Botswana’s Court of Appeal on Monday upheld a 2019 ruling that decriminalised gay sex, a decision hailed by gay community as establishing the southern African country as a “true democracy”.
Monday’s decision in effect struck off two sections of the penal code that had outlawed homosexuality. Before the 2019 High Court ruling, which was praised by international organisations and activists, engaging in gay sex in Botswana was punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The state had argued on appeal that the penal code outlawed gay sex and there was no evidence that people’s attitude towards homosexuality had changed.
Celebrate kindness with your library this holiday season! We all need community, now more than ever, and we’re offering several opportunities to share the love at each of our branches.
Interested? Find out how you can get involved below!
Donate food. Sonoma County Library partners with local organizations to help alleviate hunger in our community. Drop off canned goods and other food items in a donation barrel at any library branch.
Share what you are thankful for. Help make our Gratitude Trees grow by adding a leaf of your own! Trees are located at your local library and available all through the month of November.
Send a Gratitude Postcard. Visit a Sonoma County Library branch from November 5 until January 5 to pick up a Gratitude Postcard and write your message to the first responder of your choice. Mail it or drop in the library’s delivery box and we’ll send to a local first responder.
Spread cheer to seniors through the mail. The Sonoma County Library’s Send Our Seniors Mail program encourages kindness and support for elders in our community. Create cards, artwork, and letters of encouragement for seniors who might need a little extra happiness during the holidays.
Proyectos comunitarios con la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma
¡Celebre la comunidad con su biblioteca durante esta temporada de fiestas! Dependemos de nuestra comunidad ahora más que nunca, y estamos ofreciendo varios proyectos comunitarios en nuestras sucursales.
¿Le interesa? ¡Descubra abajo cómo puede involucrarse!
Donaciones de comida. La Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma está colaborándose con organizaciones locales para aliviar el hambre en nuestra comunidad. Done comidas en lata y otras comidas no perecederas en el barril de donaciones de su biblioteca local.
Comparta sus agradecimientos. ¡Añada una hoja de agredecimiento a los Árboles de Gratitud para que crezcan! Encuentre un árbol en su biblioteca local durante todo el mes de noviembre.
Envíe una tarjeta postal de gratitud. Puede recoger una tarjeta postal de gratitud en su biblioteca local a partir del 5 de noviembre hasta el 5 de enero para escribir un mensaje al personal de emergencia de su elección. Envíela o entréguela en el buzón de la biblioteca y la enviaremos al personal de emergencia local.
Reparta la alegría con los adultos mayores a través del correo postal. El programa de Envíos de Correos Postales para Adultos Mayores de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma promueve la simpatía y apoya los ancianos de nuestra comunidad. Envíe cartas hechas a mano, dibujos y cartas de apoyo a los adultos mayores quiénes les gustarán esta alegría extra durante la temporada de fiestas.
Gracias por ser miembro de la comunidad de Bibliotecas del Condado de Sonoma. Visítenos en línea o en persona en una de nuestras sucursales. Asegúrese de consultar los trabajos disponible en la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma aquí.
A violent mob sexually assaulted, beat, threatened, and humiliated a 27-year-old intersex person on November 15, in Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital. The perpetrators filmed the attack, which lasted for several hours, in two horrific videos which circulated on social media.
According to medical reports issued by a health facility in Yaoundé, the victim Sara (not her real name) suffered multiple hematomas all over her body. Sara’s doctor said that she needed monitoring for 15 to 18 days due to the severity of her injuries.
Police arrested a man in connection with the attack, but released him 48 hours later. On November 16, Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS (CAMFAIDS), a human rights organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people, filed a complaint with the police on behalf of Sara as a victim of assault, battery, and inhuman and degrading treatment. CAMFAIDS is providing support to Sara, including for medical and psychological assistance.
