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

Melinda Shore <melinda.shore@gmail.com> Mon, 23 May 2016 14:09 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
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From: Melinda Shore <melinda.shore@gmail.com>
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Date: Mon, 23 May 2016 06:09:06 -0800
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On 5/23/16 12:33 AM, Harish Pillay wrote:
> For that matter, and this is something I brought up previously as well,
> if there is indeed active prosecution, how would you explain http://pinkdot.sg
> happening in Singapore year in, year out? It is a very public event and
> no one was prosecuted. Zilch.

I'm unclear on why this is a guarantee that, say, familial rights
will be respected.  There were GLBT pride marches for decades in
the US, Canada, England, and so on before that became the case.

It used to be common in threat analytic frameworks to define the
cost, or risk, of a particular threat as a function of the threat's
likelihood and its impact.  That is to say, a low-likelihood threat
that had potentially devastating impact was identified as a very
high priority despite its unlikely occurrence, specifically
because of the dire consequences if it did happen.

The situation in Singapore is that bigotry has the force of law, and
should a GLBT person run into that rare medical professional who has a
particular animus towards gay people, or a cop who's having a bad day,
or whatever, the law in Singapore does not provide protection against
that bigotry - rather, the law is on the side of the bigot.  To say
that the law is rarely enforced doesn't actually make things better -
it introduces a level of uncertainty that may lead people who don't
deal with these things to think everything's okay but still leaves the
possibility for bad outcomes and high risk for GLBT people, as the
power of the state is behind the bigots.

It seems clear that there are two basic sub-threads here: 1) whether
the situation in Singapore is actually a problem, and 2) what supporting
"diversity" in the IETF means in practice.  I think it's pretty clear
that yes, there's a problem in Singapore in that while it's unlikely
that someone will run into conflict, the consequences if they do are
potentially shattering.  As for what "diversity" means in the IETF,
I dunno.  Pretty much every discussion of gender, GLBT issues, and so
on gets diverted into a discussion of geography.

Melinda