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Dec 2013 Newsletter

Dec 2013 Newsletter

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Published by Julie Christiano
Monthly newsletter from Buffalo-Niagara Pflag
Monthly newsletter from Buffalo-Niagara Pflag

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Published by: Julie Christiano on Dec 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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December 2013/January 2014
Buffalo / Niagara
PO Box 617 Buffalo, NY 14207 716-883-0384 info@pflagbuffalo.org www.pflagbuffalo.org www.facebook.com/pflag.niagara
We meet because we have learned that someone very close to us is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgendered. We try to help one another deal with this information in a positive manner. Although we do not agree at all times, we try to be understanding. We offer help to those who seek it, but do not force ourselves on others. We strive to maintain anonymity while sharing on a level that is comfortable for all of us. We encourage all to attend meetings for their own benefit as well as that of the group. It is our hope that when each of us reaches a point of understanding and acceptance, we realize that this is when others need us the most.
Monthly Meeting Schedule
Spirituality and the LGBTQ Community
Sunday, January 19, 2014
4:30 PM Kenilworth United Church of Christ 45 Dalton Drive - Tonawanda, NY 14223 We are delighted again to welcome clergy from local open and affirming religious groups to join us for a roundtable discussion regarding spirituality issues and the LGBTQ community. The format is a very informal Q& A between our guests and the audience of parents, family and friends. A small reception will follow.
 As always, newcomers will be offered the alternative of meeting privately with a PFLAG parent. The church is located two blocks west of Niagara Falls Boulevard at the corner of Decatur Rd and Dalton Dr. Decatur runs off of Niagara Falls Boulevard about 0.8 miles south of Sheridan Drive and about 0.8 miles north of Kenmore Ave. Our monthly meetings are in the library, which is near the parking lot entrance. The facility is handicap accessible.
New Parents Meetings
are scheduled as needed at a location convenient to those involved. These self-help one-on-one meetings deal with the concerns of parents and family members who have recently learned that a loved one is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender.
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Buffalo/Niagara, is a non-profit, all volunteer, community-based organization not affiliated with any ethnic, religious, economic, or political group. Membership is open to all. PFLAG membership lists are kept confidential and mailings are sent in plain envelopes.
Page 2 PFLAG Buffalo/Niagara
Northern Ireland Lifts Ban on Same-Sex Couples Adopting
By Alex J. Davidson, The Advocate
Add Northern Ireland to the list of places expanding rights for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples in civil partnerships there can now adopt children just as straight couples can, according to PinkNews.co.uk. Previously, a single gay or lesbian could adopt a child but not if he or she was coupled in a legally recognized relationship. PinkNews.co.uk reports: The court decision to extend adoption rights to gay couples had been
challenged by Health Minister Edwin Poots, who recently said he was “disappointed” at the UK
Supreme Court for dismissing his latest legal challenge against adoption rights for same-sex couples. The Supreme Court said his d
epartment’s case did not meet the criteria for appeal.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Following the Court of Appeal judgement in June
2013, unmarried couples, including same sex couples, and those in a civil partnership may apply to adopt.
final decision regarding the granting of an adoption order will lie with the court.” 
 In related news, same-sex weddings in England and Wales will commence March 29. Couples wishing to get married must submit a formal notice by March 13. The decision to allow same-sex couples to adopt applies only to Northern Ireland since it is the only part of the United Kingdom that had such a policy.
 India's Supreme Court Upholds Anti-Gay Sex Law
By NIRMALA GEORGE, Associated Press
 India's Supreme Court struck down a 2009 lower court decision to decriminalize homosexual conduct, dealing a blow Wednesday to gay activists who have fought for years for the chance to live openly in India's deeply conservative society. The judges said only lawmakers and not the courts could change a colonial-era law that bans homosexual acts and makes them punishable by up to a decade in prison. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community across India reacted to the surprise decision with defiance. "We cannot be forced back into the closet. We are not backing off from our fight against discrimination," said Gautam Bhan, an activist who had petitioned the court. After the ruling, dozens of activists outside the court began crying and hugging each other in consolation. "This is a very sad day for us, we are back to square one in our fight for the democratic rights of the gay community," said Ashok Row Kavi of the activist group Humsafar Trust.
December 2013/January 2014 Page 3
Lawyers and supporters of gays, lesbians and transsexuals vowed to continue pressing for the removal of the law, which they say encourages discrimination, even if it is rarely invoked by prosecutors. "We feel very let down," said lawyer Anand Grover, who had argued the case on behalf of the advocacy group NAZ Foundation. "But our fight is not over and we will continue to fight for the constitutional right." He said the foundation would ask for the Supreme Court's decision to be reviewed. According to international human-rights groups, more than 70 countries around the world have laws criminalizing homosexual conduct, with India by far the most populous. Some other countries, while not explicitly outlawing gay sex, have measures that restrict gay-rights activities, such as Russia's recently enacted law prohibiting "gay propaganda." Efforts to repeal colonial-era anti-sodomy laws have failed to gain much momentum in Africa and Asia, but there have been notable recent gay-rights gains in Latin America, where same-sex marriage or civil unions have been legalized in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and parts of Mexico. The largest gay-rights group in the United States
 the Human Rights Campaign
 described the Indian court ruling as a "disturbing step backward." "It is incomprehensible that a court of law would take the side of discrimination against LGBT citizens," said the group's chief foundation officer, Jeff Krehely. "Criminalizing LGBT relationships leads to dangerous situations, not just for committed couples, but also for LGBT youth, who today received a deeply harmful message that they are less than equal." The United States expressed concern about the Indian Supreme Court decision, although it wasn't immediately clear if Washington had directly raised the issue with Indian government officials. "We oppose all actions that criminalize consensual sex conducts between adults," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington. "We call on all governments to advance equality for LGBT individuals around the world." But the court ruling was welcomed by a conservative U.S. legal advocacy group, Alliance Defending Freedom. "The India Supreme Court has ruled in the interest of the health of its society rather than the interests of activist groups trying to use the court to do their bidding," said the group's chief counsel, Benjamin Bull. The law in question, dating back to the 1860s when Britain ruled over South Asia, states that "whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" can be punished by up to 10 years behind bars.

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