· · · · · 

The Death Penalty, Life Imprisonment, and Other Punitive Measures: What’s the Point?

(Congregation of St. Joseph)

Recently, a 10-year-old child from my daughter’s class asked me this pertinent question: “What’s the point of learning your lesson if you never get a chance to show that you did?” The answer is simple: not much. Unfortunately, rehabilitation is often not at the heart of criminal justice reform. In fact, the harshness of a punishment is frequently not determined by the possibility of recidivism, but rather by public opinion and as a result misses the point.

· · · · · 

Trans Inclusion: Trust, Verify, Educate

(edmonton.strathcona.prov/flickr)

The invisibility of trans communities is real. So are unthinking insults. By treating the latter as intentional, we do nothing to inform and educate about the first.

· · · · · 

Jodie Foster Comes Out, and So Does Our Hypocritical Approach to Privacy, Especially the Privacy of Women

Jodie Foster accepts her Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Golden Globes. (CBS News)

As a society, we feel entitled to strip people of their privacy rights when they appear to transgress how we believe they should live their lives. In fact, we are extremely hypocritical in our approach to privacy.

· · · · · 

From Saudi Arabia to the United States, the Human Rights of Domestic Workers Must Be Recognized

Rizana Nafeek

This week’s execution in Saudi Arabia and the successful fight for legal protections for domestic workers in New York State highlight the central concept of humanity in the struggle for human rights. 

· · · · · 

Violence Still Prevalent Despite Progress on LGBTI Rights in Latin America

A lesbian couple kiss in Mexico City after beginning the legal process towards marriage. (Gregory Bull/AP)

After notable progress on protecting equal rights one might be excused for thinking that Latin America is an accepting and safe place to live for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people. That would be the wrong conclusion.

· · · · · 

Myths About Homosexuality Fuel Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill

This week, as we are waiting for the Ugandan parliament to debate whether or not homosexuality should be punishable by death (or at the very least life in jail) it might be helpful to review whatever could make anyone reach such a murderous conclusion.

· · · · · 

Potential SCOTUS Review of DOMA Presents Potential Pivotal Moment for Gay Rights in America

On Friday this week, the US Supreme Court judges are expected to announce which, if any, cases related to gay rights they will review. At stake are not only the right to marry and federal recognition of marriage-related financial benefits for same-sex couples who are already married.

· · · · · 

Giving Thanks For Times the United States Has Fought Back Against Discrimination

For those of us living in the United States, this is a time of year for giving thanks. It is in that spirit that I have gathered a list of some of my favorite pieces of U.S. news on overcoming discrimination over the past couple of months.

· · · · · 

I Know This Much Is True: Abortion Is A Medical Intervention to Which Women Need Access

The Irish government has yet to regulate access to life-saving abortions in Ireland, despite the fact that such medical interventions have been legal in that country for two decades. The situation has created fear in both women and the medical profession alike.

· · · · · 

Passing the DREAM Act Would Acknowledge the Human Rights of Migrant Children and Benefit All of Us

While the Maryland ballot initiative on education is great for young migrants in that state, it highlights the fact that federal action is sorely needed to protect the human rights and dignity of migrants everywhere.

· · · · ·