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LGBTQ Indians Pressure Apple, Google, and Facebook to #ChallengeModi this Weekend on Homophobic Law

[NQAPIA is hosting this statement in support of Queers for Justice in India. For any press inquiries, please contact Tara Gonsalves (press@challengemodi.com).]
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LGBTQ Indians Pressure Apple, Google, and Facebook to #ChallengeModi this Weekend on Homophobic Law

LGBTQ Indian Americans and their allies are calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to challenge Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to overturn India’s homophobic Victorian-era law when Modi visits Silicon Valley this weekend. A petition asking these CEOs, previously vocal supporters of LGBTQ rights in the United States, to #ChallengeModi on his institutionalized homophobia has gathered nearly one thousand signatures. On the afternoon of Sunday September 27, over one thousand people are expected to protest Modi’s human rights record in San Jose, California.

Facebook, Apple, and Google claim to be LGBTQ-friendly. Cook, a global LGBTQ role model, said he would challenge anti-LGBTQ legislation “wherever it emerges.” Zuckerberg describes Facebook as “a proud supporter of Pride,” and sports a rainbow-colored profile photo. All three companies have challenged DOMA, supported marriage equality, and provided benefits for LGBTQ employees before they were legally mandated to do so.

However, these same CEOs are now turning their backs on LGBTQ Indians, as well as their own LGBTQ employees and allies, by welcoming the controversial Indian politician, previously banned from the United States for complicity with genocide, and now refusing to take a position on Section 377, the homophobic 1860 law imposed on India by British colonizers.

Repressive laws take a toll on individuals. Sundar, a gay Indian man working in Silicon Valley, says that “due to progressive workplace policies in the valley I can be my authentic self at work. Back home in India, in contrast, the specter of 377 looms over me, my friends, and my family. We constantly fear the threat of harassment, blackmail and extortion. I hope that Silicon Valley stands up for the rights of their Indian LGBTQ employees and that PM Modi takes a stand to end the Victorian-era British law that criminalizes tens of millions of LGBTQ Indians.”

“India’s Penal Code 377 provides an avenue for harassment, extortion, and abuse of LGBTQ Indians,” says Monica Davis, Queer South Asian activist and former Trikone Chairwoman, the San Francisco Bay Area’s South Asian LGBTQ advocacy group. “If Google, Facebook, and Apple were supportive of LGBTQ rights during San Francisco Pride, they should also demonstrate support now.” Adds Suhas, Outreach Director at Trikone, “I would like to appeal to Prime Minister Modi to follow Nepal’s footsteps in including LGBTQ rights in the constitution.”

When human rights violators come to visit, we call on the CEOs of Apple, Google, and Facebook, who wield enormous influence in the global political economy, to take a stand for global LGBTQ rights. To sign the petition, visit www.ChallengeModi.com.

#No377 #ChallengeModi

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NQAPIA Supports Justice in Madison

BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday, NQAPIA’s new Organizing Director Sasha W. was locked in front of the Dane County Jail in Madison, WI for 3 hours and 50 minutes. NQAPIA stands with Sasha, with the others at yesterday’s action, and with the Young Gifted & Black (YGB) Coalition organizing in Madison.

Those locked to the jail doors at yesterday’s demonstration are demanding an end to Madison’s racial disparities. The action was catalyzed by yet another non-indictment of a white police officer killing an unarmed Black person – 19-year-old Tony Robinson. Madison has shown yet again that the city is not accountable to its Black residents.

Madison, WI is ranked as the worst city for Black children. Black people are 11x more likely to be arrested in Madison than white people. If this injustice system cannot even indict a police officer who shot a youth seven times, this system is not fit to try or convict any Black person. Those locked in yesterday demanded the release of 350 Black people incarcerated for crimes of poverty, as an immediate addressal of state violence towards Black communities.

Yesterday, Sasha and others in solidarity with YGB put their bodies on the line to end state violence towards Black communities. As a national federation of LGBTQ API organizations, we know that we will not be fully free until Black people are free. We stand with Sasha, with our local organization Freedom Inc., and with the Young Gifted & Black Coalition.

Madison needs to know that the world is watching, now. Share this blog post for our collective freedom, as Black and API liberation are bound together!

NQAPIA Statement on Grand Jury Decision Regarding the Shooting of Michael Brown

NQAPIA stands in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown and all those who protest injustice.  As LGBT Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders, we know too well the pains of those who suffer under unbridled police misconduct and other law enforcement officials. We stand arm in arm with the community of Ferguson to demand justice for Mike Brown. Black lives matter and we do not accept the decision of the Grand Jury.

Violence perpetrated by state actors in the streets of Ferguson, at immigration detention center, or at the border must be curtailed and the safety and security of all people of color–African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans — and especially young people, immigrants, people of transgender experiences must be safeguarded. Law enforcement agencies must be held accountable to the communities they swore to serve and protect.

The Grand Jury’s refusal to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown is a statement by our Justice System that if you wear a badge, you do no not have to be accountable to the same laws as the people in this nation. It is a statement that black lives don’t matter and that American judicial system will continue to use two different water fountains: One for those who wear the badge and another for “colored” people.

NQAPIA calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Ferguson Police Department for systematic civil rights violations. We also call on the U.S. Department of Justice to issue guidance on racial and religious profiling to provide safeguard our communities from state actors.

NQAPIA calls on our queer Asian community to rise up and protest injustice; to stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson. Join protests around the nation to demand justice for Mike Brown.