Two CAMFAIDS members said Sara is shocked and severely traumatized and attempted suicide on November 19. “We found her unconscious in the bathroom beside a bottle of bleach. We called the doctor. She is under observation,” said a CAMFAID activist.
Authorities have yet to make a public statement on Sara’s attack. Their silence over this high-profile incident of senseless violence against an LGBTI victim risks sending a message of tolerance for such abuse and highlights the government’s failure to protect LGBTI Cameroonians. Police should urgently respond to CAMFAID’s complaint, investigate the attack against Sara, and bring those responsible to justice. They should also ensure the safety of LGBTI activists who are doing crucial work in a climate of intimidation and violence.
Israel’s openly gay deputy foreign minister this week dismissed the idea that his country’s government promotes LGBTQ rights in order to divert attention away from its policies towards the Palestinians.
“I would never, ever, put myself in a position that I would be the face of ‘pinkwashing’ as part of my role because I’m confident that there’s no such thing in Israel,” Idan Roll told the Washington Blade on Wednesday during an interview at the Riggs Hotel in downtown D.C.
Roll, 37, spoke with the Blade at the end of a 4-day trip to D.C., which took place less than six months after eight political parties formed a coalition government that ousted long-time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Knesset earlier this month passed Israel’s first national budget in three years. Roll, who is the youngest person in the Israeli government, noted to the Blade it earmarks $30 million (NIS 90 million) to LGBTQ organizations across the country.
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz in August announced Israel had lifted restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men. The Israeli Supreme Court in July ruled same-sex couples and single men must be allowed to have a child via surrogate.
A group of teenagers on Nov. 12 attacked a group of LGBTQ young people near Jerusalem’s main bus station as they were traveling to a transgender rights conference in Tel Aviv. Neil Patrick Harris is among the actors who expressed their support for the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival amid calls from BDS (boycott, economic divestment and sanctions) Movement supporters to boycott it over Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.
Roll acknowledged Israel does not extend civil marriage to same-sex couples, but he also pointed out to the Blade the country does not “have civil marriage for straight people either” because marriage in the Jewish state is a religious institution. Roll noted he is among the openly LGBTQ people in the Israeli government and they “live a full, fulfilling life.”
“Are we perfect?” he asked rhetorically. “No. Are we one of the best places for gay people to live in the world? Definitely so, and I feel safe. And I feel welcomed. And I feel empowered and I feel like the best of it is ahead.”
Roll told the Blade the idea of “pinkwashing” comes from the fact “that not everyone is as informed as others about life in Israel.”
“That’s something that’s a task this new government and our ministry has, to better convey the Israeli story, and it’s a wonderful and complex and diverse story,” he said.
Roll also stressed he “would love for people to stop pinning one thing against the other.”
“Us doing tremendous work for LGBTQ equality does not get eliminated or erased or cancelled just because we have to also manage a very intricate conflict, which is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he said. “Promoting progressive values is still something that is worth mentioning, and we are working towards bettering the lives of the Palestinians on a humanitarian and economic level. Things are not as black and white as they are portrayed.”
Roll lives in Tel Aviv with his husband, Harel Skaat, an Israeli pop star who he married in Utah in March, and their two children who they had via surrogates in the U.S.
The lawyer and former model who is a member of the centrist Yesh Atid party founded Pride Front, a group that encourages LGBTQ Israelis to become involved with the country’s political process. Roll told the Blade he decided to run for office after he and his husband started their family.
“It was quite a struggle,” he said, noting their second child was born via surrogate in Oklahoma. “And then it struck me that I have to practice what I preach. I have to not only just encourage others to take political action and move forward, but also I had to take the lead.”
Roll in 2019 won a seat in the Israeli Knesset. Lapid appointed Roll as deputy foreign minister after the new government took office.
“I’m a very young member of this government … and I am an openly gay member of this government,” said Roll. “I am very grateful of the life that I have been able to create for myself in Israel.”
