Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor
From Fox News:
Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.
Scouting for All is a 100% Volunteer 501-(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. Every dollar donated goes toward our education and advocacy programs, and is tax deductible.
Thailand OKs Gay, Transsexual Soldiers
Posted: August 10, 2005 1:00 pm ET
(Bangkok) Thailand on Wednesday removed restrictions on gays and transsexuals serving in the military.
Thailand has a draft but gays and transsexuals have been barred from serving under the "mental disorder"
All Thai men at the age of 20 are required by law to register to serve. Recruits are selected through a lottery
system, but each year thousands of LGBT draftees are rejected.
Wednesday the military announced that it was removing homosexuality and transgenderism from its list of mental
disorders following years of
complaints from the LGBT community that the ban was discriminatory.
The military said that the change was part of a program to keep up with a changing society.
"The existing conscription law has been promulgated since 1954, when there were few homosexuals and transvestites,
but society is changing very fast, so the army is in the process of amending the law and omitting those words from
the certificate," said Lt. Gen. Arthorn Lohitkul, director general of the Army Reserve Command.
The campaign to amend the requirements for conscription was launched by LGBT civil activist Natee Theerarojnaphong.
"No employer wants to hire anyone with a record of mental disorder to work in his company," Natee said,
adding that people with mental disorders are also unable to make certain legal agreements.
A celebrity Thai-style kickboxer who underwent surgery to become a woman, Parinya Charoenphol, complained on local
television after being exempt from the military.
"The words 'mental disorder' marked on the certificate seriously affects our lives," said Parinya. Thailand
is a Buddhist country where
homosexuals, transvestites and transsexuals are largely tolerated. Gay and transvestite actors play key roles in
Thai movies and television soap operas.
The change was hailed in the US by gays fighting for inclusion in the military."Neither sexual orientation
nor gender identity has any impact on
a service member's ability to get the job done," Steve Ralls, a spokesperson for the Servicemembers Legal
Defense Network told 365Gay.com
"The United States armed forces should follow the Thai military's example and place qualification above prejudice.
Our armed forces should end to the military's unfair discrimination against lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender
A bill is pending in Congress to repeal the military's ban and allow lesbian and gay Americans the opportunity
to serve openly.
A study done by the Government Accountability Office shows that more than 10,000 service members have been discharged
over the last 10 years under "don't ask, don't tell".