Tag Archives: Gays

Study: People Think Rapists are as Trustworthy as Atheists

According to the Vancouver Sun, University of British Columbia researchers have determined that people find atheists really, really terrible.

The researchers conducted six experiments on 350 Americans and 420 UBC students of varying religions (67% of the Americans were Christian). In one experiment, they presented participants with the story of an “archetypal freerider” who cheats and steals a lot, and asked what group they thought that person might belong to. Participants were more likely to categorize the person as an atheist than as a Christian, Jew, Muslim, gay person, or feminist. Only rapists fared as poorly. According to the study, “People did not significantly differentiate atheists from rapists.”

In another experiment, researchers asked what jobs the subjects would hire atheists to do. Lead study author Will Gervais discusses the results:

People are willing to hire an atheist for a job that is perceived as low trust, for instance as a waitress. But when hiring for a high-trust job like daycare worker, they were like, nope, not going to hire an atheist for that job.

Study coauthor Ara Norenzayan told QMI,

Outward displays of belief in God may be viewed as a proxy for trustworthiness, particularly by religious believers who think that people behave better if they feel that God is watching them. While atheists may see their disbelief as a private matter on a metaphysical issue, believers may consider atheists’ absence of belief as a public threat to co-operation and honesty.

Obviously, fear of God is the only reason people are nice to each other.

Atheists, conversely, didn’t find religious people untrustworthy. Says Gervais, “They seem to think that religion is not an important signal for who you can trust.”

Via Jezebel.

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Lesbians in South Africa, Where Gays are Constitutionally Protected, Face Growing Problem of “Corrective Rape”

As other African countries fight over the potential criminality of being homosexual, South Africa, where gay marriage is legal, is dealing with the growing trend of “corrective rape.”

Corrective rape” is when a man forces himself on a homosexual woman believing it will end her lesbianism.  The men who are perpetrating this violence believe that by raping a woman they can turn her into a “real African woman.”

Zukiswa Gaca, a 20-year-old South African girl, was a victim of “corrective rape” in December 2009. (Photo Courtesy of CNN)

The extent of the problem is hard to know since the South African police do not separate rape statistics.

Interpol estimates that half of South African women will be raped sometime during their life.  The Daily Mail reported that ten women are assaulted by men every week.

Human rights groups in the country – where gay rights are constitutionally protected – are outraged.  Activists want to see South Africa’s justice system take a stronger stance against “corrective rape” and are pushing for legislators to make it a hate crime.

Human Rights Watch conducted interviews in six of South Africa’s provinces and concluded that “social attitudes towards homosexual, bisexual, and transgender people in South Africa have possibly hardened over the last two decades.  The abuse they face on an everyday basis may be verbal, physical, or sexual – and may even result in murder.”

The South African director at Human Rights Watch, Siphokazi Mthathi, said, “Sexism is still deeply embedded here.  There is still a strong sense among men that they have power over women, women’s bodies and there’s also a strong sense that there’s not going to be consequences because most often there are no consequences.”

The South African Constitution specifically forbids discrimination based on the sexual orientation of its citizens.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Sick Sad World, World

“Kill the Gays” Bill Back in the Face of Woman Winning Human Rights Award for LGBT Activism

Earlier this month, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, a Ugandan woman, won the 2011 Martin Ennas Award for Human Rights Defenders.  The award is given annually by ten of the world’s leading human rights non-governmental organizations and has been referred to as the Nobel prize for human rights.  Nabagesera is the founder and executive director of the LGBT rights organization Freedom and Roam Uganda.

The situation for Uganda’s LGBT community is difficult, with documented cases of discrimination, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, torture and other ill-treatment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Activists who work to expose such abuses are often targeted.

Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone publishes a list of the 100 “Top Homos” calling for the people to be hanged. (Photo Courtesy of San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.)

In January, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was murdered after the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone published a list of Uganda’s 100 “Top Homos” and called for the people in the list to be hanged.  Nabagesera’s name also appeared on the list.

Homosexuality is a criminal offense that carries a life sentence.  On Tuesday, Parliament voted to reopen a debate over a bill that seeks to expand on the criminalization of homosexuality and make it punishable by the death penalty.