“That’s a story that I feel like I can portray very authentically and I think that’s a story that needs to be told outside of Israel,” he added. “I’m also very proud to be part of the new face of a new government that is doing things differently and in a way I think now allows people of all different ethnicities and colors and agendas to find someone they can relate to in this government.”
U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and other members of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus are among those who met with Roll when he was in D.C. Roll also sat down with Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, American Israel Public Affairs Committee members and Jewish students at George Washington University.
“We have a new government, and the new government is really different in many great ways,” Roll told the Blade. “It’s the most diverse government in our history and in a way it is the most diverse reflection of a very diverse society.”
He said one of the reasons he traveled to D.C. was “to reach out and to open a dialogue.” Roll also stressed Israel “has always been a bipartisan issue.
“It’s crucial to keep it that way and we intend to do that,” he said. “The U.S. is the most cherished and important ally we have and you need to cultivate relationships.”
Eight cities in the United States scored a zero out of 100 on the 10th annual Municipal Equality Index, which evaluates cities and towns based on the level of LGBTQ inclusion found in their local laws, policies and services.
LGBTQ advocacy groups Human Rights Campaign and Equality Federation evaluated 506 municipalities — including the country’s 50 state capitals and 200 largest cities — on 49 criteria for the index. The criteria included nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees and city leadership.
This year’s zero-point earners span from South Carolina to Wyoming, and they all came in at zero on last year’s index, too. But on the flip side, 22 percent of cities earned a perfect score, up from 8 percent in 2012, the report’s inaugural year.
“If you’re scoring a zero, it’s because you’re making that choice. There are definitely some low-hanging fruit ways to get off of that zero place,” said Cathryn Oakley, the founding author of the index and the state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign. “That is a statement on their end about how they’re willing to engage in these issues.”
Here are the eight cities that scored a failing grade on this year’s Municipal Equality Index:
Located in the northwest corner of Alabama, Florence sits on the Tennessee River, has a population of about 40,000 and is home to the University of North Alabama. The city made headlines in 2017, when several members of white nationalist groups, some dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes, staged a protest during northwest Alabama’s first Pride parade.
Jonesboro, with a population of nearly 80,000, is Arkansas’ fifth largest city. It sits in the northeastern part of the state and is home to Arkansas State University. Earlier this year, a Pride Month book display — which included the children’s book “The GayBCs” — ignited a backlash at a public library in the city, The Jonesboro Sun reported.
Southaven sits on the border of Mississippi and its northern neighbor, Tennessee, and is just 13 miles from Memphis. The city, which has about 55,000 residents, made news in 2019 after a same-sex couple said they were kicked out of a local Baptist churchbecause the women wouldn’t end their “forbidden” marriage and “repent.”
Moore, a city of about 63,000 residents, is part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, which sits in the middle of the state. Moore made national news back in 2017 after Ralph Shortey, a “family values” Republican who had served in the Oklahoma Senate, was found with a 17-year-old male in a local motel (Shortey was eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison on child sex-trafficking charges).
Clemson, South Carolina
Home to Clemson University, this small South Carolina city, with a population of 17,700, sits in the northwest part of the state near the borders of both Georgia and North Carolina. While the city of Clemson scored a zero out of 100 on this year’s Municipal Equality Index, the university scored a 3 out of 5 on the LGBTQ nonprofit Campus Pride’s annual index. The university also opened Lavender Place, an LGBTQ “living-learning community,” in August.
Pierre, South Dakota
With a population of roughly 14,100, Pierre is the second-least populous state capital in the country, following Montpelier, Vermont. Home to the state’s legislature, the city hosts many of the state’s protests concerning LGBTQ issues. In January, Pierre made national headlines when a group of LGBTQ advocates protested against a proposed law that would ban people from changing the sex designation on their birth certificates. A South Dakota House committee later rejected the bill in February.
History buffs rejoice! We have added several new resources to the Sonoma County Library Digital Collections site, including a historical photo map viewer and an updated Local History Index. Find out more about these collections below!
