Re: Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

Jeffrey Haas <jhaas@pfrc.org> Thu, 26 May 2016 18:13 UTC

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Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 14:19:18 -0400
From: Jeffrey Haas <jhaas@pfrc.org>
To: Dhruv Dhody <dhruv.ietf@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
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On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 06:42:21PM +0530, Dhruv Dhody wrote:
> I am gay, I live in India, which has a similar sec 377 law on its books.
> 
> I hate these laws, I yearn for these laws to change.
> 
> I feel the pain of my fellow LGBTQ IETFers.... We do need to worry about
> things that others can take for granted.
> 
> But pulling out of Singapore, and setting a precedent, would also mean that
> we would limit ourselves to a small pool of venues and basically let go of
> 1-1-1*, that is unacceptable.
> 
> There are many of us LGBT folks, who reside in countries that have these
> homophobic laws, but we keep the fight on, we live openly, we work, we
> play, we pay our taxes, we protest, and we hope to change minds along the
> way..... some even attend IETF :)

I'm gay.  I live in a US state that until recently didn't recognize my
marriage.  (And it took a ruling of our Supreme court to do so.)

As I have said before, I'm supportive of including criteria in our meeting
venue that attempts to cover "LGBTQ friendliness", but it's not my primary
concern.  What I am personally concerned for is my general safety if the
nature of the laws of that land mean I'm an "illegal person".

I believe Singapore would likely be a safe venue for me.

The majority of the other issues articulated in the various threads
effectively come down to one's legal rights.  It has been the case for LGBTQ
individuals in the US to already have to be aware of their rights, or lack
thereof, and plan accordingly.  These included matters of finance,
healthcare, family, etc.

I have two books on my bookshelf specifically providing legal advice on
living my life in the world we have today.

In general, I think most LGBTQ individuals that travel internationally
travel are pretty well aware of the impact of their sexual orientation on
their legal status as a foreigner.  We'll take our risks on a given locale
based on our own considerations - and they may vary considerably.  Until
recently, living in the US, we had to be aware of even traveling from one
state to another.

There will be countries I will simply not travel to, since my status as an
"illegal person" in such country would put me in fear of my life or liberty.
But that's not now.

> Adding to Jordi's suggestion, we should support the local Singapore LGBT
> community, partner with them and organize something where we take a clear
> stand that laws must change. I feel this would be much more productive.

For my part, I'm supportive of IETF making a statement of general principle, 
but I'm leery of anything that turns IETF overtly into political actions.

What specific individuals choose to do is obviously up to them. :-)

-- Jeff