Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input

Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com> Tue, 24 May 2016 20:31 UTC

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From: Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2016 16:31:05 -0400
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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
To: Melinda Shore <melinda.shore@gmail.com>
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On Tue, May 24, 2016 at 4:06 PM, Melinda Shore <melinda.shore@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Well, there's some number of us who will not be going
> to Singapore as a matter of personal conscience, aside
> from those whose families may be at increased risk.
> But either way, these seems like an odd way to deal with
> problems around diversity and inclusion, and I hope that
> people are asking themselves if they'd frame problems
> around religious bias, race, and so on in quite the same way.
>

I don't think it's that clear-cut.   I have no idea what my conscientious
objection to going would be, although I do accept that you believe that
there is such an objection that you feel the need to act on.

>From my perspective we've heard from several people who would in principle
be affected by this who are willing to go to Singapore, and we have heard
from at least one person _living in Singapore_ who is in principle affected
by this.   Are his needs less important than the needs of other IETF
attendees?   How do we make that determination?

We spent many years holding IETFs in a country, and in states in that
country, that did not recognize LGBT rights, and nobody at that time ever
proposed not holding IETFs in that country (the U.S.).   We held many, many
IETFs in that country.   What has changed from then to now?

In my personal opinion, what has changed is that there are now many fewer
potential venues where LGBT families would have to worry.   This is a
wonderful, positive change.   The number of potential IETF venues where
such worries are an issue has substantially dropped.   I get that because
of that Singapore now feels like a backslide, but I think we should all
(not just you, Melinda) ask ourselves how we would have felt if for the
entire time from IETF 1 to IETF ~93 the U.S. were not in consideration as a
potential country in which to hold IETFs.  This was also true of Europe.

It is only in the past three years that the IAOC has even really had a
meaningful choice about whether to go to a country that recognized LGBT
marital rights.   I suspect that Singapore came into consideration prior to
that happy event.   So while I get that there are matters of principle at
stake here, it's easy to imagine that IETF participants in Asia are a bit
surprised by this.   As an example, while I think Japan is pretty positive
toward LGBT rights, there is no parity under law there for LGBT
relationships as compared to cis-het relationships.

I guess this could all come down to a rationalization.   My opinion is that
canceling IETF 100 in Singapore would be equivalent to having cancelled
IETF 72 for the same reason if LGBT marital rights had been established in
law in 2007 instead of in 2015.   So it might be worth considering whether
we would have done that.