134 CAMPAIGN - Enough is Enough!

134 years of criminalisation!
134 years of marginalisation!
134 years of discrimination and the blatant violations of our rights!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

So many ways you can join the campaign!
1. Sign the PETITION
2. VIDEOS – …because a video speaks volumes
3. POP-UP EVENTS – A great excuse to meet people, discuss great ideas and change the world
4. PROMOTIONAL PARAPHERNALIA – care about it? wear it.
5. TALK ABOUT IT – if you know someone who knows someone who can do something, we want to know that someone

EQUAL GROUND is happy to assist with video-making, pop up events, paraphernalia and so on. We have Stickers and Badges that can be distributed at Pop ups and discussions.

Our Facebook page can help in creating a platform for discussion -join now. It will also feature videos from folks who are supporting the 134 Campaign and events information (Pop ups, forums etc).

Be a part of the 134 Campaign!

MORE INFORMATION
Individuals belonging to or perceived as belonging to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) community in Sri Lanka have been discriminated, marginalized, harassed and persecuted, for over 134 years, by friends, family, law enforcement authorities and Government agencies and society as a whole.

A major factor contributing to the alienation of the LGBTIQ community stems from the criminalisation of LGBTIQ persons under sections 365 and 365A of the Penal Code of Sri Lanka. These laws must be struck down now but the Government of Sri Lanka is not convinced there is enough people in this country that worry about this law or want this law stuck off the books. One way in which we are trying to do this is by getting people to sign the online petition we are launching today, called the 134 Campaign for the number of years the LGBTIQ community has been subject to all kinds of violence and discrimination.

The following is what we emphasise in the campaign on change.org.

134 years of criminalisation!
134 years of marginalisation!
134 years of discrimination and the blatant violation of our rights!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

How can we allow a law to continue criminalising people for loving and caring for each other? How is sex between consenting adults a crime? Sections 365 and 365A of the Sri Lankan Penal Code provide for the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning (LGBTIQ) and even heterosexual persons for engaging in “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and “acts of gross indecency”.
The discrimination and marginalisation of the LGBTIQ community began with the imposition of this law by the British Empire in 1833; 134 years ago. According to historical records, homosexuality was not deemed criminal conduct in Sri Lanka prior to this piece of legislation.

Sri Lanka is signatory to 27 UN treaties and conventions which are based on the inherent dignity and equal right of all human beings. The country has an obligation to adhere to the international human rights standards. Many countries have moved away from marginalizing the LGBTIQ community and moved towards accepting and including the LGBTIQ community and other minorities as equal citizens. The Sri Lankan government however, operates on the premise that Sri Lankan society is homogenous, heterosexual and heteronormative. As a result it believes that there is no need to change this law because of the silence the LGBTIQ community is forced to maintain.

Will you watch in silence while your fellow citizens are being arbitrarily arrested for looking different, for loving different, for being different? The law actually legitimises this blatant misuse of power vested in the law enforcement authorities and this issue needs to be dragged up from under the carpet where it has been shoved!

The Sri Lankan LGBTIQ community is not asking for more rights than you; the community is asking for the same rights that you enjoy. The right to walk unmolested on the roads; the right to seek redress for violations; the right to proudly embrace who they are; the right to love.

The law as it is, traps LGBTIQ persons in the closet. Closets are dark spaces. Bad things happen in dark places. Help let the light in.

Sign, share, support and #ChallengeandChange.

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EQUALITY - the only LGBTIQ lifestyle Magazine in Sri Lanka

PRESS RELEASE

Colombo, Sri Lanka: 20th December 2016

EQUAL GROUND, the only LGBTIQ advocacy organisation in Sri Lanka is proud to announce the launch of the first LGBTIQ lifestyle magazine in Colombo today. Aptly names EQUALITY, it is the first magazine of its kind to be published in Sri Lanka amidst a burgeoning and thriving lifestyle publications industry in this country.

For 12 years, EQUAL GROUND has served the LGBTIQ community and its allies with the ‘Rainbow News’ newsletter. The switch to a lifestyle magazine was made to create a wider platform for members of the LGBTIQ community to express their opinions and showcase their talents while appealing to all audiences in Sri Lanka.

“Our intention was to create a platform where the LGBTIQ community of this country can contribute in all three languages. So that irrespective of your area, race or social status any member has the equal opportunity to come forward and express themselves,” said Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Executive Director of the EQUAL GROUND. “It is also a platform for young entrepreneurs, photographers, artists and others from the community to be featured creating publicity for their craft or business,” she added.

With the launch of ‘EQUALITY’, the first of its kind in the country, EQUAL GROUND has taken a step towards a more accepting, united, happy and humane society.

ABOUT THE ORGANISATION:

EQUAL GROUND is a nonprofit organisation seeking economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) community of Sri Lanka. We are committed to creating a safe space for all LGBTIQ individuals and to providing opportunities for self-help including mental wellbeing, economic, social and political empowerment, access to health, education, housing and legal protection for the LGBTIQ community.
EQUAL GROUND is the only truly mixed organisation in Sri Lanka which includes the wider identities of the LGBTIQ community in Sri Lanka as well as our heterosexual allies and friends.

Contact Details:
Tel: +94-11-2806184/ +94-11- 5679766
Fax: +94-11-2805704
Web: http://www.equal-ground.org
Web Blog: https://equalground.wordpress.com/
Twitter: EQUALGROUND
Facebook: facebook.com/EQUALGROUND
Youtube: youtube.com/user/equalground123

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Find peace of mind: free counseling service for LGBTIQ persons

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Colombo PRIDE 2016

Come Join us for this year’s scintillating program!

Please call us at 0115679766 if you want to reserve a seat on the bus ride and also for more information! We will make history on the 12th – be there!

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JVP’s Nalinda Jayathissa MP makes homophobic statements

JVP parliamentarian Nalinda Jayathissa MP has, in an interview stated: “I am totally against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual [sic] (LGBT) rights. This is not the need of the human being. We need a future generation. Scientific experiments reveal that this kind of emotions come out due to stress. When people go through stressful periods or are in such environments, unnatural feelings come out. For example, we do not see this behaviour when they are living in the wild. However, if they are caged, we would see this behaviour. I believe in marriage between man and woman. Same sex marriage is unnatural. It is against the evolution of the human being”. (full article can be viewed via the Colombo Telegraph)

Is this really the stance of the Janatha Vimukthi Permuna a leftist party fighting for equality for all citizens of Sri Lanka? EQUAL GROUND strongly condemns the statements made by Nalinda Jayathissa MP and has written to the JVP to explain their stance on these unacceptable comments and the rights of the LGBTIQ community of Sri Lanka to live as equal citizens of this country.

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