28 February 2014

Pluralism and civil society: The Aga Khan speaks to Peter Mansbridge

" ...It’s not surprising, then, that the Aga Khan would be a leading proponent of pluralism, ensuring that minority groups can participate fully in society while maintaining their cultural differences. But his vision of pluralism also sets him apart: He argues that it’s more than protection of minority rights, more than diversity of language – it is a culture, a habit of mind, a set of practices that celebrates difference, is curious about the unfamiliar and actively embraces the other. "
(JANICE GROSS STEIN, Special to The Globe and Mail, Published Friday, Feb. 21 2014)

MSN News
The Globe and Mail
Knowledge Circle

24 February 2014

Don't care to travel overseas for your over-the-top bigotry? Welcome to Arizona and SB 1062

Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act

"The bill... would allow anyone in the state to legally refuse business or service to LGBT people based on religious freedom. The bill was passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, [and] also passed by the Republican-controlled state House.
Governor Jan Brewer, also Republican, has until February 28 to act."

"We are trying to protect people's religious freedoms," 
Republican Representative Steve Montenegro said. "We want to prevent the government from forcing a person who is trying to start a business to sell out their religion for money."

"No Arizonan should be forced to choose between making a living and living free. 
An amended bill that provides a safeguard from laws that violate our First Amendment 
freedoms — while still letting government enact laws necessary to the common good — is 
a sensible one.

No court in Arizona should be able to tell you that a violation of those freedoms is 
just the “price of citizenship.”
AZCentral, Feb 24, 2014

^^for: Senator Al Melvin
^^against: Senator Steve Farley

SB1062 full text

22 February 2014

back to Uganda

With all eyes on Russia, Uganda has proceeded with it's anti-gay law.

"... The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill (often called the "Kill the Gays bill" in the media due to the originally proposed death penalty clauses) was passed by the Parliament of Uganda on 20 December 2013 with the death penalty proposal dropped in favour of life in prison. The bill must be signed by the President of Uganda before becoming law.

The legislative proposal would broaden the criminalisation of same-sex relations in Uganda domestically, and further includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations that know of gay people or support LGBT rights ..."
(from Wikipedia)

" ...American Evangelical Lou Engle's involvement in organizing TheCall Uganda was mired in controversy from the very beginning given his long history of violent anti-gay and anti-abortion rhetoric and preaching. At past TheCall rallies, like the one in support of Proposition 8 in California, Engle called homosexuality a "spirit of lawlessness" and called for "martyrs" to become "God's Avengers of Blood" to stop the "homosexual agenda" at all cost...
(from Huffington Post)

>>>update, Feb 24/14:President Museveni has signed the anti-gay law in Uganda. It means life inprisonment for gays and lesbians, and seven years in jail for anyone helping them. Let the Ugandan government know how you feel - sign the petition

related posts on stormidae:
welcome to Uganda
Uganda and South Africa
Nigeria and Sudan