz is a human rights lawyer who mostly works on the rights of people with disabilities, in particular for the abolition of forced psychiatric interventions. Her LLM thesis Female Autonomy vs Gender Identity: a critical analysis of gender identity in CEDAW jurisprudence and the Yogyakarta Principles is available online and may also be of interest to readers.

Lesbian Rights

As a lesbian, it is important to me that the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights includes us explicitly.

The Declaration is an initiative by women to argue for our rights as a female sex, oppressed by gender as a system of male supremacy and sex stereotypes.  It is designed to counter the ideology of gender identity that maintains sex is irrelevant and only subjective identification with one or another gender matters.  This ideology, which harms women and girls by allowing men to access female-only spaces – both physical spaces and symbolic ones –  including those created by and for lesbians, has become increasingly influential in human rights discourse.

Lesbians are one of the groups of women most impacted by transgender identity politics.  There are no safe public spaces that we can take for granted – in countries where we had won a superficial tolerance, lesbians are being pushed out of our own spaces by men who claim that they are us, and if we do not want to have sex with them we are bigots.  We may have marriage equality, but we are caught between resurgent religious fundamentalism on the right, and a demand that we relinquish female-only space – whether bathrooms, showers, dormitories, sports, lesbian chatrooms and dating apps – on the left.  We are already marginalized in straight-dominant society, at risk of violence and ostracism for being lesbian or for not fitting the stereotypical patterns of women’s lives, appearance, behavior in a world that expects men to lead and women to serve them.

The Declaration recognizes that rights related to sexual orientation are necessary for lesbians to exercise our rights and says that men’s claims to be lesbians discriminates undermines lesbians’ rights and is a form of discrimination against women.

It specifically calls for the legal use of the term ‘woman’ to mean adult human female, and the term ‘lesbian’ to mean adult human female whose sexual orientation is towards other adult human females; and for the recognition of the rights of lesbians to assemble and associate on the basis of common sexual orientation, without including men who claim to have female ‘gender identities’.

It could have gone further perhaps, to call for women’s sexual autonomy and right to autonomous sexuality explicitly as one of the overarching rights (e.g. sexual integrity, as it does call for reproductive integrity).  It also could have addressed lesbians’ existence in violation of sex stereotypes.  Nevertheless, it has potential to bring lesbians into human rights discourse on our own terms, for us to expand on this space.  There are plans in progress for global consultation that may result in updating or additions, as more women become involved and the Declaration is translated into languages other than English.

The Declaration is not an official document of the United Nations.  However, using the language of human rights and making an argument based on UN human rights instruments gives us a basis to advocate to UN mechanisms like the Commission on the Status of Women and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.  This in turn can help to shape global political debates, and those in our own countries.

Read the Declaration at https://www.womensdeclaration.com and consider signing it to show your support.