Tag Archives: LGBT Rights

Panel Discussion LGBT Rights in India: The Naz Foundation case in the Indian courts Monday, January 27, 12:30 – 2:30 pm

LGBTRightsinIndiaJan27On December 10, 2013, the Indian Supreme Court upheld a colonial-era criminal law which serves to criminalize homosexuality. Join Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights to discuss the history of the Naz constitutional challenge, the role of the LGBT movement, and the implications of the Naz v Kaushal decision.

 

Panel Discussion

LGBT Rights in India: The Naz Foundation case in the Indian courts

Monday, January 27, 12:30 – 2:30 pm Osgoode Hall Law School (Ignat Kaneff Building), York University  Room 1001, 1st floor. Wheelchair accessible.  For directions, see York University map (building 32) http://maps.info.yorku.ca/keele-campus/

Panelists

Andrew Pinto: partner at Pinto Wray James LLP.

Vivek Divan: Policy Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme’s HIV, Health and Development Group.

Nancy Nicol: Associate Professor in Visual Arts at York University and Principal Investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights.

Vijaya Chikermane: Executive Director of ASAAP: Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention.

 

Sponsored by: Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights; Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; Osgoode OUTLaws; South Asian Law Students Association

 

Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights is a 5-year international research and documentary film project working to advance social justice and equality for LGBT people. Envisioning is a partnership of mutual learning bringing together 31 LGBT organizations based in Africa, India, the Caribbean and Canada to research and document criminalization, resistance and flight from persecution. Envisioning is housed at the Centre for Feminist Research, York University and supported by a Community University Research Alliance Grant, SSHRC.

 

 

 

Panelist Bios:

 

Andrew Pinto is a partner at Pinto Wray James LLP, practicing in the areas of civil litigation, employment and labour, administrative and human rights law.   He has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada, before all levels of court in Ontario and before numerous administrative tribunals. Andrew has been active in representing LGBT clients throughout his career including in Vriend (SCC decision), Jane Doe (Ont. C.A. – assisted reproduction) and Smitherman (Ont. S.C., same-sex prom date).  He is a former Board Director for the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP). Andrew has taught Administrative Law as an Adjunct Professor at the U of T Faculty of Law.  In 2011-12, Andrew was appointed by the Attorney General of Ontario to review changes made to the Ontario human rights system and author a major report. Andrew is a Governor of the Law Commission of Ontario and a member of the Osgoode South Asia Advisory council. Andrew’s parents were born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India.

 

 

 

Vivek Divan is Policy Specialist on Key Populations & Access to Justice at UNDP’s HIV Practice in New York. His work focuses on providing advisory and technical support on the intersections of law and human rights in the context of key populations affected by HIV. He is a lawyer from Bombay and has worked extensively on issues of LGBT people, law and human rights in India and globally. As Coordinator of Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit in India (2000-2007) he oversaw and was involved in the legal aid, advocacy, research, capacity-building and legal literacy work of the Unit. In that time he was part of the team that drafted legislation on HIV/AIDS for India and strategized campaigns and lobbying on law and human rights related to sex work and treatment access. He was centrally involved in the public interest litigation related to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, including legal research and strategy and leading extensive community mobilization around the case. He served on the Secretariat for the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and as a member of its Technical Advisory Group from 2010-12.
Nancy Nicol is a documentary filmmaker and the Principal Investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights, which researches and documents LGBT rights and social movement histories. Nicol teaches video art, documentary and art and activism at York University. Her films include the documentary series From Criminality to Equality, on the history of lesbian and gay rights organizing in Canada.  Nancy is currently working on a documentary shot in India that examines queer organizing and the legal challenge to s. 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The film’s working title is No Easy Road to Freedom, and expected completion is spring 2014.   Nancy is also working on a documentary on the contemporary movement for LGBT rights in Botswana, and on a number of participatory video projects with Envisioning partners in Africa and the Caribbean.

Vijaya Chikermane has been an avid collaborator in the fields of HIV/AIDS, sexual health and gender equity in Toronto and internationally for over ten years. She is Executive Director at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP), is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre and also a Board member at Springtide Resources. Vijaya studied Political Science at the University of Waterloo and completed her MSc in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Vijaya is involved in a number of health and equity related projects in Toronto through her participation with Community Based-Research, project advisory committees and networks. After spending the first 15 years of her life between India and Dubai, Vijaya migrated to Canada with a deep and personal investment in social equity and its intersections with race, class, gender, violence and ability.

 

LGBT Equality Litigation in the Caribbean: Thurs Nov. 21, 1230-230

 

LGBT Equality Litigation in the Caribbean facebook event page.

Today, same-gender intimacy is criminalized in 11 of the 12 Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean under laws introduced by British colonialism. Join us for this panel of Caribbean leaders who are working to advance LGBT rights in the Caribbean. The panelists will discuss the work and history of LGBT activism in Jamaica and Belize as well as current litigation to advance LGBT rights including the following cases:

·         Inter-American Commission on Human Rights A.B., S.H. v Jamaica P-1249-11

·         Javed Jaghai v Attorney General of Jamaica 2013 HCV 00650

·         Tomlinson v TVJ, CVM and Another 2012 HCV 05676

·         Maurice Tomlinson v Belize AND Maurice Tomlinson v the State of Trinidad and Tobago CCJ Application Nos. OA1 & OA2 of 20130. Caribbean Court of Justice

·         Caleb Orozco v. The Attorney General of Belize

·         Quincy McEwan et al vs. Attorney General of Guyana (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination) (see here for more on this case)

 

Maurice Tomlinson will speak about legal cases in Jamaica, Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago as well as the influence of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in human rights jurisprudence across the region. Tomlinson is Legal Advisor, Marginalized Groups, for AIDS-Free World and a Lecturer at University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Caleb Orozco will speak about the constitutional challenge to the Criminal Code of Belize, which criminalizes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” in which he is the litigant.  As well, he will speak about the obstacles and strategies for LGBT human rights in Belize. Orozco is the Executive Director of United Belize Advocacy Movement, an LGBT rights organization in Belize.

