U.S. Joins United Nations In Decriminalizing Homosexuality Around The World! Only Country To Not Sign Charter During Bush Years!
The Obama administration has really been working overtime these sixty days, wouldn’t you say? It almost appears as if it is the administration’s sole purpose to discredit the Bush years. Erase them totally from the country’s collective memory. However, Americans and Bush enthusiasts would argue that that would be a near impossibility. The so-called war in Iraq and the bust of the American economy are every day reminders of those eight years we call the Bush administration.
As President Obama continues to blast through Washington on a mission of “change” and “reform,” it has become a hobby for us to document those policies and agendas that the Bush administration implemented, over-turned. Prime example below:
The Obama administration on Wednesday formally endorsed a U.N. statement calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality, a measure that former President George W. Bush had refused to sign.
The move was the administration’s latest in reversing Bush-era decisions that have been heavily criticized by human rights and other groups. The United States was the only western nation not to sign onto the declaration when it came up at the U.N. General Assembly in December.
“The United States supports the U.N.’s statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity and is pleased to join the other 66 U.N. member states who have declared their support of the statement,” said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.
“The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world,” Wood told reporters. “As such, we join with other supporters of this statement, and we will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora.”
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the administration would endorse the statement.
Gay rights groups hailed the move.
“The administration’s leadership on this issue will be a powerful rebuke of an earlier Bush administration position that sought to deny the universal application of human rights protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals,” said Mark Bromley of the Council for Global Equality, which promotes equal rights for homosexuals.
“This is long past overdue and we are encouraged by the signal it sends that the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will now be considered human rights,” said Rea Carey, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Human rights groups had criticized the Bush administration when it refused to sign the statement when it was presented at the United Nations on Dec. 19. U.S. officials said then that the U.S. opposed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but that parts of the declaration raised legal questions that needed further review.
According to negotiators, the Bush team had concerns that those sections could commit the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In some states, landlords and private employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation; on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military.
But Wood said a “careful interagency review” by the Obama administration had concluded that “supporting this statement commits us to no legal obligations.”
When it was voted on in December, 66 of the U.N.’s 192 member countries signed the nonbinding declaration, which backers called an historic step to push the General Assembly to deal more forthrightly with anti-gay discrimination. It was endorsed by all 27 European Union members as well as Japan, Australia and Mexico.
But 70 U.N. members outlaw homosexuality — and in several, homosexual acts can be punished by execution. More than 50 nations, including members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, opposed the declaration.
Some Islamic countries said at the time that protecting sexual orientation could lead to “the social normalization and possibly the legalization of deplorable acts” such as pedophilia and incest. The declaration was also opposed by the Vatican.
***From the Associated Press, Thank You!!!***
Houses Passes Mandatory National Service Bill! Selective Service Becomes Compulsory If Bill Is Passed By Senate!
Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the H.R. 1388 bill. H.R. 1388 is also known as “The Generation Invigorating Volunteerism And Education Act” or GIVE. The GIVE Act is supposedly formulatted to stimulate a spirit of “volunteerism and charity” in the American public. However upon a second, more intense glance, the GIVE Act gives off the impression that volunteering for one’s country is an honorable act.
But under the cloak of ‘goodwill’, ‘charity,’ and ‘patriotism,’ the GIVE Act is nothing more than a fancy twenty-first century bill, that if passed by the Senate into a law, will ‘force’ Americans to perform some sort of compulsory act of ‘charity.’ Is that the meaning of volunteering? No. Yet, if the Senate passes H.R. 1388, Americans will find themselves in a predicament.
The GIVE Act is crafted in a way that every age group is affected. The most vulnerable group that will be targeted is the 18-24 year olds. In order to receive federal loans, work study programs and grants, students will have to sign up for this “voluntary” program. Mandatory personal ID will be enforced and it will become a crime not to ‘register’ your information into the proposed national data base. In other words, “Selective Service” will become mandatory service.
Non profits and other organizations seeking federal assistance will have to ‘recruit’ volunteers to perform charitable deeds of ‘good will’ for their communities. Universities and colleges in need of funding will also have to ‘recruit’ volunteers in order to receive financial aid. These volunteers, in turn, will have to perform an alloted amount of hours in order for the organization or institution gets federal dollars. Some of these volunteers will be slated for military training.
Co-creator of the GIVE Act, Rep. George Miller, Chairman of the Education Commitee, said that “national and community service can help make Americans a part of the solution to get our country through this economic crisis.”
Rachel Racusen, George Miller’s spokeswoman commented to a major news outlet that “it’s ridiculous to suggest that our bill includes any effort to make service a mandatory requirement. All of the opportunities our bill provides to Americans are voluntary.”
Oh really? Here is a portion of the GIVE Act where “voluntary” service becomes “mandatory,”:
(c) Call to Service Campaign and September 11th Day of Service- Section 198 (as amended by subsection (b) (42 U.S.C. 12653) is further amended by adding at the end the following:
‘(j) Call to Service Campaign- Not less than 180 days after enactment of this Act, the Corporation shall conduct a nationwide ‘Call To Service’ campaign, to encourage all people of the United States, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, or economic status, to engage in full- or part-time national service, long- or short-term public service in the nonprofit sector or government, or volunteering. In conducting the campaign, the Corporation may collaborate with other Federal agencies and entities, State Commissions, Governors, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, businesses, institutions of higher education, elementary schools, and secondary schools.
‘(k) September 11th Day of Service-
‘(1) FEDERAL ACTIVITIES- The Corporation may organize and carry out appropriate ceremonies and activities, which may include activities that are part of the broader Call to Service Campaign, in order to observe September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance at the Federal level.
‘(2) ACTIVITIES- The Corporation may make grants and provide other support to community-based organizations to assist in planning and carrying out appropriate service, charity, and remembrance opportunities in conjunction with the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.
‘(3) CONSULTATION- The Corporation may consult with and make grants or provide other forms of support to nonprofit organizations with expertise in representing September 11th families and other impacted constituencies, in promoting the establishment of September 11th as an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance.’