The Historic Photo Map Viewergraphically provides the location for nearly 35,000 photos taken within Sonoma County, and is a great way to discover new images in our collection. The tool also allows a view of locations over time, from 1942 (for selected areas) through 2018!
The Local History Index is a tool for researching Sonoma County people, places, organizations, and events referenced in books, journals, and newspapers found primarily in the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library. The index records—created over several decades by volunteers—include links to the library’s catalog for location and other information.
Dig into the annual final reports from the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury (CGJ)and its predecessor, the Sonoma County Grand Jury (GJ). This independent institution oversees all aspects of county, special districts and city governments in the County to ensure that the best interests of its citizens are being served.
The Sonoma Historian(originally published as The Journal) is the official publication of the Sonoma County Historical Society. This quarterly publication contains articles, book reviews, and announcements of events pertaining to the history of Sonoma County, as well as news of the society. All issues through the current year are available here.
The Sonoma County Commission on AIDS was formed in 1988 to act as a link between services, clients, and businesses. The commission is committed to assisting the community of Sonoma County to develop and implement an efficient HIV strategy plan that addresses prevention, treatment, and care, and assures the preservation of human rights. This collection consists of meeting agendas, minutes, announcements, and other material from the first ten years of the commission. Start Researching Now
Thank you for being a member of the Sonoma County Library community. Visit us online or in person at one of our branches. Be sure to check out open jobs at Sonoma County Library here.
El Historic Photo Map Viewerproporciona gráficamente la ubicación de casi 35,000 fotos tomadas dentro del Condado de Sonoma, y es una excelente manera de descubrir nuevas imágenes en nuestra colección. ¡La herramienta también permite una vista de las ubicaciones a lo largo del tiempo, desde 1942 (para áreas seleccionadas) hasta 2018!
El Local History Index es una herramienta para investigar a las personas, lugares, organizaciones y eventos del Condado de Sonoma a los que se hace referencia en libros, revistas y periódicos que se encuentran principalmente en la Biblioteca de Historia y Genealogía del Condado de Sonoma. Los registros del índice, creados durante varias décadas por voluntarios, incluyen enlaces al catálogo de la biblioteca para la ubicación y otra información.
Lee los informes finales anuales del Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury (CGJ) y su predecesor, el Sonoma County Grand Jury (GJ). Esta institución independiente supervisa todos los aspectos del condado, los distritos especiales y los gobiernos de la ciudad en el Condado para garantizar que se atele a los mejores intereses de sus ciudadanos.
The Sonoma Historian(originalmente publicado como The Journal) es la publicación oficial de Sonoma County Historical Society. Esta publicación trimestral contiene artículos, reseñas de libros y anuncios de eventos relacionados con la historia del Condado de Sonoma, así como noticias de la sociedad. Todos los números a lo largo del año en curso están disponibles aquí.
Sonoma County Commission on AIDS se formó en 1988 para actuar como enlace entre los servicios, los clientes y las empresas. La comisión se compromete a ayudar a la comunidad del condado de Sonoma a desarrollar e implementar un plan estratégico eficiente contra el HIV que aborde la prevención, el tratamiento y la atención, y garantice la preservación de los derechos humanos. Esta colección consiste en agendas de reuniones, actas, anuncios y otro material de los primeros diez años de la comisión.Comienza a investigar ahora
Gracias por ser miembro de la comunidad de Bibliotecas del Condado de Sonoma. Visítenos en línea o en persona en una de nuestras sucursales. Asegúrese de consultar los trabajos disponible en la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma aquí.
HOLIDAY MEAL FREE TO ALLThursday, Dec 2 from 11am – 1pm
Your invited to join us to celebrate our annual holiday meal! This year we will be serving YOU. Traditional holiday menu, with vegetarian options too! More info below.
