Tag Archives: human rights

Matthew Shepard’s Mother Judy Shepard Releases Statement Regarding Fred Phelps’ Death

“Regarding the passing of Fred Phelps, [husband] Dennis and I know how solemn these moments are for anyone who loses a loved one. Out of respect for all people and our desire to erase hate, we’ve decided not to comment further.”

Judy Shepard is more gracious than most parents would have been following the death of Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, who picketed her son Matthew’s funeral. In 1998, a 21-year-old Matthew was tortured and killed by two young men because he was gay. The Phelps family has picketed LGBTQ pride events, military funerals, high-profile funerals in general, inaugural balls, and performances of the play “The Laramie Project” (about Matthew Shepard’s death), carrying signs that read “God Hates Fags” and “Sin & Shame, Not Pride.” Phelps died this week at age 84. Judy Shepard’s response is the  personification of class. [Advocate] [Photos: Getty]

Pussy Riot Is Headed To Brooklyn!

Just two months after being released from a Russian penal colony, members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are coming to America. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina will appear at an Amnesty International event called Bringing Human Rights Home, taking place in Brooklyn on February 5th.  Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Iranian Woman Might Be Hanged Instead Of Stoned To Death

  • Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, may be hanged instead. She was allegedly complicit with her lover in murdering her husband, although her supporters say she was forced to confess under duress. Ashtiani, a mother of two, has been imprisoned since 2006 and her impending death sentence attracted international outcries accusing Iran of human rights abuse. The prison where Ashtiani is held claims the stoning may not be carried out because it lacks the necessary facilities. [Guardian UK]
  • Slate.com’s review of “The Iron Lady” is rather scathing. My review is heaping cupfuls less vitrolic. [Slate.com]
  • Two black women were found dead in Detroit, just one week after two other black women were killed. All the women have been linked to escort services on Backpage.com. For some reason, cops are not yet attributing the murders to a serial killer. [Madame Noire
  • The New Yorker profiled Carrie Brownstein of the show “Portlandia” and formerly of the band Sleater-Kinney. [The New Yorker] Keep reading »

Transsexual Inmate Has A Beef With The System

Here’s a brainteaser: If someone is born a man, but becomes legally female aside one special male part, and then they kill someone, which prison should they be held in—male or female?

Well, according to a transsexual inmate in this specific situation, she says she should be hanging with the ladies. Currently held in a men’s prison in the UK, this inmate claims her human right to “respect of her private life,” as stated in European Law, is being violated by having to stay in a men’s facility. And she’s suing over it. Not only is the she-mate unable to wear skirts or make-up—she also says its a glaring violation of her human rights not to be able to have gender reassignment surgery. And she’s so close—she has hormonally grown breasts and has lasered off all the hair on her face and legs. But doctors have repeatedly denied her the final surgery because she must live as a female for a certain period of time before being eligible—something she cannot do being held in a men’s prison. [Daily Mail] Keep reading »

Saudi Arabia: Where The Recession Is A Real Slap in The Face

Have you ever spent so much money you wanted slap yourself? Well, now you don’t have to! Thanks to a Saudi Arabian court, if a wife spends too much of her man’s dough, he can put her in her place for her. What a savings!

Many of the local men, and now the courts, have been hitting wives hard because of how they choose to use cash. Saudi Arabian women like Princess Adila bint Abdullah, deputy chairperson of the National Family Safety Program, as well as international human rights groups, have complained about the seemingly court-sanctioned spike in domestic violence justice. If you offer Judge Hamad Al-Razine a penny for his thoughts, he’ll tell you that women are the ones doing the shopping, “but nobody puts even a fraction of blame on them.” The judge argues that men are just reacting to the financial sitch and someone has got to knock some sense into these women, right? Keep reading »

Death By Firing Squad For Pregnant British Woman

A pregnant woman awaiting trial doesn’t usually make international headlines. But add the fact that the woman is facing death by firing squad, and you’ve got a story that’s getting attention in Britain and the U.S. This is the fate of Samantha Orobator, a 20-year-old British woman suspected of drug trafficking in Laos. Orobator was arrested on August 5, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for allegedly carrying about 1.1 pounds of heroin. Keep reading »

What A Dame!

The founder of The Body Shop, an international chain of bath & beauty products, Dame Anita Roddick, has sadly passed, but she also passed on an estimated 100 million dollars to charity. That’s a whole lotta bars of soap! Dame Roddick was suddenly struck with a brain hemorrhage last September, a complication of the Hepatitis C she contracted from a blood transfusion at age 64. But by then, she had given away all of her hard earned fortune to environmental charities, Third World debt, and human rights organizations. The successful English businesswoman died penniless and left nothing to her family who upheld their mother’s generous final wishes. “They’ve already given us everything in terms of love and support,” said Sam, her youngest daughter, who runs a body shop of her own — sex boutique Coco de Mer. So Dame Roddick, the woman who spent decades grooming men and women, will now, even in her legacy, be sprucing up the world. [Daily Mail]

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