Category: Sex News

4 Sentenced to Death in Rape Case That Riveted India

Will this verdict be the first step for a positive change towards treatment of Indian women, or will men take revenge on them?

Excerpt from The New York Times article:

4 Sentenced to Death in Rape Case That Riveted India

By  and BETWA SHARMA
Published: September 13, 2013

NEW DELHI — Four men convicted of a brutal gang rape were sentenced Friday to die by hanging, a decision met with satisfaction on the part of the victim’s parents and triumphant cheers from the crowd outside the courthouse, where some held up makeshift nooses and pictures of hanging bodies.

Activists reacted to the sentencing outside the Saket District Court on Friday.

A crowd gathered outside the Saket courthouse in New Delhi on Friday.

The four men — a fruit vendor, a bus attendant, a gym handyman and an unemployed man — were found guilty on Tuesday of raping a young woman on a moving bus last December, penetrating her with a metal rod and inflicting grave internal injuries, then dumping her out on the roadside.

The country was riveted by the story of the woman, who died of her injuries two weeks later, and tens of thousands of people flooded the streets to demand tougher policing and prosecution of sex crimes.

But until the last minute it was unclear whether this would lead to death sentences in a country where liberal and populist impulses have strained against one another for decades, reserving the death sentences for “the rarest of rare cases.” News of the decision was met with a wave of jubilation on the street outside.

“This is the beginning of freedom for Indian women today,” said Raman Deep Kaur, 38, a cosmetologist. “Today we are free, because these men are going to be killed.”

It is far from clear, however, that the four men will be executed in the near future.

India has liberal appeal laws and death sentences are routinely followed by years of motions to the Supreme Court and the president. Sadashiv Gupta, a defense lawyer for one of the men, said he was confident the sentence would be commuted to life in prison.

“I met with my client and I told him, ‘You are going to get the death penalty, take it in stride and don’t panic,’ ” Mr. Gupta said. “I think he shall not be hanged.”

During the trial, defense attorneys invoked the “rarest of the rare” language laid out in a 1980 Supreme Court decision that overturned a death sentence. One cited the words of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India’s independence movement: “God gives life and he alone can take it, not man-made courts.” They also invoked mitigating circumstances, such as the young age and poverty of the defendants, or the fact that they had been drinking, undercutting the notion that the crime was premeditated.

But Judge Yogesh Khanna clearly rejected those arguments, saying this crime embodied “the rarest of the rare,” and invoked the possibility of a larger wave of violence against women.

“In these times when crimes against women are on the rise, the court cannot turn a blind eye to this gruesome act,” he said, according to reporters in the courtroom.

At this, one of the defendants, Vinay Sharma, broke down in tears and cried loudly.

A. P. Singh, who defended two of the men, called the decision “completely unfair” and said it had been made under intense political pressure at a moment when Indian leaders are looking ahead to parliamentary elections next spring.

“I will contest this case until the last moments of my life,” he said.

Defense arguments were drowned out by cries for execution – including from the victim herself, who before her death told a court official that her attackers “should be burned alive.” Protesters have congregated regularly outside the courthouse, chanting “Hang the rapists,” and on Friday they turned their wrath on the defense attorneys, forcing one to rush from the crowd.

Rosy John, 62, a housewife watching the furor outside the courtroom this week, said her only objection to the death sentence was that it was too humane a punishment.

“After death, they will get freedom,” she said. “They should be tortured and given shocks their whole life. They have made so many people suffer, including their own families.”

Polls show that Indians remain ambivalent about using the death penalty, with 40 percent of respondents saying it should be abolished, according to a survey by CNN, IBN and The Hindu, a respected daily newspaper. Among the vocal opponents of using it in this case were a number of women’s rights groups.

Texas Senate Vote Puts Bill Restricting Abortion Over Final Hurdle

I still recall loaning a friend $100 (a huge amount in 1966) to have an abortion in Puerto Rico. She traveled from New York alone, and came back with an infection from the back alley procedure. Luckily she was able to recover and has three beautiful children.

When will politicians stay out of a woman’s womb?

Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman, via Associated Press

Opponents and supporters of new abortion restrictions in Texas gathered Friday at the Capitol.

Excerpts from NYTimes article:

By 

AUSTIN, Tex. — The Texas Senate gave final passage on Friday to one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country, legislation championed by Gov. Rick Perry, who rallied the Republican-controlled Legislature late last month after a Democratic filibuster blocked the bill and intensified already passionate resistance by abortion-rights supporters.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and hold abortion clinics to the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers, among other requirements. Its supporters say that the strengthened requirements for the structures and doctors will protect women’s health; opponents argue that the restrictions are actually intended to put financial pressure on the clinics that perform abortions and will force most of them to shut their doors.

Mr. Perry applauded lawmakers for passing the bill, saying, “Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life.” Legislators and anti-abortion activists, he said, “tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans.”

Debate over the bill has ignited fierce exchanges between lawmakers and tense confrontations between opponents of the bill, who have worn orange, and supporters of the bill, wearing blue. Signs and slogans have been everywhere, bearing long, impassioned arguments or the simple scrawl on a young man’s orange shirt, a Twitter-esque “@TXLEGE: U R dumb.”

The bill had come nearly this far before: a version had been brought to the Senate in the previous session of the Legislature, in June, and was killed by State Senator Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth, with an 11-hour filibuster that stalled the bill until after the deadline for ending the session. The filibuster became an overnight sensation on Twitter and other forms of social media, with more than 180,000 people viewing the filibuster live online.

Almost immediately, however, Mr. Perry called for another special session to reconsider the bill, resulting in Friday night’s vote.