Due to COVID restrictions we ask that you do not bring any food to the meal. All of the food is provided and served by the SASC Board of Directors. RSVP required as we are limited in space. Details are on the webpage when you register!
Helping Other People “HOP” Day! Are you a senior needing a hand with a basic project around your home? Great news, the Sebastopol Area Senior Center and local Service Clubs have partnered to help you! First HOP Day in Sebastopol: Saturday, January 15, 2022!
What you need to know:This application is open to seniors aged 60 or betterAll recipients MUST be vaccinated and wear masks indoors when volunteers are present.Applications are accepted year-round; service days are once per quarterBy submitting this application, we cannot guarantee we can complete the project, but we will try our best!Please note there are some projects we cannot complete including anything that requires a permit.
Here are some sample projects we can complete for you:changing light bulbschanging simple fixtures around your homeremoving cobwebs or debrishelping with basic yard workany project you can’t do around the house, tell us what it is and we can try to helpPartnered Agencies: Sebastopol Area Senior Center, Gravenstein Lions Club, Rotary Club of Sebastopol, Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise, Kiwanis Club, Soroptimist, Active 20/30 Club, VFW Gold Ridge Post, Sebastopol Grange, Masons La Fayette Lodge #126
Application Process: 1. Senior completes application 2. The Senior Center funnels applications to the Service Clubs 3. Applications are reviewed, approved by the Service Clubs. 4. Applicants are notified.
VOLUNTEER DRIVERS NEEDED!This program is in its 14th year. We now have over 1,400 people who have used our program since we started, with over 40,000 rides to date! You only accept the rides you want. Most volunteers drive twice a month. If you would like to find out more, please contact::Scotty King | Manager of Special Services Volunteer Driver Program & LGTB+ Liaison SASC – 707-829-2440 firstname.lastname@example.org
Take part in an Alzheimer’s Prevention Study! The goal of this study is to identify people who may be ‘at risk’ for cognitive decline based a blood test showing a build up of amyloid and tau, the two markers of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain. All costs for all testing/exams/MRIs are covered by the sponsor. No cost to the individual or their insurance company.
Eligibility requirements: Age range 55-80Has a normal cognitive exam on a screening (can be done on a computer)Has a positive blood test as noted aboveHas a negative MRI for other risk factors, such a strokes. People who can not get MRIs for any reason are excluded as it is used both for screening and for safety assessments during the studyNo other serious illnessesHas study partner who can help assess any cognitive changes (spouse, friend, adult children, etc.)The study will last about three years.
Exclusion:Dementia or cognitive impairmentAbnormal liver function tests on initial screening. The study involves an IV infusion, once a month, for nine months. There is a placebo arm to the study. After the initial nine months, there is tracking for any cognitive decline or side effects for up to three years, using on-line visits about every six months, including the study partner’s assessment of the individual.
Same-sex couples can wed in Switzerland from July 1 next year, the government said on Wednesday, enacting the results of a groundbreaking referendum on the issue in September.
Voters approved the “Marriage for All” initiative by a nearly two-thirds majority, making Switzerland one of the last countries in Western Europe to legalize gay marriage.
In a two-stage process, same-sex couples who have married abroad will have their status recognized from the start of January. Previously, the couples were seen as a registered partnership in Switzerland.
The new law will start six months later, which means couples will be allowed to marry or convert their registered partnership from July 1, 2022.
Preparations for the marriage can be submitted before this date, the government added. No more registered partnerships will be allowed after this date.
Advocates expect several hundred people to take advantage of the law change in the first year it comes into effect.
“We are really happy with the outcome of the vote, and that it is now being put into law,” Maria von Kaenel, co-president of the Marriage for All campaign, said on Wednesday.
“We have been fighting for marriage equality for 30 years and the referendum result was a historic moment.”
Join us to celebrate the 50th Annual KPFA Holiday Benefit!