#MikeBrown #BlackLivesMatter #Solidarity

NQAPIA and Roe v. Wade

This week marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court decision that made sure access to abortion services legal continues to be a key protection for women to make their own decisions about their health and their families. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance holds values such as autonomy, access to reproductive services and health care, and empowerment for people of all genders and is proud to stand in solidarity with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum in the fight for reproductive justice.

Many of the NQAPIA family have joined the NAPAWF #ImInThe78% campaign. We raise our voices, and our smart phones to proclaim our part in the 78% of Asian Americans who support some form of legal abortion.

From NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs Ben de Guzman’s selfie:

http://napawf.tumblr.com/post/73334795212/ben-de-guzman-from-nqapia-showing-us-some-love

Ben Selfie NAPAWF Tumblr

To NQAPIA Board Co-Chair Joy Messinger with the NAPAWF-Chicago sisters:

http://napawf.tumblr.com/post/73614167750

NAPAWF Chicago Selfie

 

To the number of NQAPIA friends, homies, and allies:

http://napawf.tumblr.com/post/74302986694

http://napawf.tumblr.com/post/74304004972/my-grandma-was-married-off-and-had-her-first

http://napawf.tumblr.com/post/74284259753/rep-mike-honda-is-in-the-78

 

Go to napawf.tumblr.com to see the real pics of ALL our friends taking part in the 78% and what you can do to join!

 

NQAPIA Supports the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

NQAPIA is proud to take part in activities around the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

We are joining AAPI national organizations in a contingent to take part in the National Action to Realize the Dream March & Rally on Saturday, August 24.  People interested in joining us in Washington, DC can meet up at 8:00am at the southeast side of the World War II  Memorial.

RSVP for updates and logistics:  http://bit.ly/NCAPAmarchRSVP

 

We have also joined a list of over forty LGBT organizations supporting the March that signed the following open letter .

An Open Letter in Support of 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

Over the past year, our community has celebrated tremendous wins in the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality and justice.

We have collectively cheered the first ever Senate committee markup of an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the Social Security Administration’s modernization of its gender marker policy, and U.S. Supreme Court wins on marriage equality in the Windsor and Perry rulings. But we remain frustrated that ENDA is still not the law of the land and we’re angered and deeply disappointed with the Court’s decision to turn back critical parts of the historic Voting Rights Act in Shelby.

We must channel this frustration and disappointment into action to tackle employment discrimination, voter suppression tactics, immigration reform and racial profiling, to name only a few.

This month we have an opportunity to bring the combined energy from our victories to a major gathering that will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom. History was made that day 50 years ago when thousands came to Washington, D.C. to lift up their voices in support of civil rights, employment protection and an end to racial segregation in our nation’s schools. On August 24, 2013, we will rededicate ourselves to that dream of equality and justice.

It has been over 40 years since Stonewall and the birth of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. As national, state and local LGBTQ organizations, we know that while there have been many advancements over the last four decades since Stonewall and the five decades since the 1963 March, there is still much more work to be done. We are proud to commemorate the 1963 March and, once again, come together and collectively take action to “Realize the Dream.”

At a time when the nation still does not have clear federal laws barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, we still need to step up and be visible. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to find and keep a job in a safe work environment with a living wage regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. We also believe that all members of our community, whether they are seniors, middle-aged or youth, deserve to be safe from violence, harassment, exploitation and racial profiling when they are at home, school, work, or in any other public places. As LGBTQ people, we believe that quality health care should be accessible, affordable and culturally competent. We believe that the 11 million undocumented immigrants, including at least 267,000 undocumented LGBT people living in this country, should have a real pathway to citizenship and people from all backgrounds should be able to stay with their families. We believe these are issues that cut across all lines of gender, race and ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation, ability and immigration status. It’s time to join forces and demonstrate our collective power.

Take Action

Working together, this rally and mobilization is an opportunity to lift up the voices of LGBT people as part of a broad progressive agenda for social and economic justice. Please join us on Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 8 AM – 3 PM in Washington, D.C. at the DC War Memorial at 900 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20245.  (The Memorial is located across Independence Ave. from the Martin Luther King Memorial), as we come together in support of freedom and justice!

In Solidarity,

Get Equal
Human Rights Campaign
National Black Justice Coalition
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Pride at Work, AFL-CIO

 

Endorsers:

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
Believe Out Loud
Bethel Christian Church, DC
BiNet USA
Bisexual Resource Center
Center for Black Equity
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Equality Federation
Family Equality Council
The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries
FORGE, Inc.
Freedom to Marry
Freedom to Work
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network)
GLAAD
GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders)
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network)
Harvey Milk Foundation
Immigration Equality
Lambda Legal
Leadership Team of NASPA GLBT Knowledge Community
Marriage Equality USA
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
NQAPIA
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
PFLAG National
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
The Trevor Project
Trans Advocacy Network
Trans People of Color Coalition
Transgender Law Center
Unid@s, The National Latin@ LGBT Human rights Organization

Intern Corner: Justice for Trayvon Martin & The OCA National Convention

Justice for  Trayvon Martin by Steven

When the Trayvon Martin murder happened, it struck me as yet another crime against people of color that some refuse to acknowledge as racism. However, it was the verdict that exempted George Zimmerman from murder that felt like a slap in the face.  When these hate crimes happen, it reminds me of the bias that individuals still hold, though I would always respond with the hope that justice will somehow address oppression. But when our “justice” system fails to declare these actions as crimes, I am reminded that our institutions actually protect racism.

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