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Advancing Our Rights in ASEAN
Saturday, 22 March 2014 13:14

ACSC APF 2014
[Photo by Rainbow Rights Project]


Sayoni is participating in the ASEAN Civil Society Conference, or ASEAN People’s Forum, again this year – this time in Yangon, Myanmar. It’s a huge civil society gathering, larger than before, with some putting the numbers at 1800 activists from all over ASEAN.

In the words of ACSC/APF,

http://aseanpeople.org/about

Every year before the ASEAN Summit, a conference known as the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF) is held independently, paralleled to the official ASEAN Summit. Myanmar’s bid for the rotating ASEAN chair was granted, so it is responsible as well to host the ASEAN People’s Forum where hundreds of civil society actors from the ASEAN region will gather to represent voices of civil societies.

This year’s theme is “Advancing ASEAN Peoples’ Solidarity towards Sustainable Peace, Development, Justice and Democratization and address issues around Peace; Justice and Human Rights; Development and Democratization; and ASEAN.”


 
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus Media Release
Friday, 14 March 2014 04:39

Media release
March 13, 2014
For immediate release


The ASEAN SOGIE Caucus’ Affirms ‘We Are #ASEANtoo’
& Calls States And People to Support Inclusion of SOGIE in the ASEAN



March 13, 2014 - The ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC) yesterday launched its ‘We are #ASEANtoo’ campaign on its social media sites in the lead up to the ASEAN People’s Forum that will take place in Burma from 21 to 23 March 2014. The social media campaign calls online users to show their support for the inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE) in the ASEAN by using the hashtag #ASEANtoo as they send supportive tweets and Instagrams.


In addition, the ASC released a summary of laws that discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans*, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) persons in the ASEAN. This is accompanied by online posters of the ASC’s recommendations to the ASEAN to promote and protect the rights of LGBTIQ persons. The posters can be found in eight major languages used in the ASEAN – Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Khmer, Malay, Tamil, Thai, and Vietnamese. The full recommendations can be found on the website.


“The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness regarding the ASC’s recommendations, which address some of the pressing issues concerning LGBTIQ persons in the ASEAN. The ASC calls the government of all ASEAN countries to repeal laws that discriminate against LGBTIQ persons and to comply with human rights standards, establish national level ASEAN mechanisms and review existing human rights instruments, and depathologize SOGIE,” said Hla Myat Tun, of Colors of Rainbow, Myanmar.

 
Press Statement from "Article 12 Non-discrimination @ Workplace Committee"
Written by jean   
Friday, 04 October 2013 21:02

Press Statement from "Article 12 Non-discrimination @ Workplace Committee"

Courts Asked To Declare On Employment Equality
Singapore, 4 October 2013 – As equality laws are being revised worldwide, the Singapore courts have been petitioned to declare that Constitutional equality should apply in the workplace.

Lawrence Wee Kim San was recently dismissed by Robinsons, the iconic department store, on the grounds of sexual orientation.

In a historic application, Wee, a former senior management executive, is applying to the High Court here to declare that Article 12 should apply to all forms of discrimination at work.

The city state, heavily dependent on high-skilled labour, has sought to make Singapore attractive to professionals. In recent years, the economy has stepped up efforts to stem the outflow of Singaporean and foreign professionals, attracted by rapid development in neighbouring countries.

In May 2011, at the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Review, the Singapore government declared, “The principle of equality of all persons before the law is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, regardless of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Wee’s application, widely regarded as a test case, is expected to declare the law in respect of workplace discrimination. Having significant implications for labour relations, it will be watched closely when it is heard in November.

A group of concerned citizens, calling themselves Article 12 Non-discrimination @ Workplace Committee, have come together to support the application. Dr Roy Tan, a spokesperson for the committee said, “Our name makes reference to the Constitutional provision that entitles everybody to equal protection of the law.”

Wee’s lawyers noted, “With the challenge before the Court, Mr Wee, on behalf of all Singaporeans, is seeking a declaration that Article 12 should be interpreted to confirm the government’s position that all persons, regardless of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, are indeed and in fact protected by Singapore’s employment laws.”

Dr Tan added, “In the coming days, the Article 12 Non-discrimination @ Workplace Committee will release further information on the campaign and opportunities for like-minded individuals to show their support.”



For further information, please contact Article 12 Non-discrimination @ Workplace Committee at: [email protected]

Last Updated on Friday, 04 October 2013 21:14
 
Not Your Gay Lifestyle
Written by alina   
Monday, 26 August 2013 14:56

The Institute of Policy Studies, a think-tank within the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, conducted a survey with 4000 Singaporeans as part of Our Singapore Conversation. Contained within its questions were some on “gay lifestyles” and same-sex marriage. I’m writing this out of a deep sense of uneasiness at the questions asked, and of course, disappointment on several levels, both as a queer woman and as one of those Singaporeans the conversation is supposed to be for.

First, I want to say that language matters, and this is true everywhere, including and especially in a research survey. From the chart (reproduced below), “gay lifestyles” appears to be the term used to measure acceptance or rejection. But what were they accepting or rejecting? Us. LGBQ persons. By framing our sexuality as a “lifestyle”, were the researchers trying to set it up as a objective quantity, something that can be added and subtracted with ease? Because that’s what they might have been suggesting to the respondent.

“Gay lifestyle” implies choice and ease of change. No matter how important a role nature or nurture play in being gay, it's not something we just stop being. Being queer is an important part of who we are and is closely tied to crucial, positive human feelings such as love and affection as well as sex. Referring to it as a lifestyle implicitly rejects queer people, and if the survey said this, I’d like to know where the researchers were coming from in asking the question.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 03:45
 
Come Out Come Home, a Sayoni initiative
Written by sayoni   
Monday, 05 August 2013 04:23

CouCH

 

Every movement starts with the few who step out a little further than the rest, and change happens from there. By coming out and being visible as an LGBTQ person or ally, we encourage others to step out of their closets, too.

COuCH, which stands for Come Out Come Home, is a Sayoni community initiative to encourage and support LGBTQ persons and allies to come out or be more out than they already are. In particular, we hope to reach LGBTQ persons who are or are trying to be ready to come out.

The movement was inspired by studies which have shown that there are many positive effects when LGBTQ persons come out. This is also about celebrating the people – families, friends, and/or peers – who love, accept and support us, and thus encourage us to be out. COuCH aims to empower and provide visibility to the LGBTQ community and our allies. This helps the world understand that we are part of and play many different roles in society.

From 3 August 2013, genuine stories about Singaporeans coming out, as a queer person or ally, will be published and streamed online through a dedicated website (COuCH.sg) and its Facebook Page.

As one of Sayoni’s founders, Jean Chong, said at the launch of the movement at Indignation 2013 on Saturday, “We often talk about the need to dialogue with those on the opposing side... But the dialogue needs to start in our homes, with our community, with our friends, and most importantly with ourselves.”

We call on all LGBTQ persons and allies who can come out, wish to come out or feel they are ready to, to participate by sharing your photos and stories, uploading a video, making a pledge with us to come out, or contributing funds to support the initiative. The campaign peaks on 11 Oct, International Coming Out Day, with a special event.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

READ
Website: www.couch.sg
Facebook: www.facebook.com/couch2013

JOIN IN
Share, upload, pledge or contribute: www.couch.sg/participate

LINKS TO RESOURCES

Sayoni's Coming Out Guide: In PDF format / Hard copy format


 
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