The fight has been heavy with symbols. The House bill’s author, Representative Jodie Laubenberg, a Republican from Parker, dangled a pair of baby shoes before her as she spoke on Tuesday; Representative Senfronia Thompson, who offered an early amendment to the bill, was flanked by colleagues holding wire hangers, representing the brutal abortion methods they said would return if legitimate clinics were run out of business.

Ms. Laubenberg has said that the bill would close no abortion clinics, adding, “It is time these clinics put patients ahead of profits.”

Supporters of the bill in the Legislature have been angered by the language of their opponents. During floor debate on Tuesday, Representative Jason Villalba, a Republican of Dallas, said, “I shall stand with Texas women, but I shall stand here no longer and be accused of conducting a ‘war on women.’ ” He said, “We care for and we fight for human baby lives,” and showed a sonogram of his own child at 13 weeks. “I will fight, and I will fight, and I will fight to protect my baby.”

During the Senate debate, the dean of the Senate, John Whitmire, who is a Democrat, angrily told Senator Dan Patrick, a Republican, “I can’t sit here and let you question my faith.”

The bill was opposed by many doctors, including leaders of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Texas Medical Association; the gynecologists’ group has run advertisements locally that question the scientific underpinnings of the legislation and tell legislators to “Get out of our exam rooms.”

Read entire article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/us/texas-abortion-bill.html?emc=edit_na_20130713&_r=0

Vladimir Putin Just Made It Illegal To Tell Kids Gay People Exist

“I want everyone to understand that in Russia there are no infringements on sexual minorities’ rights,” …These words were spoken by President Putin while signing a bill “making the promotion of homosexual propaganda to minors Illegal.”

Please someone educate this man as to the genetic component of Gays and Lesbians.

Excerpts from David Badash’s June 20 article:

“The federal amendments expanded on a law that protects children from pornography and other ‘harmful information,” acording to Bloomberg News. “The bill prohibits the distribution of information intended to promote or spread ‘non-traditional sexual orientations’ among minors, or a ‘distorted conception of the equivalence between traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships.’”

The bill also prohibits the “obtrusive spreading of information about non-traditional sexual relationships that may arouse interest in such relationships.”

“Putin, who returned to the Kremlin for a third term as president last year, said in April that same-sex marriages don’t produce children and that Russia and Europe face demographic challenges from lower birth rates, though it’s his duty to protect the rights of people with ‘non-traditional’ sexual orientations,” Bloomberg News adds:

Putin violated Russia’s international obligations by signing the law, which will be challenged at Russia’s Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights, Nikolai Alexeyev, a Russian gay-rights activist, wrote in a statement on GayRussia.eu.

“By signing the law banning gay propaganda, President Putin may have won a local battle for the votes of his under-educated electorate,” Alexeyev wrote. “He lost the historical battle. History will prove that he committed a mistake that future generations won’t likely forgive.”

Opinion polls have shown limited tolerance among Russians for homosexuality. Last year, Moscow City Court upheld the city’s decision to ban gay-pride parades for the next 100 years.

Dozens of LGBT supporters were arrested in St. Petersburg yesterday after anti-gay protesters violently attacked them at sanctioned gay pride rally which included “violent scuffles between police and anti-gay campaigners,” Russia’s RIA Novosti news reports:

Media reports estimated that several dozens of LGBT activists came to the Field of Mars (Marsovo Pole) in the city’s downtown to rally for gay people’s rights in Russia. The event was attended by some 200 of anti-gay activists urging to ban the rally and throwing eggs at their opponents.

The climate for LGBT people in Russia is growing from bad to worse, and Putin’s new law will only serve to support more anti-LGBT violence and hate crimes.

Read entire article with photos of demonstration:

http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/vladimir-putin-just-made-it-illegal-to-tell-kids-gay-people-exist/politics/2013/06/30/70238

 

Jimmy Carter: Women’s Plight Perpetuated By World Religions

“Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for mistreatment of women across the world.

The human rights activist said Friday religious authorities perpetuate misguided doctrines of male superiority, from the Catholic Church forbidding women from becoming priests to some African cultures mutilating the genitals of young girls.

Carter said the doctrines, which he described as theologically indefensible, contribute to a political, social and economic structure where political leaders passively accept violence against women, a worldwide sex slave trade and inequality in the workplace and classroom.

“There is a great aversion among men leaders and some women leaders to admit that this is something that exists, that it’s serious and that it’s it troubling and should be addressed courageously,” Carter said at an international conference on women and religion.

The 39th president is hosting representatives from 15 countries at The Carter Center, the human rights organization he launched in 1982 after leaving the White House.

The Mobilizing Faith for Women event emphasizes to world leaders that religious institutions can be forces for equality, he said.

Nations represented at the Carter conference include Afghanistan, Botswana, Egypt, Iraq, Malaysia, Nigeria, Senegal and the Sudan. Carter mentioned widespread oppression in many of nations where iterations of Islam dominate, but also had criticism for the developed Western world where Christianity is the strongest cultural influence.

A common thread, he said, are “gross abuses of religious texts in the Koran and in the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament. Singular verses can be extracted and extorted to assert the singular dominance of men.”

Referring to the Christian apostle Paul, credited with writing much of the New Testament outside the gospels, he said, “Paul said there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, slaves or masters, man or woman.”

Read Entire Article in Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/28/jimmy-carter-women_n_3516823.html

Important website of my good friend Reverend Beverly Dale. Resource for Christianity, spirituality and sexuality. “Reconnecting the Body and Spirit.”

http://www.beverlydale.org