Council Consultation on LGBT Rights

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    Commissioner Maleeka Liszckoszi:

    I call the council chamber to discuss the issue of LGBT rights within the union, LGBT being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights. In my job as Internal Affairs Commissioner I have been tasked with looking at what politicla moves we can make to protect every citizen in the union to allow them to have a peaceful existence free from persecution.

    I am currently investigating the situation of LGBT rights within the union and national attitudes. We as a union cna cooperate and work together to fight this unnecessary persecution.

    I call this session to ask members to tell me of the LGBT rights situation in their respective states. Is LGBT sexual relations permitted in your nation? What is the age of LGBT consent in your nation? Do you have a legal provision for LGBT marriage or civil partnerships in your nation?

    I want to hear your views and debate them in this open session.

  • Councillor Livia Arcturus stepped to the podium.

    "Commissioner, thank you for bringing this important matter up in the Council.

    First and foremost, I would like to give you, ladies and gentlemen, a summary of the current LGBT situation in the Commonwealth.

    Under the law, any and all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have exactly the same rights and responsibilities as any heterosexual Aurean citizens. Sexual orientation place no role here. Same-sex couples can marry, adopt, participate in fertility treatments, donate blood, et cetera... Same-sex marriages and adoptions of other countries are recognized as valid in Pax Aurea. The age of consent -- sixteen here -- is the same in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

    In the Aurean culture, attitudes towards same-sex relationships have been tolerant and liberal for a relatively long time. As a result, LGBT matters hardly matter in our country, if you allow a pun. This can also be seen in the world of the sacred: the largest religious denomination to which approximately 40% of Aureans belong, namely the Lutheran Universalist Church, a protestant Christian denomination, weds same-sex couples and allows LGBT people to serve as ministers. Indeed, we've seen homosexual bishops and even an archbishop in this church. The attitudes of the other religious groups tend to vary more, but all in all, the atmosphere is tolerant.

    I must confess, though, that because of the larger scale of immigration from Africa and the Middle East over the last three decades or so, more and more people who are not so accustomed to this kind of relationships live in Pax Aurea, and every now and then, some issues have arisen. We do our best to educate and enlighten our new citizens and dispel the shroud of misconceptions, suspicion, and myth that often surrounds same-sex relationships, labeling them as taboo and wrong. The results have been surprisingly promising, and I remain optimistic: attitudes can indeed change when both hearts and minds are left open, and information is allowed to flow unhindered.

    The Aurean law recognizes hate crimes that are motivated by the victim's sexual orientation. This is seen as an aggravation.

    As a personal sidenote, my son is happily married to a lovely young gentleman, so as you can understand this matter touches me very deeply. I am therefore curious to hear what the LGBT situation is in the neighbouring countries of the European Union."

  • _The Constitution clearly states that homosexuals, transexuals and bi-sexuals have full rights as citizens and are fully entitled to the same rights as any other person and are allowed to marry with full equality with a heterosexual couple. The Government does not tolerate homophobia and such an offence is made punishable by a prison sentence.

    I am glad you have raised this issue and the Offalian Government will be as proactive as ever in combating the mindless cause of homophobia._

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    [ooc: power lost in snowstorm, posting from phone]

    Councillor Acwellan Devoy rose to speak:

    The Duxburian Union does not officially recognize sexual orientations. The belief about sex has been "something you do, not something you are" for well over a thousand years. Isolationist powers like the United Dominions did not adopt the artificial hetero and homo classifications made by an outsider in the late 600s (1800s). Thus, all citizens have de facto equality concerning sexual preferences. This also means that anyone can get a civil union. Only christians "marry" in this country, composing about 5% of the population. There are no advantages to marriage over civil union.

    Culturally, we do have problems with sexual relations, though. The Duxburian Union is considered a macho society and thus gender roles that do not convey strength and power are looked down upon. This mismatch between culture and law is a result of our conservatives lacking christianity. Non-dominant relationship styles are not always fully accepted, but there has never been a serious movement to actually supress them, for there is no major religion here that demands it.

    We have one class of hate crime law that covers all hate crimes. Sexual preference crimes do not get favor over racial, ethnic, gender, or other types.

    My government would strongly oppose EU level action at equality, not because we are against it, but because recognizing sexual orientation as something you are would fundamentally alter our culture. It would be a devisive measure that would damage the right of citizens to do as they wish in the bedroom. The initiative is well-intentioned, but shows a lack of understanding of other cultures. Just because a problem exists in one country, it does not give you the right to force your solution upon others that operate in ways that do not allow for simple, binary solutions.

  • Councillor Hans K?chler:

    "Brecon opposes discrimination based on sexual orientation in the same way that we oppose discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, or religion. Civil unions are available to citizens whatever their sexual orientation may be. Marriage is not defined by the government and is therefore left to the religious organisations that apply it.

    Of course Brecon is not a utopia and so, despite our intentions, there are occasional cases of discrimination which are then dealt with through our legal system.

    Given the concerns of my Duxburian colleague, and matters of national sovereignty, I would hesitate to support legislation at the EU level."

  • Counciller Sonia Satela:

    In the Democratic Republic, every man or woman is equal, no matters their origin, sexual orientation, sex, profession,... Every man and woman has the same political, civil and economical rights. Everyone can marry, divorce, live together, have a LAT relation, whatever you want. Even polygamy is legal, if every partner agrees of course. Occoron is a democratic state, with political freedom for everyone. So, in spite of the efforts of a great majority of the Occoronians to treat everyone equally, there are still people who oppose these ideas. As everyone is free to give his/her opinion, the government doesn't do anything to prevent these ideas. We trust our citizens that they use their brains as they defend their opinion. We have freedom of speech, but we don't tolerate harassments, physical or even continuously verbal violence. I can say however, we have almost no problems with LGTB's: a great majority of our citizens support the government's policy, the others give their opinion about it in a proper way.

    Congratulations for Mrs. Liszckoszi for having the courage to start a discussion about such a difficult subject.

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    It seems to me it is more than evident that the majority of nations are pro LGBT rights and have provided equalities on the majority of levels. I am proud that governments in this union share an amazing attitude to provide people who seek and hold proud their LGBT identity with equal footing. This display makes me proud to work for you.

    Please be aware this is the first in a short series of consultations about the state of internal affairs in the union and not by any means a proviso for dictating anti-sovereignty bills, so dont worry although my intent may seem sinister.

    Are there any nations which do not share the consensus?

  • We should not be afraid as Europeans to question states that maintain discriminatory policies against LGBT persons. Many European nations have the right policy and it is up to us collectively to promote equality amongst all people. We must not pander to sovereignty.

  • Dominik Frank:

    Rhine Ruhr has a short and easy response to this issue. If a citizen pays taxes, the government does not care with whom they have a union with.* All of our citizens have equal rights and are equal in the eyes of the government. Of course we have those far to the right who believe it is an atrocity, and we have those on the far left who support trans-species relations. The citizens of Rhine Ruhr mostly ignore these people. Rhine Ruhr unlike Occoron does not support polygamy, because of taxation purposes. We in Rhine Ruhr do not see gender, nor do we care how a couple chooses to unionize.

    *Rhine Ruhr does not interfere with relations of those whom do not pay taxes either. We would only simply monitor the union.

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