The legislation was proposed in October 2009 by Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati.  The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee suggested that the penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” should be the same as for “defilement,” a crime punishable by death.  The bill could mandate the death penalty or life in prison for people who identify as gay or are caught engaging in homosexual acts.

The bill failed at the end of the legislative session after an international outcry directed at the nation.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the bill. More than 1.6 million people around the world signed a petition urging the Parliament to let the bill die.

Bahati said that the bill is aimed at stamping out western-imported immoral behaviors from society, protecting the moral fabric of the nation, saving the traditional family, and buttressing legislation against ‘gayism.’

Uganda is not the only African nation dealing with gay rights.  Ghana and Malawi have passed laws making homosexuality illegal, while some in Zimbabwe are seeking to have gay rights included in the constitution.

Via Impunity Watch.

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Wingnut Radio Host: Gay Doctors Will Spread the Gay to Your Kids

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A right-wing radio host told her listeners to make sure they keep their children away from gay doctors and nurses, lest the children become gay too. Wait. I thought that being gay was a choice. Now it’s contagious, too?

Linda Harvey of Mission America took to the airwaves yesterday to tell her listeners that the Gay Menace was real, and it was waiting to infect their children, to lure them with the baubles and trinkets of the Gay Lifestyle.

But let’s say your eleven year-old has broken her leg rather badly and needs to be in the hospital a few days, which would you prefer: a nurse who’s proud of her lesbianism, who has rainbow identifiers on her work clothing, or a nurse who does not?

I would like to suggest that parents think long and hard about this. If you want your children to admire people who proclaim a homosexual lifestyle, they’re involvement with your child during a hospital stay is sure to be an influence. And let me be clear that folks involved in these behaviors can be certainly competent workers but they are tacking on to their workplace identity one that is highly offensive to many people and can be erroneously influential to children who won’t, or shouldn’t, see the whole picture of how this behavior really manifests itself.

The only way for parents to avoid their children catching the gay, according to Harvey, is to ask that no gays have contact with their children. Write a letter, she suggests. Tell the pediatrician that it’s okay for homosexuals to treat your child in case of an emergency only.

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Principal Allegedly Assaults Student Who Wants a Gay-Straight Alliance

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Chris Sigler wants a Gay-Straight Alliance at his Tennessee high school, but his principal says no. When Chris wore a shirt to school supporting the club, the principal allegedly assaulted Chris, and neither the school nor the sheriff’s office has investigated the assault since it occurred last Friday.

Chris was taking an economics exam when Principal Maurice Moser stormed into the classroom and ordered all other students to leave. (Chris’s sister, who was in the same class, refused to go.) Principal Moser shoved Chris against the wall, repeatedly bumped his chest against Chris, and shouted, “Who’s the big man now?”

Chris, who is straight, had been trying since August to create a Gay-Straight Alliance at Sequoyah High School. Chris wanted to create the club to offer support for gay students, including his sister, Jessica, who is bisexual. But Principal Moser blocked Chris from creating the group.

Chris created a home-made T-shirt to support the club. The back of his shirt read, “Gay-Straight Alliance: We’ve Got Your Back.”

If you’re interested, there is a petition on Change.org calling for a thorough investigation of the alleged assault.

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Military Chaplains Can Perform Same-Sex Unions

Following the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, military chaplains will now be allowed to perform same-sex unions on or off a military installation.

A military chaplain may officiate at any private ceremony, but isn’t required if it would conflict with his or her religious or personal beliefs. The Pentagon also says Defense Department property may be used for private functions, including religious and other ceremonies such as same-sex unions, as long as it’s not prohibited by state or local laws.

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Ninth Circuit Panel Throws Out DADT Case As Moot

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On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco refused to decide the constitutionality of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, saying the issue is resolved since gay men and women can serve openly in the armed forces.

The court tossed out a lawsuit that had challenged the ban as violating civil rights. It also dismissed a trial judge’s year-old ruling that the policy was unconstitutional.

Via NYT.

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