Saturday, February 09, 2013

Bangladesh's lesbian, gay, and bisexual prejudice needs to be stopped!

This is a short essay by a friend of mine.  He has my full support, as does his cause.  The right to choose one's sexual orientation needs support and protection, no less so than other individual rights.

Tibor R. Machan

Dear friends,

I would like to ask you for your support for a worthy cause I very
much care about.

In Bangladesh, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people encounter
extensive prejudice, discrimination, and violence because of their
sexual orientation. Many face discrimination at school, university,
and their workplace, are denied access to health care & justice and
find little support from family members & friends. Section 377 of the
Bangladesh Penal Code, a colonial law enacted in 1860 and left behind
by the British Empire, makes same-sex intercourse a crime punishable
by imprisonment for life. I described the impact this hostile
environment has on the daily lives of LGB people in Bangladesh in a
short article published about a year ago:

I'm a member of the Bangladesh Liberal Forum (BLF), a group of loosely
associated activists dedicated to the promotion of liberal values in
Bangladesh. We recently joined our forces with the Bandhu Social
Welfare Society (BSWS, and Boys of
Bangladesh (BoB, in order to combat
homophobia in Bangladesh. We believe in the power of education to
change the world and consequently created a brochure that we intend to
use to educate people about psychological, legal, and moral issues
pertaining to sexual orientation. We will distribute this brochure at
workshops and conferences, at universities and to NGOs and government
offices in Bangladesh. We will start distributing next month when BSWS
will hold workshops about the rights of sexual minorities with
students of two universities in Dhaka (ULAB and ASA).

I would like to invite you to support us in our struggle against
homophobia in Bangladesh and help us cover the printing cost. We just
ordered 5,000 copies of the English version of our brochure (which you
can find here: < >)
for 350 USD, and we will order a larger number of copies of the
Bengali version once the translation is completed. There is no
administrative cost, so every dollar you give will be used to cover
printing cost, and to educate people about this important issue. Your
donation may be in the form of cash or check. Please mail checks to me
at 8803 Timberside Dr, Apt 2, Houston, TX 77025. If you are in
Germany, the easiest way to give is by bank transfer (Überweisung an
Rainer Ebert, Kontonummer: 54761000, BLZ: 61491010, VR-Bank Elwangen,
Verwendungszweck: LGB Bangladesh). If you are in Bangladesh, please
contact me.

Thank you for your consideration and support. If you have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes


P.S.: I plan to thank supporters at - if you'd like to stay
anonymous, please say so.

Department of Philosophy
Rice University
6100 Main St, MS 14
Houston, TX 77005

United States of America

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