Tuesday, October 6, 2009

SOGI human rights forum at FUUB & November Write-A-Thon Sign-up

(In this Picture: UU-UNO LGBT Program Associate Diana Sands, FUUB Envoy Mary Most, HRW LGBT's Scott Long, UU-UNO Envoy Coordinator Holly Sarkissian, & UU-UNO Social Work Policy Intern Margaret Wolff)


On Sunday, October 4, 2009, the UU-UNO held its first in a series of monthly forums about various sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGI) human rights issues at the First Unitarian Congregational Society of Brooklyn (FUUB). Complimented by a delicious pancake breakfast fundraiser for the FUUB youth group, the forum was very well-attended, including UU-UNO Envoy to FUUB, Mary Most.

This first forum focused on the 2009 Action of Immediate Witness sponsored by the UU-UNO calling on UUs in the US to Oppose Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity-Based Violence in Iraq. We were very fortunate to have the Director of the LGBT human rights program at Human Rights Watch, Scott Long, join us for the forum. Long talked about the latest report on the issue from HRW, They Want Us Exterminated: Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq. As principle author of the report, Scott was able to share his deep understanding of the campaign of torture and murder targeted at gay men, suspected gay men, and men deemed to be too “effeminate” since the beginning of 2009. FUUB congregation members of all ages were treated to a presentation about the report as well as a lively Q&A session in which participants asked insightful questions. One participant identified himself as an Iraq war veteran and was very pleased to have heard this discussion of human rights violations in Iraq too often ignored by the media and local authorities.

Participants in the forum did not take for granted 40 copies of the Iraq report donated by Human Rights Watch to the congregation – by the end of the day, only 3 copies remained!


We hope you will join us and members of FUUB November 22-29, 2009 in the first ever UU-UNO Write-A-Thon. We are taking our concerns about human rights violations in Iraq based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the United Nations. Since Iraqi authorities cannot or will not stop this campaign of torture and murder, then the UN must prioritize help for victims of this human rights disaster in their work to resettle Iraqi refugees.

To sign-up for the November 2009 Write-A-Thon, please fill out the form HERE.
Share the link to the sign-up form: http://tinyurl.com/Nov09WriteAThon

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