Brian-Paul Welsh will speak on the history of Jamaican LGBT activism from the 1970’s to the present. He will discuss the formation and evolution of the Jamaican LGBT group J-FLAG. Welsh is a law student and Advocacy Coordinator with J-FLAG and CariFLAGS, leading LGBT organizations in the Caribbean.

Nancy Nicol is the Principal Investigator of the research project Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights. She will discuss the research and participatory videos currently in progress with LGBT partner organizations in the Caribbean. Nicol is Associate Professor in Visual Arts at York University.

Excerpts from participatory video projects by Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights Caribbean partners will also be shown.

 

Sponsored by: Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights; Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; Sexuality Studies Program, York University; The Centre for Feminist Research, York University; OUTlaws, OHLS; Osgoode Feminist Collective; Black Law Students Association, OHLS.

 

For more information, Email: envision@yorku.ca. Phone: 416-736-2100, ext 44567.

Website: www.envisioninglgbt.com


Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights is a 5-year international research and documentary film project working to advance social justice and equality for LGBT people. Envisioning is a partnership of mutual learning bringing together 31 LGBT organizations based in Africa, India, the Caribbean and Canada to research and document criminalization, resistance and flight from persecution. Envisioning is housed at the Centre for Feminist Research, York University and supported by a Community University Research Alliance Grant, SSHRC.

 

 

 

Panelist Bios:

 

Maurice Tomlinson, an attorney-at-law involved in Caribbean LGBTI and AIDS activism for over 14 years, is Legal Advisor, Marginalized Groups for AIDS Free World, an NGO co-founded by Stephen Lewis. He lectures law at the University of Ontario Institute Of Technology. In 2011, Maurice received the inaugural David Kato Vision and Voice Award.  He previously served as legal advisor to Jamaican LGBTI and AIDS organizations and had to flee Jamaica in 2012 when a newspaper published his wedding to a Canadian man.  He has since returned and is counsel on IACHR and Constitutional challenges to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law. He also appears as claimant in regional immigration litigation and in a freedom-of-expression case against 3 Jamaican television stations. Maurice is working on a project to document human rights violations against Caribbean LGBTI and together with his husband, Rev. Tom Decker, delivers LGBThuman rights training for police services around the region.

 

 

 

Caleb Orozco is an LGBT/Human Rights advocate, health educator and activist with two decades of experience in the human development sector. For the past seven years, he has worked primarily within the field of HIV and human rights as Executive Director and founding member of the United Belize Advocacy Movement. Through legislative analysis, litigation, and public education, he has worked tirelessly to advocate for a participatory and rights based approach to health services for HIV affected and marginalized populations and for the eradication of discriminatory laws that impact these communities in the Caribbean.  He is the principal litigant in the Caleb Orozco v. The Attorney General of Belize constitutional challenge to Section 35 of the Criminal Code. Orozco is active at the hemispheric level in international and regional organizations, such as the UN and the OAS, to raise the standard of protection and human rights enforcement for LGBT populations. He is the author of articles and shadow reports.

 

 

 

Brian-Paul Welsh developed a keen interest in social justice and human rights while at Campion College and the University of the West Indies (UWI), and it led him into formal activism through organizations such as Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, and J-FLAG. He is a firm believer that HIV is a metaphor for the inequities of society and that these inequities cannot be addressed until their injustice is confronted. He has worked nationally, regionally, and internationally in the field of HIV and human rights and continues advocating for the rights of sexual and gender minorities as an advocacy coordinator with J-FLAG and CariFLAGS. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws degree through the University of London and intends to be a legal advisor in the field of international development.

 

 

 

Nancy Nicol is a documentary filmmaker and activist, as well as the founder and Principal Investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights. She teaches video art, documentary and art and activism at York University. Her films include the award-winning documentary series From Criminality to Equality, on the history of lesbian and gay rights organizing in Canada. Nicol’s documentaries have screened widely in international film festivals and are used in universities and colleges throughout North America. She is currently working on a documentary shot in India that examines queer organizing and the legal challenge to s. 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the first of the British colonial laws on ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’.  She is also working on a documentary about Botswana, where the first African challenge to the same colonial law has been launched, and on participatory video projects with Envisioning partners in Africa and the Caribbean.

 

 

 

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Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights Research Project: new website & save the date for talk at Osgoode

Lovely new “portal” for all the work this project is engaged in, under the Principal Investigator, York Fine Arts’ Prof. Nancy Nicol.  A significant variety of resources – taped talks, links to reports & chapters, events listings, and information about the goals, methods and commitments of the larger project.  Click through below.

Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights

On Thursday November 21 1230 (more information to follow), Osgoode IFLS will host a panel discussion featuring lawyer Maurice Tomlinson, representatives of J-FLAG (Jamaica Forum for all sexuals and gays) and Belizean activist/litigant Caleb Orozco on his (decision pending) challenge to the Belizean sodomy law (click here for some hopeful portents in this case). Nancy Nicol – the PI  of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights – will provide introductions.  Thanks to Osgoode Prof Janet Mosher for helping this event happen – we look forward to also welcoming having a variety of student representatives from the Osgoode Feminist Collective, OUTLaws and other groups.  Hope to see you there – save the date and look for more information in this space.