The Craneway Craft Fair presents a unique opportunity to support local artists & craftspeople, and community powered KPFA radio—all while taking care of everyone on your holiday shopping list!Increase your impact by shopping from 200+ small businesses this Small Business Saturday with catered food and free parking.
November 27–28 | 10am–5pmTickets are available online or at the door.
It is 18 years today since the controversial and homophobic legislation known as Section 28, introduced under Margaret Thatcher, was repealed in England and Wales.
The clause – an amendment to the Local Government Act 1988 – banned local authorities and schools from promoting homosexuality and was brought forward by Thatcher’s government.
The legislation has been labelled “toxic and regressive” by deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey, who introduced the clause that led to its repeal, and told PinkNews that Section 28 left young people feeling “alone and vulnerable”.
“I am proud to have moved the clause that abolished Section 28 once and for all. But we still have so far to go,” Davey said, in 2019.
“From trans rights, to tackling the persistent discrimination faced by the LGBT+ community: the fight is far from over.”
Section 28 was introduced by Margaret Thatcher amid renewed anti-gay sentiment
More than three decades have passed since Thatcher’s government introduced the anti-LGBT+ legislation, but its shadow still looms over schools and local authorities in the UK today.
The legislation meant that councils were prohibited from funding of books, plays, leaflets, films, or other materials showing same-sex relationships, while teachers weren’t allowed to teach about gay relationships in schools.
This clause was the Conservative government’s vitriolic and traditionalist response to calls for equality from lesbian and gay rights activists in the late 1980s.
Thatcher captured these venomous anti-gay views in her infamous speech at the 1987 Conservative Party conference, which was met with rapturous applause.
“Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay,” she said. “All of those children are being cheated of a sound start in life. Yes, cheated.”
LGBT+ activists railed against the legislation – but the government didn’t listen
On the day the clause was passed in the House of Lords, a group of lesbians abseiled into the House of Lords in protest, making national news broadcasts.
The legislation – so loathed, so reviled by supporters of LGBT+ equality – caused 20,000 Mancunians to take to their city’s streets to march against it. It also prompted Sir Ian McKellen to come out publicly as gay.
Section 28 was introduced following a difficult period for the LGBT+ community in the UK. There had been some progress, but the outbreak of HIV/AIDS led to the widespread demonisation of gay and bisexual men in the 1980s.
The Conservative Party capitalised on this anti-gay sentiment. In the run-up to the 1987 general election, they issued posters claiming that the Labour Party wanted LGBT+ friendly books like Young, Gay and Proud and The Milkman’s on His Way to be read in schools.
Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay. All of those children are being cheated of a sound start in life. Yes, cheated.
In 1987, a British Social Attitudes Survey found that three-quarters of the population thought homosexuality was “always or mostly wrong”. Just 11 per cent said it was “never wrong”.
Just before the general election of 1987, the Earl of Halsbury introduced theLocal Government Act 1986 (Amendment) Bill, also known as an act to refrain local authorities from promoting homosexuality.
This bill was successfully passed through the House of Lords, and even passed the first stage on the way to becoming law in the commons, but it went no further. Section 28 was not dissimilar to the legislation that the Earl of Halsbury tried to introduce.
The anti-LGBT+ legislation left teachers afraid to broach LGBT+ issues in schools.
Soon after the Tories were re-elected, Tory MP David Wilshire put forward an amendment to the new Local Government Bill – known first as Clause 27, and later as the notorious Clause 28 – based on the Earl of Halsbury’s Bill, which was subsequently passed through Parliament.
The night before Section 28 became law, a group of lesbians famously stormed the BBC’s Six O’Clock News in protest.
The effects of Section 28 soon became apparent, with some schools and councils shutting down LGBTQ+ youth support groups – and many teachers too afraid to teach about same-sex relationships.
This year, Thatcher was portrayed by queer icon Gillian Anderson in the most recent series of The Crown. However, proving that Section 28’s horrific history can be all too easily forgotten, the show skipped over the issue entirely.